Lauren Mayberry of Chvrches: “Please Stop the Cyber-Bullying Misogyny!”

Social commentary via the internet thrives within its own stratosphere of rampant free speech and thought; it’s almost impossible to regard every single person’s blasé opinion as startling let alone significant in our non-virtual lives.

Yet, Chvrches, one of many bands made popular through the internet, is taking digital jibs and jabs straight to the physical heart.



Lead singer Lauren Mayberry wrote a blog post on the Guardian, expressing her sentiments on the objectification and misogyny she faces on a daily basis: “Last week, I posted a screen grab of one of the many inappropriate messages sent to the band’s social networks every day.  After making the post, I sat back and watched with an increasingly open mouth as more and more people commented on the statement… Comments range from the disgusted and supportive to the offensively vile. My current favorites from the latter category include:

“‘Act like a slut, getting treated like a sluy [sic]'”


“‘It’s just one of those things you’ll need to learn to deal with. If you’re easily offended, then maybe the music industry isn’t for you.'” 


Welcome to the pitfalls of unfiltered, internet-bred fame?  “Since we began the Facebook page, I have seen every message — good and bad — that has come into our inbox… it is important to me that our fans know we value their interest… Perhaps people assume we have a team of fancy PAs who deal with our social networks for us.


“Maybe the men — and I’m sorry, but they are all men — sending the notifications…”


Whether or not a person deserves to be treated one way or another is, frankly, a less interesting topic of debate. The entertainment and music industries respond to consumers’ reactions to available products, and people love Chvrches as noted by their skyrocketing popularity. Yes, the internet is a chaotic center stage for many personalities, but the really good upside is that her band has figured out a way to market and brand themselves successfully through that mess. Instead of more “Leave Britney Alone” blurbs, perhaps Mayberry could have really proved her resiliency with some confidence.

Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Madonna receive nasty comments in much greater volumes. What makes them different from Mayberry?  Maybe a little bit of blissful ignorance or thick skin.


38 Responses

  1. Lily Chun

    Wait, why would the subject of whether or not someone deserves human decency be less interesting? And what’s with the Britney/Miley/Taylor/Madonna comparisons? What is the author trying to say? Because it sure sounds like she’s saying “suck it up because you don’t have it as bad.”
    I personally applaud Lauren Mayberry for speaking out about being harassed. Females go through this shit everyday, and we’re taught to ignore it and roll our eyes. It’s nice to see a strong female stand up for herself and say “enough with this bullshit.” Maybe if jerks got called out more often, they’d realize this kind of behavior’s not ok.

    • Visitor

      “we’re taught to ignore it and roll our eyes”
      And that is the correct approach.
      Listen, this is not a female thing. We’re all harassed out there 24/7. It comes with the territory and it’s the price we pay.
      I don’t think it’s cool to talk like a jerk, but you have better things to do than worrying about it.
      Any kind of violence, stalking or regular threats are of course something else and should always be handled by the police.

      • hippydog

        QUOTE “It comes with the territory and it’s the price we pay.”
        Price we pay?
        thats BS!
        who decided that? was there some meeting that was held I didnt hear about, where everyone voted and decided this?
        i dont think so..
        and ya
        lets all ignore the bad things and just ‘accept them’ because thats the way things are..
        and because we know THAT always turns out for the best..

        • Visitor

          “Price we pay?”
          Sure, it’s the flip side of being an artist or living in public for any other reason.
          Ask any politician.

  2. Chris

    Really? REALLY? I know DMN is a downmarket joke of a music ‘news’ site, but are you really saying that the artist should just ‘show more resillience’?
    I guess this article was probably posted to purely gain ad-revenue traffic, but even so, it’s still beyond ridiculous to suggest that the status quo is fine here.

    • Visitor

      “it’s still beyond ridiculous to suggest that the status quo is fine here”
      It’s not a matter of whether it’s ‘fine’.
      It’s there, it’s old as sin and it ain’t going anywhere.
      You are a failure as an artist if you don’t have a decent amount of absolutely insane stalkers.

  3. hippydog

    I think the fuller article fleshes out what she is actually intending..
    QUOTE “Instead of more “Leave Britney Alone” blurbs, perhaps Mayberry could have really proved her resiliency with some confidence. ”
    wait… What??
    Did I just read that right?
    did you just say that speaking out makes a person weak?
    and why does she need to prove her “resiliency”? and i’m pretty sure proving her resiliency or “mental strength” was not the point of her saying these things..

