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Opinion | Gwyneth Paltrow’s Goop Arts, and Science


To the Editor:

Re “Who’s Afraid of Gwyneth Paltrow?” (Op-Ed, Feb. 4):

No one is afraid of Ms. Paltrow and her company, Goop. What people fear is the very real, very dangerous reality that we live in: a post-Enlightenment culture that eschews facts in favor of subjective narrative.

Anti-vax is real. Cancer patients dying because of alternative medicine is real. Global warming denialism is real.

If Elisa Albert and Jennifer Block want Ms. Paltrow’s imaginative treatments and practices to be viewed as seriously as science-based medicine, then they can subject those practices to rigorous, public scientific inquiry. No one is stopping them.

And a deserved “patriarchal” beat-down? Many of the finest and most scathing critiques of these anti-science techniques come from very qualified women whose feminist credentials and real-life clinical experience are beyond reproach.

This is not about empowerment. This is good old anti-science nonsense at a time when we can least afford it.

Stephen Bellinger
Pacifica, Calif.

To the Editor:

It’s about time that an article appeared that stands up to patriarchal science and medicine for minimizing the feminine, time-tested, results-driven approach to health and the wellness of our bodies.

There is no stopping the power of the more natural, feminine approach to life. Look how far yoga and eating more healthfully have come since the 1960s.

Now with the power of the internet, just maybe the feminine will rise to equal status and respect in every area of life. And what a better, more beautiful, harmonious and balanced life it will be!

Joy Freeman
San Diego
The writer is the author of “7 Keys to Connection: How to Move Beyond the Physical and Emotional Trauma of a Disconnected Culture.”

To the Editor:

Equating the rejection of Gwyneth Paltrow’s goofy pseudoscientific Goop products and practices with women’s struggle to be recognized within science and medicine is exactly why we women are not taken seriously.

With the current climate of misogynistic thinking we cannot afford more stuff and nonsense, especially like Yoni eggs and vagina steaming.

Joy Mott
Alderson, W. Va.

To the Editor:

Re “Recording Undercuts President’s Claims” (front page, Jan. 26):

President Trump was recorded as stating that “the European Union is a group of countries that got together to screw the United States, it’s as simple as that.” Unsurprisingly perhaps, this statement is uninformed and untrue.

At least from Secretary of State George C. Marshall’s announcement in June 1947 of what became the Marshall Plan, United States policy has encouraged the European countries to cooperate with one another, first as aid recipients, then as alliance partners and soon thereafter as architects of their own integration.

They did this in their own construction of the European Economic Community between 1950 and 1957, the precursor in all but name of today’s European Union.

Charles S. Maier
Cambridge, Mass.
The writer is a research professor of history at Harvard.

To the Editor:

In “Closing the Court of History” (Op-Ed, Feb. 5), Matthew Connelly expresses concern about records deleted within federal agencies after a set time instead of being transferred into the National Archives and Records Administration.

Having worked on site with officials in federal agencies early in my NARA career to appraise paper records for transfer into the National Archives, I know that some 3 percent of federal records warrant designation as historical. This remains the case with electronic records.

As in the past, NARA can reassess federal records cleared for destruction 7, 25 or 75 years after creation as deletion dates near. Presidential records fall under a separate law. I’ve worked on several moves of White House records to NARA. Since some 90 to 95 percent of President Barack Obama’s presidential records were “born digital” (no paper version filed), he and NARA agreed there was no need to construct a separate presidential library building.

Rather, NARA employees hold President Obama’s records (digital and paper) in its existing facilities for processing under a law passed in 1978.

Maarja Krusten
Washington

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