Women's Issues

Hi Gwyneth Paltrow! I’m One Of Your Trolls

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Gwyneth Paltrow Trolls Dearest Gwyneth:

Recently you spoke at the Code Conference, a high-profile tech event at the Terranea Resort in Rancho Palos Verdes, California. Sounds pretty fancy to me. You were there with your pal, Google co-founder Sergey Brin. I read that you were nervous before you took the stage, but you smoothed out your sheer navy top and went out there in your stiletto heels and did your thing. Your thing was complaining about Internet trolls and people who are mean to you online.

I’m one of these people.

Well, I LIKE to consider myself a troll. I would like to be amongst the legion of the troll. I’m a fan of the troll. Not only because they keep the Internet from being such serious business, but the magic of trolls is that for every one posting a Rape Sloth meme on Facebook, there are two more who decide to do things like this. You can shake your beautifully manicured fist at the idea of the Internet Troll, someone who says unkind things about you or GOOP online, but the reality is, trolls are just like you and me. They may make fun of the notion of a $400 GOOP sanctioned T-shirt but they are also capable of acts of great beauty and kindness.

Re/Code has a transcript of some of the remarks you made in your speech, where you are quoted as saying:

“The lack of empathy that is created when people can anonymously opine about the looks or actions of others … It’s where we are in our culture. Yes, it does worry me, for the development of my kids and the next generation, that people can be so cruel without experiencing the consequences of being so cruel face to face.”

 

Not to troll you or anything, Gwynnie – can I call you Gwynnie? –  but are you fucking kidding me? One of the best things about the Internet is the fact we can anonymously opine about anything we damn well choose. This can include me saying that your divorce conscious uncoupling sounds pretty stupid to making fun of your mom jeans. This can also include women choosing to post anonymously about the horrible sexism and violence they encounter when discussing things like being a woman who lives and breathes in this world. You think that people say cruel things about you or your kids online? Learn a bit about what someone like Audrie Pott went through regarding cruel things said about her online and get back to me. I’m glad to see you view being made fun of as “enlightening’:

“I’ve started to see my particular journey through this as one of the more enlightening journeys of my life. … I really see it as a gift I’ve been given. … When you’ve been made fun of and excoriated and dragged through the mud and lied about for 20 years in front of the world … you actually realize it’s not about you. It really can’t be about you. Somebody has to know you for something to be about you. They can think it’s about you because you look a certain way or you’ve expressed an idea, but it can’t be, it’s not possible. You cannot be more than a representation of an internal object that person is carrying. … I’m just there, and people can throw up whatever is going on internally that you are triggering in them.

 

I’ve made fun of you. I’ve trolled you. I’m trolling you right now. But here’s the thing, I’m not trolling you for expressing an idea. I’m trolling you because the ideas you express are so vapid and so mind-numbingly uninspiring it’s almost impossible to be a fully-developed, intelligent, socially aware, feminist human and NOT troll you. You aren’t expressing some amazingly brilliant ideas about humanity or how to make the world a better place or how to live in beauty and light and be an excellent addition to this planet, you opine about shit like detox diets and how “easy”  working mothers have it and how to buy a $1,200 keepsake box.

You aren’t trolled because you are speaking out about shit that matters. I get trolled places like Twitter because I post things about rape and violence against women. Thousands of women get trolled on the Internet because they do the same thing. People, women especially, get trolled for talking about rape, for speaking out about how they are trolled for talking about rape, for the color of their skin, for the fact that they are a trans woman, for their weight , and for a million other reasons vastly more important than meaningful then the fact they named their kid after a piece of fruit.

 “The part that grows impervious to negativity from a stranger is the part that has the right value, the value that you are just you. And nothing is going to change that.

 

Bummer, Gywnnie. Because maybe your so-called trolls, who aren’t even trolls to begin with, troll you because whatever is going on internally inside us, makes us believe that you may start reading some of the criticisms so many people have of you and maybe take the good of it and learn something from it. Maybe you will use your vast wealth and power to start speaking out about shit that really matters. Maybe you will look around you and start to see that you aren’t being trolled – people are just expressing their opinions about you because you chose a life that put you in the public eye.

