Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry had a powerful response to a heckling fan asking her hand in marriage during a performance. Sometimes artists have great interactions with their fans, while other times it goes a little more like this…
In a video posted to YouTube, a man is heard yelling “marry me!” at 30-year-old singer Lauren Mayberry between songs. The Chvrches singer responded to the heckling, asking “Pardon?” to which the heckler responded “Marry Me! Now!” This might seem like an attempt at being funny or an off-hand comment, and one we’ve definitely heard before, but Mayberry wasn’t about to let him off so easily. Even if he’d meant it as a compliment, Mayberry has been very outspoken on sexism in the industry.
Mayberry told the man, “I assume, because you’re here, that you know a bit about the band. And I’m very grumpy. I don’t want that sh–” If you’re familiar with the Scottish synth-pop band, then you know Mayberry advocated years ago that she would not allow herself to be subjected to sexually charged or misogynistic comments simply because she is a female singer.
The Chvrches singer submitted an opinion piece for The Guardian titled “I will not accept online misogyny” where she refuted the idea that this was an aspect of the industry female singers had to deal with: “Is the casual objectification of women so commonplace that we should all just suck it up, roll over and accept defeat? I hope not,” penned Mayberry. “Objectification, whatever its form, is not something anyone should have to ‘just deal with.'”
In the article, Mayberry admits that despite the positive comments online, the negative ones always have a louder voice and a larger impact. She admits she’s cried in the bathroom multiple times because of violent, sexist and harmful comments until she began to ask herself, “Why should I cry about this? Why should I feel violated, uncomfortable and demeaned? Why should we all keep quiet?” Mayberry asks online users, “Would you condone this behaviour if it was directed at your mother/sister/daughter/wife/girlfriend?”
The man in question may have made the comment to show his liking for the singer, but Mayberry proves this is part of the problem. The Chvrches singer made a point to show how comments like these are normalized even though they make women feel uncomfortable, objectified and sexualized by pointing out she didn’t like nor want that comment.
It’s when women like Mayberry put their foot down and give their contempt a voice that we reconsider what we’re supposed to accept as a “compliment,” challenging and hopefully changing these norms. Mayberry writes, “Women will not be shamed and silenced and made to disappear. I am not going anywhere. So bring it on, mother—-er. Let’s see who blinks first.”