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Good on her
obviously rape threats are absolutely insane and no-one should ever have to deal with abuse like that, but even stuff which isn't sexually aggressive at all, like when people go "Oh my god St Vincent is BEAUTIFUL and perfect I want to marry her", is still sexist and patronising and just completely unnecessary.
I know that people will argue that it's harmless, and should be taken as a compliment, and women comment on the way that male musicians look so why shouldn't men do the same... but alternative popular music (or whatever you want to call it) has to be one of the most male dominated areas of the arts, and women will never be accepted on the same terms as men until their presence as musicians and writers is treated as the norm, rather than an exception or novelty to be ogled at, patronised, or constantly weighed down by the fact that men find them attractive.
E.g. "She's a really amazing guitarist and singer (and really fucking cute too)"- what men write/say about one of the members of Dirty Projectors ALL the time..
maybe dirty projectors is the same idk but yknow with marnie stern when people go on about how good a guitarist she is all the time, she's only as good a guitarist as you'd expect a professional musician playing slightly difficult music to be... after three records or whatever you wouldn't get music reviewers being so excited that someone can do guitar tapping if it was a chap. even if they don't add the (really fucking cute) then there's the implied brackets of (for a girl) at the end of bits like that. never mind though i'm going to have a sandwich.
it's incredibly patronising. That's definitely the case for the way people write about St Vincent too.
Also seen those type of comments about the new Primal Scream bassist - this type of comment would never have been made in a review when Mani was in the band: "she adds a whole new dynamic to the band with a slinky sexiness to the grooves and inhabits the songs with a hip swinging bass undertow" (from http://louderthanwar.com/primal-scream-beautiful-days-festival-live-review/)
is the incongruity of her manner/appearance and her ability. She does deliberately play up to the cheerleader/dumb blonde image (whether it's a accurate reflection of her personality or not), but it's this disconnect which is what makes her unique, even if this disconnect is only present because of society's assumptions.
but yeah i don't know if her playing up to an image makes it any less of a thing. anyway, happens to other people too dunt it.
For people to find her more interesting than a man making the same music? Yeah.
and then i agreed.
that's pretty odd actually eh.
yeah was a bit weird
and had this huge list of rules about what they should look like and how they should behave. huge weirdo.
By this logic nobody could ever say they fancied a musician or actor etc ever again as it would be sexist and patronising. I see that sort of thing as something very different to the sort of horrible stuff Lauren Mayberry is citing there.
Men hold most of the power within that culture, and so lots of men talking about being attracted to a female musician soon develops into a consensus amongst the majority of music fans, which implicitly views those female musicians as 'the other', something which isn't the norm, and they become viewed as their gender rather than artists.
I'm not saying it's directly offensive, just patronising and unnecessary. No-one HAS to actually say out loud that they find someone else attractive.
Er...but pretty much every adult on the planet does do that. That's not being patronising per se (it might be depending on how it's phrased etc of course), that's being a human being.
whether that's on a message board, in a review, in a direct message to the artists etc, than to just say it between friends, which is when most people discuss who they fancy.
And as I said above, there is a different power dynamic within alternative music anyway, as it's so male dominated, so there's a different subtext to saying "I really fancy this woman from this band", namely that their artistic skill, which is the reason you've actually heard of them in the first place, has been trumped by the fact they're female, than to saying that you fancy someone you actually know in real life.
When was the last time a woman went to a Peter Andre concert for the music
nothing will ever happen especially on the end of the spectrum where the statements are more depraved. it's probably sexist of me to think men will always have sick sexual thoughts and the internet provides them an easy outlet for those thoughts.
'rape culture' is a bit of a blog buzzword and too reductive in my opinion, but basically we need to change the culture of online masculinity (and masculinity in general but that's a somewhat larger task..) so we get to a point where people just don't say mental sexually aggressive shite, because it's viewed as abuse, and crossing a social line. Sadly at the moment, amongst lots of people, it's not really thought of as crossing a line.
The way I think about it is- if someone were to send an anonymous letter to someone's house, saying (using an example in the article) "l'll come round to your house and give u anal and you will love it you twat lol", is that sexual abuse, or is it just something that we have to put up with? I'd go with the former.
