In the wake of the Toby Turner scandal, women in the online community are under even closer scrutiny than usual — so it was refreshing to get some insight from Bria and Chrissy, the lesbian couple and musical duo who are known for pushing back against harassment and challenging stereotypes about sexuality.
While they’re withholding their judgment on the Toby Turner allegations for now, Bria and Chrissy are in the middle of a long legal battle against revenge porn after an ex-boyfriend of Chrissy’s posted naked videos of her in the UK, so they know first-hand how difficult it is for women to speak out against abuse.
“We do live in such a salacious and sexualized society, especially against women,” Chrissy told host Shira Lazar. “People try to brush rape under the rug. A lot of things that women experience, women are so silenced.”
Bria added, “I think the most important message is if you’re a victim to come forward and not be scared of being criticized by society. We’re really hopeful there’s no negativity that continues to come from these girls coming forward.”
Using their own lives and relationship to educate people about sexuality is a big part of their identity online. Their viral video “Lesbians Touch Penis For The First Time!” started a conversation about people’s bodies and why we’re often so afraid of them, and inspired an endless list of similar “first time” videos across the internet.
The two women talked about how weird it was to watch the video go viral, receiving 400,000 views an hour at one point. It currently has nearly 30 million views and more than five thousand comments.
Bria said that the initial response was overwhelmingly positive, but once the mainstream media began to pick the video apart, they received a lot of hate from trolls and even backlash from other lesbians. “After we did that, there was a lot of comments (because I was one of the volunteers) saying ‘She must not be a lesbian if she’s willing to do it.’”
Challenging everyday sexism in the YouTube community has also proved risky for them.
“We just put out a video a couple weeks ago on what it’s like to be a woman on YouTube, because no-one’s talking about it — the pay gap, the type of negative comments they get, how it takes 200 channels to get to your top 20 female channels,” Bria said. “There’s a lot of things we wanted to address that nobody’s talking about. We put this video out and it has the most amount of hate we’ve ever received on anything we’ve ever done.”
They did get the chance to cover some lighter topics, including giving Shira relationship advice, talking about who hogs the bed and who’s the “big spoon” and who’s the “little spoon,” and their reaction to Rihanna supporting one of her fans after he came out as gay.