A man in the crowd yelled 'Marry me!' Her response was not exactly what he hoped for.

Last week, a fan of the Scottish synthpop band Chvrches got a bit more than he bargained for when he yelled to the stage.

"Marry me!" an unidentified man yelled out during a pause between songs.

"Pardon?" Chvrches singer Lauren Mayberry responded, prompting the man to shout out, "Marry me! Now!"


Mayberry told the guy off, which led to articles with titles like "Watch Chvrches' Lauren Mayberry Put Marriage Proposing Fan In His Place" and "CHVRCHES' Lauren Mayberry destroys heckler who asks her to marry him."

GIFs from advancedfirefly.

But what's the big deal? It's not like he was serious. Well...

No, I sincerely doubt that the man in the crowd expected Mayberry to throw down her microphone and jump into his arms. Him saying "marry me" was probably more of a stand-in for "I like your music and respect you as a human being with boundaries!" (OK, maybe not that last bit.)

It's a little more complicated than that.

If you know a bit more about Chvrches' backstory, Mayberry's response makes a lot of sense.

Throughout the band's career, Mayberry has been outspoken against music industry sexism and online harassment.

Photo by Mike Lawrie/Getty Images.

In 2013, Mayberry posted a screenshot of a message sent to the band's Facebook page that read, "Could you pass this correspondence on to the cute singer, I think we'd make superior love together, and very much would like to take her to dinner." After responding, "No. That's disgusting," Mayberry was told it was a "very puritanical stance" to take.

Her response was simple: "Please stop sending us emails like this." In response, she received a slew of responses containing threats, twisted sexual fantasies, and general disregard for her existence as a human. That month, she penned an opinion piece for The Guardian, "I will not accept online misogyny."

"But why should women 'deal' with this?"

Her post at The Guardian was a powerful rebuttal to anyone who has ever told her (or any female musician, for that matter) that she should just "deal with" harassment.

"I absolutely accept that in this industry there is comment and criticism. There will always be bad reviews: such is the nature of a free press and free speech. ... What I do not accept, however, is that it is all right for people to make comments ranging from 'a bit sexist but generally harmless' to openly sexually aggressive. That it is something that 'just happens.' Is the casual objectification of women so commonplace that we should all just suck it up, roll over and accept defeat? I hope not. Objectification, whatever its form, is not something anyone should have to 'just deal with.'"

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images.

Years later, the harassment continues. But Mayberry isn't giving up.

Earlier this year, Mayberry posted another screenshot of a message sent to one of the band's social media accounts on her personal Instagram page. The message, in which an anonymous voice from the Internet threatens to sexually assault Mayberry with a cheese grater, was posted alongside Mayberry's eloquent response.

"My band is lucky enough to have some of the most awesome, supportive and respectful fans in the world and we are so excited to be in the studio making an album to share with them. Yet, on a daily basis, we still receive communications like this. These people never learn that violence against women is unacceptable. But they also never learn that women will not be shamed and silenced and made to disappear. I am not going anywhere. So bring it on, motherfuckers. Let's see who blinks first."

Photo by Tristan Fewings/Getty Images.

So, in hindsight, maybe yelling "Marry me!" at Lauren Mayberry wasn't the best idea.

The man may have meant well, but combined with the sexualized messages from other fans and critics alike, it creates an atmosphere of uncomfortable, unwanted comments. It's a lot like street harassment: While the intention might have been to "compliment" someone, the effect can be something so completely different.

Watch Mayberry's showdown with the "Marry me" guy in the video below.

Simon & Garfunkel's song "Bridge Over Troubled Water" has been covered by more than 50 different musical artists, from Aretha Franklin to Elvis Presley to Willie Nelson. It's a timeless classic that taps into the universal struggle of feeling down and the comfort of having someone to lift us up. It's beloved for its soothing melody and cathartic lyrics, and after a year of pandemic challenges, it's perhaps more poignant now than ever.

A few years a go, American singer-songwriter Yebba Smith shared a solo a capella version of a part of "Bridge Over Troubled Water," in which she just casually sits and sings it on a bed. It's an impressive rendition on its own, highlighting Yebba's soulful, effortless voice.

But British singer Jacob Collier recently added his own layered harmony tracks to it, taking the performance to a whole other level.

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Images courtesy of John Scully, Walden University, Ingrid Scully
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Since March of 2020, over 29 million Americans have been diagnosed with COVID-19, according to the CDC. Over 540,000 have died in the United States as this unprecedented pandemic has swept the globe. And yet, by the end of 2020, it looked like science was winning: vaccines had been developed.

In celebration of the power of science we spoke to three people: an individual, a medical provider, and a vaccine scientist about how vaccines have impacted them throughout their lives. Here are their answers:

John Scully, 79, resident of Florida

Photo courtesy of John Scully

When John Scully was born, America was in the midst of an epidemic: tens of thousands of children in the United States were falling ill with paralytic poliomyelitis — otherwise known as polio, a disease that attacks the central nervous system and often leaves its victims partially or fully paralyzed.

"As kids, we were all afraid of getting polio," he says, "because if you got polio, you could end up in the dreaded iron lung and we were all terrified of those." Iron lungs were respirators that enclosed most of a person's body; people with severe cases often would end up in these respirators as they fought for their lives.

John remembers going to see matinee showings of cowboy movies on Saturdays and, before the movie, shorts would run. "Usually they showed the news," he says, "but I just remember seeing this one clip warning us about polio and it just showed all these kids in iron lungs." If kids survived the iron lung, they'd often come back to school on crutches, in leg braces, or in wheelchairs.

"We all tried to be really careful in the summer — or, as we called it back then, 'polio season,''" John says. This was because every year around Memorial Day, major outbreaks would begin to emerge and they'd spike sometime around August. People weren't really sure how the disease spread at the time, but many believed it traveled through the water. There was no cure — and every child was susceptible to getting sick with it.

"We couldn't swim in hot weather," he remembers, "and the municipal outdoor pool would close down in August."

Then, in 1954 clinical trials began for Dr. Jonas Salk's vaccine against polio and within a year, his vaccine was announced safe. "I got that vaccine at school," John says. Within two years, U.S. polio cases had dropped 85-95 percent — even before a second vaccine was developed by Dr. Albert Sabin in the 1960s. "I remember how much better things got after the vaccines came out. They changed everything," John says.

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