I think I thought this conceptually but you put it into words so well...! That's right if I got a letter in the post with those words, I'd certainly call the law, but if someone said that on the internet, it doesn't matter.
Maybe there needs to be laws against internet sexual abuse? probably wouldn't stop it (difficult to prove!? track?), but would maybe aim to prevent it.
keep fighting the good fight
Thank Chvches for bringing it up in the first place. I just read it and agreed that those sort of comments about women in bands are very sad.
abuse get caught? The naming shaming and arresting those that send such sick stuff would end a lot of it quickly. The law hasn't obviously quite moved as fast as social media.
i hate internet lynch mobs etc, it should go through the proper legal system, which itself should actually respond to incidents like this as it would to similar threats made in the 'real world'.
charged under the legal system should be named. I think that's allowed by the media. It could stop many morons who think threatening to rape someone is a trivial matter.
Followed by naming and shaming to leave an interest trail of what kind of person someone is, is important. They should have to live with what they've done (even if they think it's a "trivial" "threat" for years to come and be held up as a warning that society will not tolerate this vile sexism in 2013)
what I came here to say, but a bit more subtle, like.
and hideously depressing.
is that to consider a (largely intangible) phenomenon 'morally bad' is not to imply that there is moral blame to be apportioned. It's a deeply individualised view of society, where only explicit actions by individuals contribute towards outcomes (for various reasons, usually down to implicit assumptions about 'human nature' but nevermind anyway this bracket is too long).
Fancying someone isn't morally blameworthy by anyone's standards (so long as you're not being creepy). Telling someone you fancy someone else is the same. But it feeds into a dialogue and a culture from which arises something which it's reasonable to argue is morally bad. Think it's reasonable for people to share this view to encourage/placate people by various means into acting in the right way. Blame is often probably the wrong way to go about it though but yeah.
Sorry basically just what callumlynn said, just addressing that whole sexism in alt music thing. Not read the blog post thing.
dunno why i said placate
Not that this is meant to excuse being a dick about fancying someone, but y'know.
If i were to say she is good looking and makes nice music and i fancy her is this a problem?
you (presumably) don't know her. Yeah you could find her attractive and that may be partly because she sings in a popular alt/indie band, but it's a bit odd saying you fancy someone you don't know when they have no means of replying or wanting to hear it in the first place, because it seems like you're only putting it in there because your only knowledge of her is that she is in a band.
It's a really good/depressing article by the way, some of the comments are shocking
Of course it's a slippery slope, but let's not compare the things it may be socially acceptable to think or say to a friend or look like a dick posting lusty thoughts, and put that in the same breathe as rape threats, as if titilation and in any way on par.
that made some of those comments and prosecute them? Threats of a violent s**ual nature can be criminal. Surely the police should just get involved.....yeah they cant do them all but if they do sample cases then it might make cowards who like being nasty to others anomynously over the internet think that there might be repurcussions.
Whats the problem with putting someone nasty who wants to upset and hurt someone inside for a short while?
However, having looked into how to report abuse in the past and reading a few pieces in the aftermath of th Stella Creasy bomb threats a few months ago, it seems the police need to see every screen grab and the Police seem to get nowhere with billion dollar companies like Twitter and Facebook.
Having to read this misogynistic shit is bad enough. Perhaps it should be down to bystanders taking a stand and reporting these hate crimes on their behalf? Proactive fans could achieve a helluva lot more than a musician trying to continue being awesome at what they do.
I'm reassured to read the reactions above, and it's good to see some of the people who were banned for their abuse of women in the past have left the site.
And fair play to websites like Pitchfork for leading with it.
But it's getting mildly depressing reading a variant on it every few months or so. There was the Grimes one a while back, then if you follow gaming there's a myriad of similar articles from both developers and journalist and that's just the tip of the iceberg.
It seems that no amount of chastisement is going to stop these fucking idiots. People, eh?
but if she's receiving tons of disgusting messages and they're upsetting her, shouldn't she get someone else to screen them? obviously the people sending the messages are horrible, and she shouldnt have to take measures like this, but it seems a bit masochistic not to
she wants to retain a relationship with the band's fanbase. why SHOULD she HAVE to get someone else to screen them?
