Amanda Palmer: Feminist Musical Icon

// 5 May 2012

Amanda Palmer 1.jpg

TFW bloggers’ note: We’re aware there are issues with this post and have reached a decision to temporarily suspend further comments until certain matters have been clarified. We apologise for the inconvenience and will provide a further update as soon as we are able.


This post has been deleted after strong concerns were raised concerning disablism, racism, transphobia and rape apologism with regard to Amanda Palmer.

Equally as crucially, it has been deleted because the guest blogger in question – Tahera Dudwhala – is a marketeer for a certain guitar company mentioned in the post, which goes against the ethics of this site.

Apologies for the huge amount of offence caused,

Cazz Blase

Comments From You

Nat // Posted 5 May 2012 at 9:35 pm

Warning: I’m about to be a massive killjoy.

I used to love Amanda Palmer, but I had to stop listening to her after she responded to criticism of Evelyn Evelyn by going on TV and laughing at ‘handicapped feminists’ (, made transphobic remarks and rape ‘jokes’ ( and joked about giving money to the KKK ‘ironically’ ( – she might be great on some issues, but she’s far too happy to throw people aren’t as privileged as her under the bus to get attention. My feminism doesn’t marginalise others to and then pretend it doesn’t matter because it’s ‘art’. (

At least she taught me not to have heroes!

joanne matthews // Posted 5 May 2012 at 9:36 pm

Thanks for bringing Amanda Palmer back into my life. I haven’t thought about the Dresden Dolls in years.

I really enjoyed reading your article.

Philippa Willitts // Posted 5 May 2012 at 9:40 pm

To write a post about Amanda Palmer without addressing the horrific disablism she has expressed seems remiss. There is plenty more evidence of it and it’s difficult to miss, when carrying out any research on her.

Ignoring the issues doesn’t make them go away, and does alienate many people.

Cel West // Posted 5 May 2012 at 9:48 pm

Have a watch of that video. I’m not sure we can hold anyone up as a feminist icon who holds such a contemptuously dismissive attitude towards disabled feminists. Or the many feminists who find other things she’s said and done racist, transphobic, and generally problematic. She really isn’t inspirational to people around the world, she’s inspirational to a small, privileged demographic.

She encapsulates the problems with “empowerment” feminism when she consistently chooses to be a jerk. You don’t have to be a jerk and attack other feminists and groups to be successful, and we shouldn’t hold her up as an icon when she does.

samlebam // Posted 5 May 2012 at 9:51 pm

Why can’t I see any of the comments I know must be there?

Imogen // Posted 5 May 2012 at 10:00 pm

I am extremely uncomfortable with this lionisation of someone involved in the extremely ableist project that is “Evelyn Evelyn”. I don’t much care to have “feminist icons” who mock disabled people.

Kezia // Posted 5 May 2012 at 10:21 pm

I listened to Girl Anachronism on repeat earlier this year when I was at my lowest; it was the perfect anthem for an angry, distressed teenager.

However, the context in which I know the most about Amanda Palmer isn’t her music. It’s through the ableism inherent to Evelyn Evelyn:

Amanda Palmer & Ableism #1-8 | various

[Potential Trigger Warning: This linkspam includes links which may contain mentions of and references to fictional descriptions of child sexual abuse.]

and ‘ironic’ racism on Twitter:

A lesson in good vs. bad irony thanks to Amanda Palmer | sparkymonster

[Trigger Warning for racism, images of graphic violence and lynching]

As much as I love spitting out ‘but I might be catching so don’t touch/you’ll start believing you’re immune to gravity and stuff’, I don’t want to claim Amanda Palmer as an icon of my feminism.

Whether // Posted 6 May 2012 at 12:12 am

It’s disappointing to see no mention of Amanda Palmer’s ableism with the Evelyn Evelyn project in this post or her racism, particularly when these comments were coming from online feminists.

Sebastienne Stardust // Posted 6 May 2012 at 10:20 am

Some of Amanda Palmer’s music is very feminist. As well as the examples you cite, I’d also mention “Ampersand”, which is about heteronormativity and street harassment.

But Palmer herself, a feminist icon? I can’t agree with you there.

How about “Evelyn Evelyn”, the project she began in 2007? She pretended to have “discovered” a pair of disabled performers, and to be “promoting” their work ( – but it turned out that it was just her and a friend dressing up and making fun of conjoined twins. When she was called on it, she used “lol, disabled feminists!” as a punchline on national TV:

Also, why the plug for a guitar company in the middle of your post? Looking at @tahera on Twitter, it seems that you work in internet marketing – and the more I think about how one-sided this post is, the more I think that it’s nothing more than a press release.

Yes, a press release. A lot of little errors in this post suddenly make sense to me as well! Someone who’d listened to “Oasis” more than a couple of times would likely notice that the protagonist does not “become a crack whore”, as you state – in fact, she gets bullied at school by people using those words, because she was raped and became pregnant.

This is astroturfing. I’m disappointed, and hope that the fword will post a retraction & explanation.

Laura // Posted 6 May 2012 at 11:19 am

I used to really like Amanda Palmer, but then she did this:

Not cool, not anti-oppressive, not feminist.

Helen G // Posted 6 May 2012 at 11:53 am

TFW bloggers’ note: We’re aware there are issues with this post and have reached a decision to temporarily suspend further comments until certain matters have been clarified. We apologise for the inconvenience and will provide a further update as soon as we are able.

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