Maggie Rogers can barely go a few months without having to call out male fans, who come to her gigs wolf-whistling and yelling sexually explicit things at her. Not one to take that nonsense lying down, she vented on social media – and this is far from her first rodeo.
When a fan whistled during her performance at the Sydney Opera House this year, Rogers immediately called him out. After calling it “rude”, she said “They consider it sexual harassment, in some countries.” Thanks by the way, Aussie men, for confirming your status as some of the worst harassers in the world.
What is it about a powerful, emotional solo moment that inspires men to be their absolute worst? Maggie Rogers stops the show to speak about something meaningful, and what does she get in return? A guy requesting a strip show. Unbelievable. But also, somehow, very believable.
In the comments section, other women shared their own experiences of being harassed and catcalled onstage. Singer Ashe wrote, “i got “show me your tits” from a group of both women and men at a show in sf once. inexcusable.” Maren Morris applauded Maggie Rogers’ statement, writing “thanks for posting this. I don’t think people realize artists hear and see that shit and we aren’t made of stone.”
It is so ridiculously common (and exhausting) that when it happens, most female artists just ignore it and move on. It shouldn’t be a woman’s responsibility to correct the bad behaviour, but sometimes it’s necessary.
Lauren Mayberry of CHVRCHES hit the nail on the head when she rebuked a man who yelled “Marry me” during a show in 2015. Addressing the crowd, she said, “Sorry for shaming that one person, but if nobody tells you, then you’re never going to know. Luckily for me right now I have a microphone, and you don’t, so it works in my favor at this particular juncture.”
Have we not been clear enough, guys? Well, here’s the TL;DR – women in entertainment are not your objects, and them being on stage is not an invitation.
Harassment and objectification are everyday realities for women, whether they’re in the limelight or just going about their daily business. If you’re a woman, you can be 40 000 ft in the air and still be perved on. So guys, if there’s still even a shred of doubt in your mind that this isn’t a real issue, you really need to start listening to women.
Stay fierce and true to yourself, Maggie. Next time a gross dude does this (and let’s be honest, there will definitely be a ‘next time’), we need your sassy comebacks to shame them into sitting TF down. Fuel that fire!