2) "why SHOULD she HAVE to get someone else to screen them?" in my very short post, i already said "obviously the people sending the messages are horrible, and she shouldnt have to take measures like this, but it seems a bit masochistic not to"
without feeling anxious about receiving messages varying from mild misogyny to threats of sexual abuse.
Genuinely perplexed as to how you've fallen on the side of `well maybe SHE should be the one taking measures to stop herself being exposed to this sort of thing` side of the argument.
i've clearly stated that she *shouldn't have to* take these steps, but from her own description of the situation, a practical solution that would save her a lot of pain would be to get someone else to have a quick look through the inbox and delete the messages that are abusive. obviously what *should* happen is people should stop being dicks to her, but i don't see how her reading the messages and being upset by them is going to achieve this
I guess I just see the suggestion of someone screening the band's messages as pretty irrelevant.
Angry, sure, but apart from mentioning being caught at a point of exhaustion (which if you've ever experienced the sleep deprivation of traversing time zones that some musicians regularly go through, getting a bit emotional doesn't seem like much of a surprise) but why should these messages just be deleted by one of the guys in the band. Whose to say they wouldn't get even more upset and enraged by it? Why shouldn't the response to this be about what can legally be done and Facebook and Twitter's corporate responsibility to take action?
i never said that screening messages was a solution to the whole problem, just that if the messages are making her upset or angry that it'd make sense to have someone at the management company have a look at them.
and i'd say that abusive trolls are looking for a reaction, and if that reaction is from the person the abuse is aimed at, they'll get more out of it than if it's an anonymous admin person
But why was your suggestion useful?
The only way I can see how it might be is if we believe that Ms Mayberry hadn't thought of this herself already.
yeah i'd be surprised if this hadn't already occurred to her because it's surely what a lot of musicians do do. So since Alexxk made the suggestion I've been wondering why this isn't something Lauren Mayberry has done herself. My favourite possible reason is that it's because this is something she wants to confront and fight against rather hide from as evidenced by her article.
...as they're male, is that right? They probably don't get barraged with messages about being used as sex objects by hundreds of girls on a daily basis, do they? Christ, even the Manics had their boy band moment during Everything Must Go where girls would say "James can sing AND play guitar, he has a tasty bum too!".
To remove the sex element from Pop-ular music is to fundamentally misunderstand pop itself. Smash Hits in the 80's was mostly made up of pictures of 'pretty boys', oddly enough most of the girls were dressed quite conservatively (Madge aside, obviously). However, to compare that to now, where pop videos are soft porn and even the Disney girl stars are fingering themselves onstage at teen award shows and you could make an argument that female sexaul objectification is as bad/even worse than the mid nineties during the 'lad mag' boom. How to deal with that though? Do you appear oddly asexual like the XX girl, do a weird Miss Haversham thing like PJ Harvey, eat fried squirrel like Beth Ditto? Karen O is a very strong role model, amazing singer and fashion icon, yet she composes herself in a way that doesn't whip up a frenzy of lust and mysoginy, the Chvrches girl could do with taking a leaf out of her book.
I don't know if lashing out at the people who are bullying you online is necessarity the right way to deal with it, I think it's giving them the attention they are craving which sort of feeds the fire and attracts the attention of like minded bullies looking for an easy target. Some people are fucking scum when it comes down to it.
"Karen O is a very strong role model, amazing singer and fashion icon, yet she composes herself in a way that doesn't whip up a frenzy of lust and mysoginy, the Chvrches girl could do with taking a leaf out of her book."
Given how the band present themselves this statement is particularly baffling.
I think you're all missing the point by saying 'mysoginy' instead of 'bullying'. The 'there's a frontwoman, we media must focus on her because she is attractive and pictures of her mean more circulation/ad revenue for us' issue isn't going away. The first thing I thought of when i read this today was Roy Orbison, when he went to the US for the first time and appeared on TV, people were so disappointed that he was, well, Roy Orbison and not Elvis. You can't do a big PR assault like Chvrches have done without creating a public image that people will objectify and people in general like their pop stars to be attractive, it's that will trigger some building site wolf whistling. My point was that it happens on both side of the gender divide.
