Asking.

4

If it’s been a few months without hearing about Amanda Palmer, you can be pretty sure that you will be hearing about her again in short order.

She’s had a larger-than-usual presence on the internet lately thanks in no small part to her recent TED talk (below):

I’m not going to get into what I think of Amanda Palmer here, other than to say that I’m not a fan.

What bothers me about the controversy surrounding her and the idea of “crowdsourcing” is what I’ve witnessed coming from a disturbingly large percentage of her detractors.  Almost every article about Amanda, her “We Are The Media” philosophy, and the apparently groundbreaking concept of ASKING for support is invariably accompanied by comments throwing considerable shade.  That’s to be expected, of course; I’ve said it here before:  the comments section is where common sense goes to die.  But there has been a theme rearing its head in these comments, and it goes a little something like this:

Amanda Palmer is married to a very successful writer who has a net worth in the millions.  Ergo, Amanda Palmer shouldn’t be asking her fans to fund her projects because her husband is rich.  She should just bat her eyes at him or do whatever it is she needs to do to get him to open his wallet.  Or something.

Some choice comments I’ve encountered:

My issue is with people who have the means to pay for this themselves asking for money on here (she could, her husband is a multi millionaire, why not ASK him?).

She isn’t wealthy? She’s married to a millionaire author.

I guess her multimillionaire husband couldn’t finance the endeavor…

Can’t she leech some of that Coraline money off Neil Gaiman?

Adorable, right? Trust me when I say I didn’t have to dig real deep to find these. Questioning ethics here is one thing; genuinely believing that Amanda Palmer – an established artist in her own right long before Neil Gaiman came into the picture – should “just ask her husband for the money” is another.

It’s not exactly a stretch here to call this sexist. I am trying to imagine that if the reverse situation was on the table we’d be seeing the same kind of comments, but I’m coming up short.