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Let’s Talk About Gwyneth Attempting the Food Stamp Challenge

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Now, I don’t know Paltrow’s intentions with her picture or her participation in the #FoodBankNYCChallenge. She could have meant to start a real debate about food access, she could just be bored and want a new Goop entry. As someone who has tried and failed at the SNAP challenge, I believe her heart’s in the right place and, whether she meant to or not, her grocery cart was a well-timed commentary on food issues in the US. Call her participation patronizing, say that she bought the wrong type of food, say there wasn’t enough of it, claim it’s the “most Gwyneth thing ever,” but do not discount the fact that activism is taking place. People are taking this challenge, donating to a very important food bank in the community, and beginning a conversation on food.

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Whose Bass Is It Anyway? (Or, The Problem with Pop’s Empowerment Anthems)

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This article was originally written as a producer piece for Things Not Seen.

This summer, a wave of up-beat, supposedly empowering pop songs came out. A similar outpouring of self-esteem boosting anthems happened in 2011, with Lady Gaga’s “Born this Way,” Katy Perry’s “Fireworks,” and Pink’s “Perfect.” The music industry has apparently discovered that inspiring confidence is profitable, but like anything that is created to be sold, the message of these songs is often corrupted.

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On the Corner of Faith and Feminism: An Inclusive Alternative to Femen’s Goals

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Originally, this piece appeared as an essay for a Women’s and Gender Studies class. The content has been modified slightly to better fit an online format for a broader audience.

Janet Soskice opens Feminism and Theology with the observation that “it is no secret that some feminists regard the term ‘feminist theology’ as an oxymoron.” Soskice acknowledges in her introduction that Judaism and Christianity “are cast as prime villains in the Western history of the subordination and oppression of women. Their ideologies, their symbolism, and, above all, their established institutions stand accused of putting a stranglehold on women’s aspirations.”  Soskice notes Gloria Steinem’s telling response to the question of whether feminism had been a success – that forty years could not erase the 5000 of “racism, sexism, nationalism and monotheism!”

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