It also attracts the attention from online bullies/aggressive perverts/vindictive girls/people who saw you on Jools and decided you are the cause of everything that's wrong in your life. We all know they're out there and social media isn't doing enough to stop them, therefore it has to be taken into account in your interaction with the public. I cannot believe that their management and PR have not prepped or warned her, or insisted on some controls or filters to protect her from this as it's actually a sad inevitability as long as people have that anonymity to protect them. I worry that her article will draw more abuse/more organised attacks and the best tactic is to detatch (like Karen O/Polly Harvey) rather than put yourself through that.
Fucking hell, do you really think I'd cheapen a threat of rape to a casual 'phwoar, I would' comment?
what's so different about Karen O's presentation to Lauren Mayberry's? It just seems a bit like the only difference between her and the people that you've mentioned is that she's actually chosen to acknowledge that the attitudes purveyed by these people are inherently problematic.
Also as quite a few posters have already mentioned this isn't just about saying you find a particular pop star attractive all of the examples she quoted in the article were threats of sexual violence and/or attempts to paint her with a certain set of characteristics i.e she's referred to as a slut.
and male fans.
They want attention, she's acknowledging their existence and her hurt, they win.
(Until, hopefully, the police track their IP address of course)
I'd say they're trying to assert power over her by threatening her, and I'd say she's completely right to raise it as a serious issue.
they're not just threatening her they're denigrating her purely because she's a woman, and as she's mentioned this is not just the preserve of pop-stars, rather any woman in the public eye and I say women, rather than people because, the nature of the attacks is clearly coded in a way that's specifically violent and oppressive towards women.
Somewhere in there I think you're suggesting that Mayberry should be more withdrawn otherwise she is partially to blame for the abuse she receives. We're into "don't go out dressed like a slut" territory here.
Bullying feeds off the reaction, surely that is a given?
plus, it must be really fucking intimidating for her to have guys shouting at her and abusing her when she's both physically very small and quite a shy person at the best of times. If she doesn't feel she even has the right to speak out against it, what's the point of her even trying?
I worry about the implications of letting them know that their messages are hitting her where it hurts. Worser scenario, I'm thinking of Anton Newcombe here, after Dig! came out, there was a noticeable rise of fratboy contingents going to shows who now had the knowledge of exactly how to press Anton's buttons to get him to go mental during a show. What if groups of lads start showing up to their shows with the intention of catcalling until she cries offstage?
What I do hope comes out of this is her article provides a solid template for artist management companies to have a strategy on how to deal with launching new artists with protection and contingencies for this sort of thing from the outset. It's as much their responsibility, surely.
Putting naive teenage titillation in the same breathe as aggressive threats of rape is ridiculous. They are not the same thing. You can draw a line between the two things, and even see one as the arena within which the latter seems, in the head's of these hideous humans, as something permissible and acceptable, but don't try to belittle an aggressive hate-crime by putting this disgraceful act on par with "he's got a nice bum".
"They are not the same thing."
I think your other comments in the thread clarify that tbh.
before revealing they're insane
since as mentioned earlier the problem is considerably more far reaching than just a vocal minority of music fans. I wouldn't necessarily say the problem is getting worse but I would say the barriers that tended to separate people in public positions from being regularly exposed to this kind of behavior don't really exist anymore.
One thing I would say is, education regarding the responsible use of social media is something that I still think needs addressing and could assist with problems like these.
Or maybe a better solution would be putting Girl with the Dragon Tattoo on at school. If some of these guys thought about the possible retribution like THAT I'm sure some people would think twice.
I wonder how many people actually understand the violence and trauma often inherent in the acts they're threatening and why they're so damaging. It sounds like it should be obvious but given the fact that rape threats are flung around so casually online I occasionally wonder if that's the case.
Imagine how triggering a threat can be? And it makes you wonder, if someone can sling this threat around, what else they've done or are capable of doing if their action goes undeterred.
My daughter was sent home with a little booklet about the internet the other day (she's far too young to be let loose on it past the cbeebies site), and it was addressing in a very light touch, how what you say could upset someone in real life, what you shold do if you were being targeted or upset online, etc. It was quite good to know that the problem is recognised and kids are being educated about it before they are allowed to go and chat on, er, Puffin Party or whatever.
