Thanks to its absence of filters and accountability, social media empowers individuals to routinely make statements ranging from “a bit sexist but generally harmless” to “openly sexually aggressive.”
In a blog for The Guardian, Chvrches’ lead singer Lauren Mayberry, who repeatedly encounters every region of that misogynistic spectrum, declares the form of online communication unequivocally unacceptable.
“Objectification, whatever its form, is not something anyone should have to ‘just deal with,’” writes Mayberry.
Loyal to its Internet fanbase, which has helped the Scottish synthpop band become the latest “little engine that could” success story, the three piece outfit consistently finds itself in a quandary.
If it refrains from actively following social discourse, it puts the kibosh on the close, open relationship it has long maintained with its enthusiastic supporters.
“It is important to me that our fans know we value their interest in us by giving things a personal touch,” explains Mayberry.
But as long as it continues to personally pour through all messages, it subjects itself–and lead singer Mayberry in particular–to hurtful, hateful dialogue.
That Chvrches is mindful of the culture of exploitation–and actively rejects the “‘push the girl to the front’ blueprint often relied upon by labels and management in a tragic attempt to sell records”–means nothing to those commenters who opt to objectify Mayberry with “notifications of impending, unsolicited ‘anal’ bothering.”
Shared more than ten thousand times, Mayberry’s blog serves as a call-to-action for those rendered helpless by the notion that mean-spirited misogyny comes with the territory.
“Is the casual objectification of women so commonplace that we should all just suck it up, roll over and accept defeat? I hope not,” she offers.
And other high-profile entertainers shared in Mayberry’s sentiment. At press time, performers like Grimes, Paramore’s Hayley Williams, Tegan & Sara, Lorde, Kate Nash and Passion Pit had re-Tweeted, shared or otherwise-endorsed the singer’s letter.