Gwyneth Paltrow Says Comparing Her To Blake Lively Is "Misogynistic"

Photo: Courtesy of David Fisher/Rex/REX USA
Gwyneth Paltrow isn't just an actress: She's an empire. The cookbook author and Goop founder has made a number of savvy entrepreneurial moves in recent years — but she doesn't want them to be compared against the successes of other stars.

In TIME's latest issue, Paltrow was asked whether or not she looks at other celebrity's online business and lifestyle sites. "This is a very interesting question," she responded, "because I wonder if George Clooney would be asked about Puff Daddy’s ancillary liquor line."

"I’m fascinated how the media in particular are so confounded by entrepreneurial women doing something outside of their box," she went on. "Jessica [Alba], especially, who’s a friend of mine — our businesses could not be more different. There’s not a lifestyle piece to her business. The fundamentals of our sites are very different."

She didn't stop there: "People are grasping at straws to tie us together and I get it, because it makes a good story, but I’m slightly offended by this sort of generalization that happens with myself and Jessica and Reese and Blake." Certainly, there are similarities, Paltrow admitted. But, is the comparison really necessary? "I feel there’s something slightly misogynistic about it. This is a common theme."

Fair point. It's easy to construct a narrative around how a select group of Hollywood's female elite were able to launch independent, successful brands. But, lumping these actresses together, and constantly comparing them, gives rise to a subtext of interchangeability that devalues the success that they were each able to achieve.

The "something" that Paltrow is pointing a finger at is what author and activist, Betty Friedan referred to as "the problem that has no name," almost fifty years ago in the book, The Feminine Mystique. These days, we know what the problem is: underlying sexism that permeates the experience of womanhood. Progress has been made, but there's still a long way to go.

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