You may be familiar with Chvrches — the Scottish three-piece synthpop band — but what about the powerful voice behind the microphone? Frontwoman Lauren Mayberry is not only known for her role in the electronic indie scene. Mayberry graduated with an undergraduate degree in law and a master’s in journalism, is a published writer, and founder of a Glasgow-based collective run by women called TYCI (Tuck Your C*** In), which organizes music events in addition to running a website, magazine, radio show, and podcast. Recently, she’s been very vocal about the prevalent issue of sexual abuse — which is exactly why she’s our #WCW this week.
As any widely-recognized band, Chvrches operates on several social media platforms. Their rise to fame is hugely credited to their original fan base online, precisely why the group stays connected to their devoted fans by interacting with them via social media. Among the positive messages and support, Mayberry would receive many vile, sexist comments scrolling through Chvrches’ accounts day-to-day. In September of 2013, Mayberry published an article for The Guardian, addressing the current problem of misogyny in response to the rape threats and comments that she has received since stepping into the spotlight.
“I absolutely accept that in this industry there is comment and criticism,” Mayberry said. “What I do not accept, however, is that it is all right for people to make comments ranging from ‘a bit sexist but generally harmless’ to openly sexually aggressive.”
“Is the casual objectification of women so commonplace that we should all just suck it up, roll over and accept defeat? I hope not. Objectification, whatever its form, is not something anyone should have to ‘just deal with’.”
Mayberry goes on to say that she does not deny that her male bandmates are sometimes targets of such offensive comments as well nor does she feel any hatred for men in general.
Most recently, with the band’s release of the music video for “Leave a Trace,” came a surprising response of hateful messages directed toward her appearance. (In the video, Mayberry wears a revealing black dress and sports wet hair.) Last month, the singer resurfaced confronting the issue of sexual abuse towards women on Channel 4 News.
“I am a 27-year-old woman wearing a minidress with wet-look hair. If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but there is a difference between criticism and hatred,” Mayberry said.
Her decision to speak out was to show that women everywhere were affected by this, in and out of the public eye. She hopes that continuing to open these conversations will help encourage victims to speak up and reject the norm of abuse.
By shining a light on the shadows of online anonymity that these attackers hide behind, Mayberry shows that this reoccurring issue should not silence women.
The knowledgeable and synth-savvy feminist isn’t afraid to stand up for what she believes, using her well-known image as a tool in hopes to make a difference for women.
Now that’s a woman to admire.