sixtyforty asked: Would you mind if I asked you to elaborate on Amanda Palmer being problematic? I haven’t really kept up with her post Yes Virginia.
Yeah, absolutely! I’m just gonna post this publicly cause it’s something I’ve been meaning to write about/compile pretty much since I started a tumblr.
So I guess to start, I’ve been a huge fan of the Dresden Dolls since I was 13 and they were super influential in my gender formation and my formation as an artist and musician. That said, there have been some bread crumbs of problematic shit piling up over the years into a big loaf of badness that makes me super sad. I can’t remember everything, but these are some of the things I do remember.
1. First is her side project w/Jason Webley “Evelyn Evelyn” in which the two perform as a pretend pair of conjoined twins. The back story goes that Amanda and Jason “discovered” the twins and rescued them from a history of sexual abuse and circus exploitation by giving them a musical career. Here’s a couple really good articles on that:
Amanda “Ableist” Palmer? The Evelyn Evelyn controversy
Evelyn Evelyn: Ableism Ableism?
How Amanda Palmer Lost a Fan <— this one is mostly about Amanda (and her fans’) responses to critiques. She made some really awful non-pologies and then went on Australian TV to say some really fucked up stuff about feminists with disabilities. The video is at that link, but I warn you it’s really bad and makes me feel nauseous to watch.
2. Then there’s that time that she and Margaret Cho staged a fake onstage rape of Katy Perry while performing “I kissed a girl”
On Rape Culture, Amanda Palmer, and Disappointment
3. Then there was that time she made an offhand ~funny~ tweet about the KKK
WTF Amanda Palmer?
How Amanda Palmer Killed Amanda Palmer <—- this post is kind of a round up of her behavior as of late and includes her responses to people upset about the KKK tweet
4. And that time she recorded a song with the n-word in it (though I’m sure she would argue it was okay for her to use because of ~*~context u guize!~*~)
Guitar Hero Video
5. And that time she made a song called “Do you swear to tell the truth, the whole truth, and nothing but the truth, so help your black ass” and other bizarre little bread crumbs of racism/appropriation throughout her work (like that other time when she wrote a song with the line “I’ll drive that cherokee straight off it’s trail of tears”).
6. Then there was that time she made a song that is supposed to be empowering for folks who love their bushes, but includes a passage where she compares women who choose to shave with 8-year-old boys
Map of Tasmania video
Anyway. There’s just been a lot of things. Probably as upsetting as seeing her do all of this fucked up and oppressive shit, has been seeing her completely fail to respond or to change in ways that are constructive. All of this public critique has really illuminated her as just another white hipster artist who can safely hide behind her cries of “it’s just music!” and “my fans know I’m not like that!”
Which is such a bummer because she’s been a magnificent artistic influence in my life and I’ve always downloaded every new track and gone to every show when she was in town but… I just don’t think I can do it anymore. She’s fucked up too big, too often, and with no remorse or change.