Entertainment & Arts

Chvrches singer condemns sexist abuse from online trolls

Lauren Mayberry Image copyright PA
Image caption Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry has spoken out on the subject of sexism and misogyny before

Chvrches frontwoman Lauren Mayberry has hit back at misogynistic abuse online, after being widely targeted by internet trolls for wearing a short dress in the band's recent video.

The singer called the response to the Leave a Trace video "ludicrous".

Mayberry told Channel 4 news she did not think "the 'just ignore it and it will blow away' argument" was working.

She condemned "cavemen" who threaten sexual violence when they do not like what a woman is doing or saying.

"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," said Mayberry.

She said she was speaking out because, while she is targeted for being in the public eye, so many other women and girls are also subjected to similar behaviour.

"This happens to women all the time anyway, and I hate the idea that young girls who follow our band deal with stuff like that.

"I don't want them to feel isolated, I don't want them to feel like it is just happening to them, because it happens everywhere."

Image copyright Getty Images
Image caption Mayberry said she actually gets just as much abuse when she wears "a baggy t-shirt and shorts at a gig as a dress"

Earlier this month the singer tweeted a link to a stream of sexist abuse directed towards her appearance, writing: "Dear anyone who thinks misogyny isn't real. It is and this is what it looks like."

Mayberry, 27, said those sort of comments were "sadly predictable" and that there needed to be "a shift in the cultural approach to women".

"If you don't like what a woman is wearing, you don't like her opinion, you don't like what it is she represents, then you fall back on the basic caveman arguments of threatening with physical and sexual violence because it is your trump card.

"Because that's the way you get somebody to shut up. And I just think that is a very sad state of affairs."

Image copyright PA
Image caption Chvrches performed at V Festival last weekend

Revealing the level of "hateful" abuse she receives she said someone recently contacted her on Twitter to suggest if she could not deal with the attention she should "stick a gun in your mouth before the record even comes out. I have one and I'll give to you."

She added: "Personally, that's horrifying, if somebody put that through your door, you could legitimately go to the police with that."

Mayberry conceded she could be "painting a target on my back" by speaking out, because people think they will get a response, but said "ignoring it doesn't make a difference".

"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."

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