Or maybe you’ll just keep getting trolled for posting rather barfy looking kale recipes and suggesting people buy expensive T-shirts. In which case, I’ll be ready.

(Image:shutterstock/getty)

40 Comments

  1. Kay_Sue

    May 29, 2014 at 10:54 am

    I’ve made fun of you. I’ve trolled you. I’m trolling you right now. But here’s the thing, I’m not trolling you for expressing an idea. I’m trolling you because the ideas you express are so vapid and so mind-numbingly uninspiring it’s almost impossible to be a fully-developed, intelligent, socially aware, feminist human and NOT troll you.

    Yes, yes, yes. Not all ideas are created equal.

  2. CMJ

    May 29, 2014 at 11:00 am

    She is such a self righteous twat.

    • Eve Vawter

      May 29, 2014 at 11:02 am

      troll.

    • CMJ

      May 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

      Speaking of trolls – did you see my text?

    • Eve Vawter

      May 29, 2014 at 11:14 am

      ffs

  3. Ursi

    May 29, 2014 at 11:03 am

    As I’ve mentioned here before, my love for Gwyneth is the very purest form of irony. I wouldn’t consider myself one of HER trolls (though I do love trolling) but I agree that she lends herself to it beautifully.

    There are a few people in this world whose existence I treasure because they are so far removed from normal human issues that it’s amazing they live on the same planet I do. Gwyneth is one of them. I don’t see how it’s mean spirited to point out that a lot of her website reads like a parody. She doesn’t seem to make any effort to connect with people who aren’t at her income level. There’s nothing wrong with being wealthy, educated, and hip but she seems to view her lifestyle as an aspirational model.

    There are a lot of celebrities you could drop into the life of a regular joe and they’d deal with it. She is NOT one of them. I am convinced that if Gwyneth had to be me for a day she would take one at my pantry, curl into a ball, and cry.

    You beautiful, bubble-dwelling angel, don’t ever quit spouting your nonsense.

    • Spongeworthy

      May 29, 2014 at 11:21 am

      I’m loling at the idea of her looking at my pantry. “Canned soup?? Mac and cheese?? Save me!”

    • Rachel Sea

      May 29, 2014 at 3:26 pm

      I just imagine saying, “Okay Gwinnie, it’s the 22nd, you have $7.38 in the bank, and that’s got to feed you and your family until payday on the 30th. Come up with a plan!”

    • Kelly

      May 29, 2014 at 3:41 pm

      I think you just figured out how to kill Gwyneth Paltrow.

  4. KaeTay

    May 29, 2014 at 11:09 am

    All I have to say is what about all those young kids that were trolled so bad they committed suicide? Do you value them? Maybe you care too much about celebs and not enough for the innocent people being tortured because they can hide behind a computer screen.

    • Eve Vawter

      May 29, 2014 at 11:10 am

      Yep, which is why I linked to some of the awful cases. she has NO idea what trolling is.

    • Kay_Sue

      May 29, 2014 at 11:23 am

      Which is what makes Gwyneth Paltrow complaining about trolls all the more inflaming.

    • Aimee Ogden

      May 29, 2014 at 11:25 am

      Yeah, before the Internet, no one was ever mean to anyone else and we all lived in perfect harmony and sang songs about buying the world a Coke.

      Bullying is a serious problem, online and off. Talking about how shitty Gwyneth Paltrow’s books and life philosophy and attitude are is not bullying. If she should be allowed to express her dopey opinions about organic kale and uncoupling, the rest of us also get to express our opinions on how harmful her terrible opinions are.

    • Eve Vawter

      May 29, 2014 at 11:27 am

      aimee, it should be noted here and everywhere else that I really love you. FOR REAL.

    • KaeTay

      May 29, 2014 at 12:42 pm

      I’m going off of the words of the author and her admittance for loving to troll. That makes her a bully AND part of the problem. Your sarcastic remarks are completely immature and unnecessary.