  4. AnAmusedGeek

    I’m confused on two points:
    1.) hasn’t this gone on as long as we’ve had stars?
    I seem to recall hearing women threw underwear at Tom Jones in concert ? (A bit before my time, so maybe its urban legend…)

    2.) When did it become wrong to say “hey your cute, wanna get some coffee/dinner” ??
    I imagine the cruder messages are from teens but if someone just said “hey if your ever in XX and wanna grab coffee, gimme a call” is that still wrong ?

  5. Visitor

    People who leave anonymous comments can be assholes!!!
    What a shocking story!!

  6. Kieran M

    “Taylor Swift, Miley Cyrus, and Madonna receive nasty comments in much greater volumes. What makes them different from Mayberry? Maybe a little bit of blissful ignorance or thick skin.”

    Perhaps it has something to do with Lauren Mayberry reading and responding to these messages personally? I feel this has to be reiterated as it apparently didn’t seem to stick; the issue here isn’t how these comments should be handled, it’s that they even have to be handled at all.

    That is of course unless you are saying people like Miley Cyrus, Britney Spears etc are shining examples of how to deal with everything that comes with fame and success.

  7. solution

    Here is what you have to do if you really want to make a difference and stop this nonsense once and for all:
    You ask your webmaster to gather all the messages, with full logs, ip addresses, emails e.t.c. All data related to all the attacks you received.
    (if your webmaster doesn’t know how to do this, then you need to find a new webmaster)
    Then, you copy all this information to a CD, also printing each individual page on paper. You take all that and you visit the nearest police station with your lawyer.
    If you were attacked through Facebook, the police knows how to deal with it and request information from Facebook directly.
    Once the police presses charges to the first idiots who attacked you, the rest will shut their mouth.
    That’s how you deal with bullies (cyber or real life). You don’t complain on blogs or Facebook. That will only boost their ego.
    This is a legal issue and should be handled as such.

  8. disgusted

    I shouldn’t be surprised by this post but I guess I didn’t expect DMN to excuse sexism.
    Yes, this is in the same vein as cyberbullying and other gender neutral internet issues, but we can’t just brush off blatant, harrassment as something to “toughen up to.” This isn’t the same as an artist complaining about bad reviews and unflattering photos.
    It is not okay for people to make others feel unsafe, and it’s time to stop not holding men accountable for sexual harrassment. It isn’t an artist’s job to just accept and ignore threats of rape and abuse. Messages like these aren’t funny, cute, and harmless.
    To the genius who wants to know why it isn’t okay to say “hey you’re cute:” It is okay to say that. To a person you know and with which you’re having a regular, respectable, consensual conversation. If you conflate this with being no different than saying “I will fuck the accent out of you,” I urge you to try that or “I’m going to give you anal” as your next pickup line and see how quickly you are maced.

    • Female Performer You've Heard

      Oh, please. First Off: Thanks you Priscilla for asking your fellow women to toughen up for a change! I have the luck of all women to be a performer for decades, and you know I am thanking the Heavens above every day and night for that chance, yet you can believe I get the worst of that side on FB and all but NEVER been touched or really felt threatened. I even invite men on stage in a naughty routine I do and people love it, and 99.9999 % can handle themselves and that’s a fact. So thanks to all the men that paid my bills and bring their girlfriends to shows and sit through and let me perform and live my dream, I’ll take some stupidity from the tiny percentage of them gladly.

        • Visitor

          “Long ago, I was once married to Madonna.”
          Easy on the sarcasm, Yves.
          I don’t know whether ‘Female Performer’s comment is for real or not.
          But it’s consistent with what most performing artists feel.

          • Yves Villeneuve

            It wasn’t sarcasm. Some might characterize it as a delusion.

