From the New York Times op-ed page, more in the war of the Intersectional vs. Science:
Who’s Afraid of Gwyneth Paltrow and Goop?
The long history of hating on “woo.”
Gwyneth Paltrow is an actress who doesn’t act much anymore because she’s running a business selling luxury New Age snake oil products. “Woo” is short for “woo-woo.”
By Elisa Albert and Jennifer Block
Ms. Albert is a novelist. Ms. Block writes frequently about women’s health.
… So what underlies all the overwhelming, predictable, repetitive critiques? What exactly is so awful about a bunch of consenting adults seeking self-knowledge, vitality and emotional freedom?
The tsunami of Goop hatred is best understood within a context that is much older and runs much deeper than Twitter, streaming platforms, consumerism or capitalism.
Throughout history, women in particular have been mocked, reviled, and murdered for maintaining knowledge and practices that frightened, confused and confounded “the authorities.” (Namely the church, and later, medicine.) Criticism of Goop is founded, at least in part, upon deeply ingrained reserves of fear, loathing, and ignorance about things we cannot see, touch, authenticate, prove, own or quantify. It is emblematic of a cultural insistence that we quash intuitive measures and “other” ways of knowing — the sort handed down via oral tradition, which, for most women throughout history, was the only way of knowing. In other words, it’s classic patriarchal devaluation.
When 19th-century medicine men were organizing and legitimizing their brand-new profession, they claimed the mantle of “science” even though there was no such thing as evidence-based medicine at the time. In order to dominate the market, they slandered all other modalities as “quackery,” including midwifery, which we know achieved safer birth outcomes back then, as it still does today. Pejoratives like “woo” or “pseudoscience” are still often applied to anything that falls outside of the mainstream medical establishment.
You know, they actually have women doctors and women scientists these days.