In rock music, there tends to be two types of women granted the stage: tough girls and nice girls. Tough girls—Polly Jean Harvey, Patti Smith—get respect, albeit grudgingly, because they display traits we honor in men: They’re confrontational, direct, balls-out. Nice girls—Dusty Springfield, Sarah McLachlan—are admired for displaying the compliance and sweetness we associate with femininity. Of course, it’s a false dichotomy: No one is purely nice or purely strong. But Amos, who was both achingly, publicly vulnerable and openly defiant, fit most easily into a shadowy third category, feared by performers and lambasted by critics: the hysterical, shrieking female.
— Sady Doyle, “Birth of the Uncool: In defense of the Tori Amos fan”