Are you man enough to be a…woman?
That is the famous question posed in song by Wayne Jayne County, the fabulously transcendent transgender rocker of Warholian, New York. County’s query hits the very foundation of the feminine predicament: To live as a woman, whether born one or not, is one of the hardest things on earth, if not the hardest, so you’d better be not just a man, but the manliest of men.
Over the last few years, several artists in the music industry have been living up to County’s exhortation by standing up to misogynistic attacks and violent threats by internet trolls. Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES, who has a background in journalism and law, shot back at internet rape threats by penning a scathing rebuttal in the Guardian, declaring, “I will not accept online misogyny.” Mayberry also posted screengrabs of some of her trolls’ messages on the band’s Facebook page with the following directive:
Please stop sending us emails like this.
This is one of the more polite ones. Other recent classics include “I’m going to give her anal” and “I’d fuck the accent right out of her and she’d love it”. (No you wouldn’t; no, she really wouldn’t.)
As recently divulged in a Fader magazine interview, techno musician and visual artist, Grimes, aka Claire Boucher, has not only been attacked on the internet, but in person.
One time I was backstage at a show, and there was this random guy in my dressing room, and he just grabbed me and started making out with me, and I was like, ‘Ah!’ and pushed him off. Then he went, ‘Ha! I kiss raped you’ and left. Shit like that happens quasi-frequently.”
Grimes now does all live performances on a stage surrounded by bodyguards.
“People want to, like, rape and kill you. It’s, like, part of the job,” she told Fader.
Concert violinist Mia Matsumiya spent ten years posting her trolls’ countless misogynist attacks on an Instagram account called Perv Magnet. The sad part is that there were so many, she has only had time to post the 1,000 most offensive comments.
Musicians who happen to be women would like internet trolls, male chauvinists, and their related ilk to grow up and see them for what they really are, as succinctly tweeted by Neko Case:
“IM NOT A FUCKING ‘WOMAN IN MUSIC’, IM A FUCKING MUSICIAN IN MUSIC!”
Man enough, indeed.