    • Aimee Ogden

      May 29, 2014 at 12:53 pm

      My sarcastic remarks are totally necessary until people like Gwyneth Paltrow stop equating people making fun of her disgusting smoothie recipes on the Internet to marginalized teens being bullied to suicide. There are celebrities out there who are harassed and suffer real consequences from it, but “Eve Vawter didn’t like my garbage nightmare of an advice book” is not one such example, and acting like her making fun of the open targets Paltrow sets up is equivalent to tormenting a troubled child is disingenuous and trivializes the suffering that ordinary people experience – both of which are way worse sins that being “immature”.

      (P.S. I disagree that responding with sarcasm to an inane comment about how people being able to be anonymous online has destroyed civility itself is “immature” in the first place, but I guess YMMV.)

    • Eve Vawter

      May 29, 2014 at 1:21 pm

      Yeah, I’m a major bully because when I post an article on twitter about rape and some assnugget replies “I want to rape your corpse” and I troll him back, I’m part of the problem. OH THE HUMANITY

    • K.

      May 29, 2014 at 1:44 pm

      This isn’t bullying. There’s 80 million reasons why this isn’t bullying, but I’ll give you 2:

      1. Gwyneth is a public figure. If you are a public figure (certainly one who makes money off of your public profile (endorsements, q-rating, commercials, etc.) to the point that someone is employed to control your publicity), then you are not immune to criticism or mockery. Barack Obama falls in the same category. Everyone that suffers the brilliance of Stephen Colbert falls under that category.

      2. Authors are likewise not immune to criticism and mockery. Gwyneth publishes blogs and books, and like all forms of creative output, we’re allowed to mock the product. The fact that the subject she chooses is herself doesn’t matter. David Sedaris gets criticism for what he writes as well–hell, his innocent family members ALSO get mocked.

      3. Bullying requires that you seek out the victim repeatedly. There’s no way Eve or me or Aimee or anyone could *actually* do that unless we wished to be arrested for stalking. What in fact is happening is, essentially, Gwnyeth is the one who seeks US out repeatedly because she continues to make public statements, blog entries, gives interviews, etc. and people are responding to those actions; ie, criticizing her output as well as her as the purveyor of whatever that is. Bullying (or rather—harassment (I don’t think adults can actually be bullied; I think that’s a slippage of the term, but that’s another story)) would be if I actively sent threatening letters to Gwyneth’s personal address. That would be me seeking her out to impose harm. Me making fun of the stuff she has said or done does not make me a bully. Opinionated and jerky, sure, but a bully? Let’s not artificially heighten a sense of severity by applying a loaded term.

    • Kelly

      May 29, 2014 at 3:44 pm

      It’s pretty offensive to invalidate the tragic suicides of children who were driven there by harassment by comparing them to Gwyneth Paltrow getting her feelings hurt because people don’t agree her divorce means she’s more evolved than we are.

  5. Spongeworthy

    May 29, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Gwyneth wouldn’t bother me nearly as much if she just acknowledged the fact that she is incredibly priveleged. She is so tone-deaf to the way the rest of the world lives. The difference between her quote about working moms and Angelina Jolie’s makes it so obvious that she could never function as a “regular” person.

  6. simoneutecht

    May 29, 2014 at 11:37 am

    When it’s everyone else against you then it is you.

    • Eve Vawter

      May 29, 2014 at 11:37 am

      I love this sooooo much.

  7. momjones

    May 29, 2014 at 12:10 pm

    She also said this: “You come across [online comments] about yourself and about your friends, and it’s a very dehumanizing thing. It’s almost like how, in war, you go through this bloody, dehumanizing thing, and then something is defined out of it. My hope is, as we get out of it, we’ll reach the next level of conscience.”
    WHAAAAATTTT? She’s comparing on line comments about her to being “in war”…Tell that one to my husband the infantry squad sergeant Vietnam vet. http://rack.3.mshcdn.com/media/ZgkyMDEzLzA2LzEyL2E0L0hhZGVzLmE1OTNlLmdpZgpwCXRodW1iCTEyMDB4OTYwMD4/ee4a9d3e/0ef/Hades.gif

    • Snarktopus

      May 29, 2014 at 12:22 pm

      That made me rage so hard. So. Hard. I was born to a Navy family, and my brother and best friend both joined the Navy as well. I was just like, no. No.

