Speaking at the Code Conference in California yesterday, she spoke out against the things mean people on the internet say, but in doing so, compared the effect harsh words have on her to the effect war has on a soldier, according to Fox News Insider.
Here’s the quote:
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.
The Hollywood actress has drawn the scrutiny of mean people on the internet recently in part due to her “conscious uncoupling” with her husband, Coldplay frontman Chris Martin.
There’s two elements at play here. The first is that she is a public figure and as such is subject to an unprecedented level of public scrutiny from occasionally anonymous people on the internet. It’s not nice, and the ability of famous people’s private lives to be scrutinized by random people online has never been this intense. But as the scrutiny has increased over time, so too has the level of affluence gained by celebrities. Indeed, Paltrow reportedly has a $140 million net worth.
The second element is the tendency of celebrities to compare the problems they face in life to war. It’s a testament to how divorced from the realities of 12 years of war in Iraq and Afghanistan many are.
War is the most intense, abstract thing they can think of, maybe second only to their own problems, it’s not something they consider in the human sense, in the way 2.6 million Americans have actually witnessed or endured in Iraq or Afghanistan.
The scrutiny has likely had a stressful, transformative effect on Paltrow, but there’s nothing “bloody” about what she’s been through, and she’s been compensated handsomely for her life as a public figure.
In Paltrow’s case, comparing herself to a war-hardened soldier won’t draw empathy from the American public, it will clearly only increase the scrutiny. What it may do, though, is force a celebrity-obsessed American public to consider the burdens shouldered by members of the military, and that is a worthwhile endeavor.
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A formation of U.S. Army soldiers with III Corps and Fort Hood honor the American flag as they lower it during the Retreat ceremony March 27, 2014. Retreat is conducted at the end of the day, every day, to honor the flag, which is raised during the Reveille ceremony each morning. All activity on the base stops for the duration of both ceremonies as soldiers pause, face the flag, and salute. (U.S. Army photo by Sgt. Ken Scar, 7th Mobile Public Affairs Detachment) (Photo Credit: Sgt. Ken Scar)
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When President Trump spoke of Islamic State last week, he described the group as all but defeated, even in the digital realm.
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Staff Sgt. Stevon A. Booker, a 3rd Infantry Division Soldier who was assigned to Company A, 1st Battalion, 64th Armor Regiment and killed in action in Iraq in 2003, is depicted in a photo illustration alongside the Distinguished Service Cross medal, which he is slated to posthumously receive for his heroic actions during Operation Iraqi Freedom, April 5, 2018, in Pittsburgh, Pa. (U.S. Army)
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