Sunday, December 31, 2006

Bitch Bitch Bitch

I just read an article in the Winter 2007 issue of Bitch Magazine called "Egos Without Borders: Mapping the new celebrity philanthropy." The article is not well organized and touches on many different issues that in my opinion should be dealt with in entirely separate articles. Writer Summer Wood writes about feel-good philanthropy, which Wood defines as the act of giving money to charity just so you can feel better. Some of the people she talks about are celebrities. Some of these celebrities seem to care only about the 'hip' charity, some care about the cause. Some give tons of money, some give make-up kits. (This was, admittedly, a ridiculous gift from Oprah to women suffering from an Ethiopian epidemic, obstetric fistula, however she also gave them each 100 dollars.) I have a problem with this attitude about celebrity contributions to charity. Though it would be nice if every celebrity gave a percentage of their earnings to people in need or research to help people in need, it would be nice if we all did. I don't have a problem with celebrity contributions, because at least they're giving their time, money, and faces to the cause. If this increases awareness for the cause, who cares why their doing it?

Okay, this entry is as unorganized as the article is. Wood did have some good points - normal people as well as celebrities sometimes give unecessary gifts (Wood gives the example of a group of women organizing to make necklaces to take with them on a visit to a third world country). Yes, there are some idiotic people out there. But they're doing more than I am for people in need. If the choice is between a little gesture and nothing, wouldn't you take the little gesture?

In short, when it comes to charity, I feel I'm the last person who can make fun of or chastize anyone helping in any way. I think I would feel the same if I gave to charity.

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