    • Frannie

      May 29, 2014 at 12:46 pm

      I live very close to a few large military bases, and my daughter goes to kindergarten with several children whose parents are deployed right now. I’m quite certain if you ask those children, they’d rather their parents get “trolled” than be deployed to a war zone where they might not return.

    • Jennie Blair

      May 29, 2014 at 1:12 pm

      Not to sound like a bitchy military dependent, but what the fuck? What does facebook post have to do with combat?

    • wispy

      May 29, 2014 at 1:18 pm

      Good luck reaching “the next level of conscience” being so self-centered and blissfully unaware of the real world around you.

    • Valerie

      May 29, 2014 at 1:23 pm

      She is an asshole.

    • Kelly

      May 29, 2014 at 3:39 pm

      Yep, comments like that are why people mock her. She’s an insensitive idiot.

  8. Lee

    May 29, 2014 at 12:27 pm

    Speaking of trolls, where is Crusty?

    • pixie

      May 29, 2014 at 1:14 pm

      He trolled CNN too hard and Disqus banned his IP address 🙁

    • Lee

      May 29, 2014 at 2:30 pm

      A moment of silence then. 🙁

    • FormerlyKnownAsWendy

      May 29, 2014 at 9:57 pm

      I feel like….if only he could give us a sign…that he was still here. Just a little one.

  9. K.

    May 29, 2014 at 12:33 pm

    Um…It’s a slow day here and “Gwyneth Paltrow” is like a trigger for me to have some
    fun. So I did–I swear, I’m not crazy or obsessed, I just have way, way too much fun writing these things about Gwyn.

    LOVE LETTER TO GWYNETH PALTROW:

    Dear Gwynnie,

    I am too, perhaps, one of your “trolls”—I am mightily critical of you such that if your name appears in a mocking headline, I shall click, click, click away! But I do not seek you out, as I think a proper “PalTroll” (hahaha!!) would. I do visit your blog—which I generally use for the recipes and they have, to your credit, all been lovely. I thank you for that.

    It is also through your blog that I gain insight into just how loveably trollable you are. Perhaps this is not your fault. I suppose that growing up bi-coastal in the hills of Santa Monica and the penthouses of the Upper East Side with a film producer for a father and a film actress for a mother who make millions between them, a godfather named Steven Spielberg, and a bevy of likeminded friends at your exclusively private schools, wouldn’t exactly endow one with a great deal of awareness as to just how rarefied that existence is. And then to achieve such a rapid rise of success (which is due, in part—let’s be fair—to the fact that Mr. Spielberg was “Steve” to you when you were 8 and playing horseshoes in the Hamptons) and earn billions of dollars yourself, plus an Academy Award, all by your mid-twenties, well that might also stunt your sensibilities regarding economic inequities. And racial inequities. And educational inequities.

    But Gwyn, the reason you are so trollable is 1) you seem to have missed the difference between love and flattery, a common pitfall for those who invest their identity in celebritydom and 2) you define yourself as the arbiter of taste and then wonder why people don’t admire you for it and even mock you for doing so. The two of these things create the Bermuda Triangle of trollable, a type of narcissism that you literally cannot believe it when others do not subscribe to your own self-defined greatness and assumed importance, in the precise way that you have deemed you would like to be admired.

    This puts you on par with Kim Kardashian and the Desperate Housewives in the sphere of trolldom. J’accuse! I imagine you thinking, Que! Como! (or one of the other many languages you speak, you Cosmopolitan minx!) *I* am blue-blood! My children are welcome aboard Valentino’s yacht! I’ve worked for PBS! I have performed Shakespeare! I ‘chill wit’ Beyonce and totally ‘get’ Downtown! How dare you sully moi by associating me with such tackiness!! I’M GWYNETH FUCKING PALTROW!!

