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Amanda Palmer: “Australians Treasure Opinionated Female Musos”

Written by Greg Moskovitch on November 22, 2013

Singer-songwriter and modern feminist stalwart Amanda Palmer has praised Australia’s attitude towards “opinionated women,” particularly when it comes to our love of contentious female musos like Pink and Beth Ditto. An attitude, she says, is lacking in her homeland of the United States.

“Having looked at who else resonates in Australia,” Palmer told Music Feeds, “Australians seem to really love Regina Spektor and The Gossip and Pink and stuff that does okay in the States…Australians, unlike Americans seem to somehow treasure opinionated women.”

This was in response to a question regarding why she maintains such a strong connection with Australia. Palmer continued, praising Australia’s lauding of women who display traditionally male characteristics or excel in a male-dominated fields, saying:

“In America, opinionated women tend to, you know, get figuratively burned at the stake.

“So, it can be really refreshing, as a woman, to be somewhere where their loudness or aggressiveness or athleticness or brashness, whatever it is setting them apart from the feminine ideal, is actually cause for celebration, not scorn.”

The former Dresden Doll also expressed despair at the in-fighting occurring between women in her homeland, particularly online, describing it as a roadblock in the way of feminist progression, saying:

“I’ve been so deeply disappointed and frustrated and worried about American women’s treatment of themselves and each other.

“Because, you know, in the wake of ‘Mileygate‘ and all the fallout from that, it still baffles me that women don’t understand that being kind to each other is the fundamental building block of moving forward with feminism.

“The internet just seems to fan the flames of nastiness, and my heart breaks certain days when I get online and all I see is negativity and bitchiness and in-fighting.”

Palmer insisted that the US was not exceptional in this attitude, but that she had noticed significant differences between the States and Australia when it comes to female-to-female relations, ascribing it to Australia’s willingness to embrace a more progressive-feminist ideology on the whole, saying:

“I’m sure that a lot of my Australian friends will roll their eyes at me: ‘If you think it’s amazing over here we will give you a laundry list of complaints’.

“But it does seem to me from my perspective as a touring artist and an object of adoration and hatred on the internet, that the climate really is different between the States and Australia and the UK.

“For better or for worse, I think that the UK and Australia currently have the Americans beat in terms of a certain kind of feminist political progressiveness.”

When asked why she thought women might feel the need to pit themselves against one another, she said, “So many women are convinced that there’s only a single place at a table of men, that there is an inherent sense of fierce competitiveness with all of the women around them.”

“[The fight] for the one foot in the door,” she said, “has bred a sort of unproductive, viciousness, because women look to the left and the right and think ‘Well, it’s going to be either her or me so fuck them’ and that’s such a counterproductive, unsustainable, terrible way of looking at things.”

Amanda Palmer’s full interview with Music Feeds’ Mike Hohnen will be online in the coming days.

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