After years of battling back against internet trolls over misogynist comments online, Lauren Mayberry took to Channel 4 to try to put an end to the verbal abuse many women suffer from online. “Theres a difference between criticism and hatred,” she says.
Shortly after releasing their music video for “Leave a Trace”, Chvrches were barraged with hateful comments about Lauren Mayberry’s appearance in it. Internet trolls took to 4chan posting about her wet hair and dress in the video, even threatening the singer with rape and death threats.
When asked by Channel 4’s Cathy Newman why now she chose to speak out, Mayberry explained that after the comments from the video “it just seemed ludicrous.”
“I am a 27-year-old woman wearing a mini dress with wet-look hair.” said Mayberry. “If you don’t like it, that’s fine, but there is a difference between criticism and hatred.”
Mayberry recalled a terrifying threat she received on twitter recently: “Somebody tweeted me the other day, ‘If you can’t learn to deal with this sort of shit, stick a gun in your mouth before the record even comes out. I have one and I’ll give it to you.’ Personally, that’s horrifying, if somebody put that through your door, you would go to the police with that.”
While Mayberry admits that she may have painted a target on her back, it’s partially to do with her being in the public eye. Though for the women who aren’t, it’s not quite so easy to speak up, — and it turn then usually become silenced.
“To me it is not necessarily you responding that trolls want, they want to scare, they want to intimidate and they want to silence people.”
When asked how she could expect to make a change, Mayberry explained, “In my mind there has to be a shift in the cultural approach to women,” although “change is always partial, and always by degree.” It will take time and a lot of discussion.
Chvrches will release their sophomore album Every Open Eye on September 25th.