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chvrches’ lauren mayberry on why she doesn’t ignore online trolls

“there’s a difference between criticism and hatred”

For the amount of misogyny women in the music industry face, the number of those who speak up against it is slim. Since 2013, CHVRCHES’ Lauren Mayberry has become one of the loudest. Most recently, she’s had to defend herself and appearance in CHVRCHES’ new music video for “Leave a Trace.” Internet users trolling around on 4chan considered her wet-look and “skimpy dress” to be slutty. Some went so far as to debate whether they’d “fuck Lauren” and what her bra size might be. It’s unnerving and an unfortunately all-too-common reality for women in music.

Now, Mayberry has had enough. During a recent interview with Channel 4 News’ Cathy Newman, the singer said the “‘ignore it and it will blow away’ argument” isn’t working. She explained that “there’s a difference between criticism and hatred,” and what she’s endured falls into the latter category. She said she hates that young girls who follow CHURCHES have to deal with this kind of abuse. “I don’t want them to feel isolated, I don’t want them to feel like it’s just happening to them, because it happens everywhere.”

She and Newman discussed possible approaches to hate and the notion that “feeding the trolls” makes it worse. Mayberry believes that they “want to scare, they want to intimidate, and they want to silence people. Ignoring it doesn’t make a difference.” It’s through open dialogues that change can be made. As Mayberry said, “There has to be a shift in the cultural approach to women.”