    You don’t get to dictate how people receive you Gwyn, and your earnest need to do precisely that—to the point that you have to insult those that may not share your hallowed image of yourself by calling US unfulfilled, insecure, and mean—is what makes you so easy to tease. You’re building yourself up as a lifestyle brand because you’re getting older and Hollywood may not have you for very much longer—which is tough. Martha Stewart certainly takes her lumps for it. And Oprah does too. But the difference between MS and OW and you, GooP, is that they don’t feign humility—Martha (nee Kostyra) and Oprah pretty much balls out SAY they’re awesome bitches and anyone else who disagrees will be eaten up and spat out (your old pal Madge does too). They don’t really give a fuck. But you do. Disingenous never works and hence you are ever so much more trollable.

    Part of me hopes that you’ll take a page from Angelina Jolie—another bubble-head
    actress who grew up in similar circumstances as you—and at least learn a shred
    of humility by seeing how the 99.9% of the world who are not you actually live. There’s a reason why Angelina Jolie isn’t writing articles about how to cook a delicious paella with the limited means of a kitchen on a private plane or instructing others how to divorce properly, and it’s because she knows that that stuff sounds batshit-dicky-dumb when you’ve seen kids die of malaria. Or, since that’s a more extreme (but certainly not less common) example, if you’re simply a waitress who makes $7 an hour that has to feed and clothe two kids, and maybe, with enough tips from guys who stare at your ass, get them dental care. And by the way, do you have any idea how airheaded you look when you try to attain street cred by talking about Jay-Z and rap culture and your son “thuggin’ it” …when you’re standing in a fucking APPLE orchard? Do you have any idea how fucking stupid you look? I cannot wrap my head around a woman who is on the ass-end of risk claiming she’s bona-fide “cool.”

    And the whole, “I can’t help the fact that I’m beautiful and from a rich family!” is getting old. So is “I work really, really hard, so fuck you for being jealous of my success!” No one resents you (or at least I don’t) for having the incredible luck NOT to be one of the 99.9%– you cannot help the circumstances you were born into any more than a refugee baby can—we resent you for the fact that you DON’T seem to acknowledge this was luck and because I really think you believe it is the natural result of divine preference for your divine hiney. And people don’t resent your work; they resent the fact that you have determined you work harder than anyone else. The superiority of your work ethic is certainly true when it comes to me, but I’d stop short of saying you work harder than the aforementioned waitress’ who, believe me, is not “jealous” of your success, but perhaps jealous of the fact that YOU, by virtue of privilege, get a bullhorn to inform us all of your spectacular personal value and she, like so many others, makes do with “Hey, how’s it going? Regular or decaf?”. And then you use the bullhorn to celebrate yourself and condemn people like her? Fuck trolling, that’s worth your gleaming teeth on a dartboard.

    I,however, suck at darts and have a love of writing, so I’ll continue to troll. And most of me, MOST of me, hopes that you’ll continue to think very, very highly of yourself and be routinely indignant when others don’t. I love you, Gwyn; I love to hate you, too. I’d make my own site called Poop and mock every single thing that you post on yours if I could. You bring marvelous creativity out of me (Jesus, this comment is longer than the fucking article), and who couldn’t love a good target? Gwyn, thank you for being mine.

    • Lee

      June 5, 2014 at 2:40 am

      Ha! Very well written, and totally on the money :). Well done.

  10. Lauren Kretzer

    May 29, 2014 at 12:38 pm

    is it just me, or is the gwyneth bashing getting a bit old? i think we’ve beaten this horse to death and beyond. insert eye roll here.

  11. keetakat

    May 29, 2014 at 12:53 pm

    So, rather than seeing criticism as an opportunity to identify and improve her faults, she uses it to shine a light on how faulty everyone else is for not respecting and desiring to emulate her “her’ness”. *cramp* *twitch*

  12. Kelly

    May 29, 2014 at 3:38 pm

    I’m not trolling her. I’d say all of the shit I’ve typed directly to her face. She says stupid and offensive things constantly. I’m stunned the people around her don’t ask her what the fuck is wrong with her on a daily basis.

  13. Momofthree

    May 29, 2014 at 8:56 pm

    Slow clap!

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