I've no idea. God it's just so fucking depressing.
It's the institution early enough in people's lives to educate against this sort of thing
Of course not.
But that's presumably a govt leaflet that they've been given to hand out. Fwiw I don't think schools should have the responsibility of teaching kids to "stay safe online" either, it's not like teachers have got the time to be adding in lessons where they spend their time mothering kids
I've complained about roofing contractors shouting abuse to girls in the street - and it's noticeable that the men on the roof changed.
I've tried to get men shouting "get your tits out" thrown out of a gig, and encouraged others around me to knee and elbow and 'accidentally' spill drinks on these 'harmless hecklers' - and then reported to venue staff and promoters that the bouncers didn't see this as unacceptable behaviour.
There's a lot of minor acts that we (as in, people who realise this is wrong, not just women who are on the receiving end of this abuse) can do to push back and set social boundaries. If we don't, who will? And where will it end? Speak out. It doesn't take much. Sure, you might get a 7ft guy threaten to beat the shit out of you for suggesting they go drink in the other room if they can't stop being leery and respect the fact someone is performing ("she's just some fit bitch, she's not gonna ruin my night")
For a start: If you see someone being abusive, report their account. That isn't difficult.
That's the same as kicking racists out of football grounds. They're still going to be racists.
Definitely seems like the most sensible way to address the issue. Definitely.
What should I have done? You can't have a reasoned argument with a drunk bloke demanding a women a few meters away should get her 'kit off'. If the bouncers won't have them removed, then you have to make it known that they're unwelcome. I'm not proud of it, but it's far better than just standing there and getting angry.
Chvrches are one my son's favourite bands and i don't think he's on Pitchfork/DiS or reads The Guardian. I passed the article on via facebook. He's 14 so at the stage where he's forming broader political and social ideas about the world around him. The message in that article is going to carry a lot more weight with him than if it came from me, his daft old Dad. So the right message at the right time from the right person. And they're a very popular band and it's a very clear and well written article so i dare say this isn't an isolated case, i.e. it'll get passed on.
is that when people go ''boys get it as well, it's no different'' the point is that it is sdifferent.
1. We're not just talking about someone saying 'she's hot'' it's grotesque threats of rape and sexual assault.
2. While male singers etc do sometimes have their looks commented on in the press it tends to be scene setting and not the focus of the article or whatever whereas with women it's often how they look and their ''sexy stage presence'' with music often secondary.
3. And the main point: the wider context in society. the ''boys get their bums slapped sometimes so what's the problem'' logic. And taking that as an example. Yes it happens but whats going to be the average male reaction to it? A compliment? Something to laugh about with your mates? A bit of female attenion might make your night.
What you don't have to worry about is that person following you into the toilets, or back home, or pushing you up against a wall
and groping you when you can't get away. It'll be upsetting and might ruin your night.
It's about inherent power imbalance so the guys get it too arguement doens't wash in any sexual harrasment context.
sub-discussion has emerged in the thread all about whether saying "she's hot" is OK.
must be about fifty paragraphs long, ffs. life's too short.
show you've got precisely fuck all constructive to add to this thread.
so sod off and find somewhere else to piss and moan like a bored four year old.
by offering real or hypothetical examples of women talking about male celebrities in a sexual way, as if men and women started this from an even standpoint. It's the same principle as *OMG IF A WHITE MAN MADE THAT JOKE ABOUT BLACK PEOPLE EVERYONE WOULD SAY IT'S RACIST*, etc.
Ohai, there's a massive weight of history and cultural bias that inevitably informs these situations. It's not the same thing. At all.
just been reading that Joanna Gruesome interview. Agree with it for the most part, but one sentence is a bit worrying, where discussing gigs the interviewee says men "...never have to worry that they’re out of place and they never have to worry for their safety...". Hmmm.
as a result of their gender.
I could go to a gig and worry for my safety but not because I am a man, more likely in spite of that fact.
then read this... all of it:
Anyone who thinks that is an idiot and won't be swayed by any articles anyway
is DEFINITELY that stupid. But I'd like to hope there are a few people who wouldn't do this, but fall into the "get over it" category, that might have some pause for thought if they saw an indication of the extent of it...