    • Adam

      @ Disgusted – I’m laughing out loud right now. You don’t get it. I don’t think anyone disagrees that language and behavior like that are not only immature, but disrespectful. But if you have any expectations on how people, especially teenage boys and sexually charged men are going to comment or troll on things like this, you are living a dream – go back to sleep and keep dreaming! Do you know what the definition of an internet Troll is? Don’t you know how that works? The more you react and feed them with your reaction and attention, the worse off you are. Just by giving them the time of day to write what she did, she just made sure that those types are going to re-double their efforts to piss her off and get more of a reaction. As a “feminist” you should be able to see right through that. Come on! Use your brain, don’t be so reactive, its stupid. If I were her I’d make sure that there was someone to screen the emails and nowhere to post comments because clearly it bothers her.

      • hippydog

        QUOTE “But if you have any expectations on how people, especially teenage boys and sexually charged men are going to comment or troll on things like this, you are living a dream”
        Actually we do have expectations..
        and society should speak out when we see something like this. and if its bad enough, we should do something about it.. because thats what a community does..

        • Locke

          I don’t think you should expect that American people will censor themselves for manners sake. We may as well outlaw discussion of government so that no one may insult or offend any appointed officials.

    • Sowhat

      Notice though she posted a screenshot of the least threatening message out of her claims. And what this guy says is not at all that threatening. Where is the proof of the other claims she has? Because the one she posted is pretty tame and if English is his second language it might even be considered benign and endearing not aggressive. So, a guy sends her one sexually charged message. One awkward or misguided message from a man now constitutes harassment? We are not even allowed to talk to women anymore without it being harassment these days? You wonder why you can’t find a decent man. Because they are all affraid to talk to you because you retaliate like this.

      So a man makes a mistake in his wording of his approach. Most men will back off and they realize they crossed the line. We aren’t perfect. We’ve all done it. We are not al dangerous because of it.

      Women complain when they don’t get attention from men and they complain when they get too much attention from men. What do you expect when you are on stage performing for thousands of people? You’re kind of a sex symbol. And there are tons of women out there who are not desired by men. She should consider herself lucky. Women like her get so used to being desired that it becomes a nuisance to them instead of a blessing. Most men and even women would be happy and flattered to have women drooling all over them like this.

      She knows damn well most of them aren’t threats to her otherwise she’d be notifying the police not shaming people on the Internet to further her femisnist cause and views.

      Yes, it’s gross some of the comments that men make to her I’m sure but if they are not really a threat; then, get over it. You’re fucking rich and famous! Hire a body guard or notify the police if you truly feel threatened!

      One day in the future she is going to wake up old and no longer be the object of desire by men and women and she is going to think back to this time and think, “what was my problem?”

      • Sowhat

        And another thing I’ve noticed about women is that if they are attracted to you then you can say whatever you want to them and they might even actually like when you talk to them like this. A lot of times men have no idea if you find them attractive or are okay with them talking this way. So, it is really a shot in the dark but sometimes works. And yes, some women are okay or even turned on when you say vile, nasty things to them when you first meet them even. Just as long as they are attracted to you. You are not gross or a pervert if they find you attractive. If you attractive then you can say whatever you want to them.

  9. Jules

    What an obnoxious post. You actually could have supported the call for civility — or at least non-harrassment — rather than tell the recipient to suck it up. Instead of just leaving Ms. Mayberry a nasty comment somewhere, which you seem to think would be benign anyway, you preferred to spend an entire blog post demeaning her.
    And your editors thought this was a worthy idea. I like this blog, but posts like this reveal a worldview lurking beneath that compromises the overall credibility.
    Who is “Priscilla Kim” anyway? She needs the resiliency and confidence to stand up for respectful and civil behavior.

  10. danwriter

    Actually, she is kinda cute, in a Norah Jones/Zooey Deschanel sort of way. This is a problem?

    • dr dr

      taking a moral stance on internet comments? has she ever read a youtube comment? she should be grateful people will pay her and listen to her music because she’s sexy, but she’s a feminist apparently, so you aren’t allowed to say what you’re thinking, just pretend that differences between the sexes don’t exist and this band stands out for their exceptional ‘talent’. funny thing is they all want it so bad, which is why they concern themselves with sexual comments in the first place…

    • Kieran M

      I sincerely hope you do know the difference between finding a girl “kinda cute” and emailing said girl to tell her “I have your address and I will come round to your house and give u anal and you will love it you twat lol”
      There’s even a distinction to be made between finding a girl cute and telling her so. Take a step back and ask yourself; why should she give a shit what you think? Do you honestly think you are in any way important to her that your opinion matters?

    • disgusted

      Is this moron land where you idiots don’t see the difference between thinking and saying that someone is cute vs. calling women sluts and telling them you WILL “do anal” to them (or whatever the exact comment was)?
      Dudes! Grow the fuck up and learn how to interact with women like they’re human beings instead of just within some weird madonna/whore dichotomy.

  11. Ian

    Nonsense. Why should they not speak out about these types of messages? Just because some other groups choose not to doesn’t mean that they’re ok. And these are clearly inappropriate messages. If someone walked up to her in person and said them, I think she’d have a similar response. So why not on the Internet?
    And clearly their skin is perfectly tough since they’re not giving up their lives as musicians.
    Things change by people taking action, and she’s right to call out these messages and the people who send them.

  12. GGG

    Good for her for speaking out. It probably won’t stop anything, lord knows there’s an asshole born every minute. But it will definitely endear her to some people, so if nothing else she probably just earned herself more fans and/or more diehard fans, what with showing she’s a human being and all and not some contrived robot.

  13. also disgusted

    I cannot believe that you would take such a stance on this… do you really believe deep down that this is OK and she should just let it roll off her back?
    Even if she did, there is a much deeper problem here of people not thinking about or caring how their words make other people feel. The fact that the people making the comments find it OK, AND you (a woman might i would think you might understand where she is coming from) are essentially giving them the greenlight by saying “eh, not a big deal – they’re just words” is FUCKING RIDICULOUS.
    I’m not going to make any sweeping judgements about your character based on this post, but you really need to re-evaluate if this in any way reflects your true beliefs.
    And the “it’s always going to be there so just learn to deal with it” attitude is un-acceptable. That is not how things get changed. Excuse the hyperbolic comparison here, but Martin Luther King didn’t just say that…

  14. Male Feminist

    Priscilla: Disagree. I’m glad she spoke out. I don’t know how many times I’ve watched a video (with a sexy performer or no), then scrolled down and saw a bunch of rape-y bullshit in the comments field. If an artist is insulted and disgusted by rape-y bullshit, they should speak out about it. That female journalists and performers are suggesting they are not right to speak out about it… well that is their right to have that opinion, but I highly disagree and don’t think they are helping the situation.

    I echo the sentiment of another commentator: Dudes, grow the fuck up and knock it the fuck off.

    Finally back to Priscilla: Beyond not agreeing with your stance, I feel like your writing in this article is disjointed and didn’t help whatever point you were trying to make.

  15. blahblahblah

    There are indeed many losers out there who apparently have nothing better to do than make distasteful comments on the internet. BUT, if you want to be successful entertainer that is going to happen. I suggest not communicating directly with your fans, except for at shows, perhaps. What recording artists don’t understand today, despite what their labels and managers will tell them, is that the general public will think LESS of you if you communicate directly with them. Before this was easy to do via the internet, artists had a mystique that drew fans to them and they made WAY more money back then. This, of course, isn’t the only reason they made more money but it is something that should be considered. Less is more.

  16. Adam

    She just makes herself look silly by even engaging these people. Trolls like that fees off of the reaction or response they get. She needs to learn better. Sure, people should also be more decent. But come on, what does someone in the public eye expect, especially when they represent very specific things or values that other people like to make fun of? Rolling her eyes would be much more appropriate than responding or acknowledging these people. She’s just giving them exactly what they want. She should know better.

  17. Visitor

    If I was working for the FBI I would pay her *a lot of money* to help me catch pedophiles and predators. She has the looks and seems like a strong personality to make a difference and protect young people from those bastards.

  18. mdti

    related story: Sinnead O’Connor reply to Miley Cirus.
    subject to develop: Misoginy/sexualism could be the product developped by nowadays music “industry”, hence the response of the “audience”….

  19. nfl

    Lauren Mayberry has a masters degree in Journalism. Could DMN at the very least cite more than just a few sentences from it? Sinead O’Connor’s entire letter to Miley Cyrus was in sepertate post – what gives?
    Also, someone threatening sexual assualt is not a “blasé opinion.” I sincerely hope that if ever there is a time [and I do hope that there never is] when someone threatens physical violence and sexual assault towards you that you’re not given your own advice to thicken your skin or remain blissfully ignorant.