Yesterday when a Facebook friend posted a link to the New York Times article about Angelina Jolie undergoing a double mastectomy, I was skeptical.
I work in social media. I am sometimes skeptical.
However as I read my attitude changed. Rapidly.
I was moved. Deeply. Ms Jolie’s courage rocked me. The courage to make the decision, the courage to have the operation, the courage to write about it.
Then came the awareness that she made the decision to save her life, but more so, for her children, that her actions would save their mother’s life. As her own could not be saved. Clearly she is a wise and deeply caring mother. Able to step away from the illusions of the industry she works in.
I’ve thought deeply on this. I came to see my attitude toward Angelina Jolie had changed. But what had it changed from?
Here on this site, and in life I am a supporter of women. I am not a feminist. I support women, rarely causes. I stand by women as they face various of life’s challenges. Good n bad.
An unexpectedly young widow in Eastern USA. A mother in England battling cancer. A grandmother in North West USA coping with the impending death if her mother. An Asian woman struggling with divorce. An Australian struggling with unexpected ravages of age. A young Hawaiian coming to terms with her grandmother’s decline. A New Yorker struggling with a fat cat. An English woman struggling with PTSD. A Canadian sailorette who lost her mother…and so on through women who are used, abused, broken-hearted. And tired. Women who are braver than they know. Women who keep going…
I try to be there for you, Kleenex in hand and an encouraging word. Where I can, I promote your projects. I rejoice in your successes. I laugh at your funnies.
I think of a map of the world and scan in my mind,across the lands, wondering if I haven’t heard from someone recently. If someone seems missing. I reach out. As do you. Collectively we lift one another.
Where had I been with Angelina Jolie? Frankly I didn’t like her. I don’t know her, so why didn’t I like her? As a sad reflection on me I tell you I had labelled her. And the labels were: shallow vain insincere. I didn’t like her movies. The few I’d seen. I didn’t like her tattoos. Her seemingly contrived behaviour, such as the one leg pose at the Oscars.
I did not like her relationship with Brad Pitt. I judged her harshly in terms of her relationship with her father. Yes, I even doubted the reason she was a Special Envoy for Refugees. I read this and leaned a lot. I suspect my judgement was trapped in her past. Nonetheless…
I am astounded at my negative attitude. . I am embarrassed. I am ashamed.
I want actually to go further. To commend her. Not that she needs this from me. But beyond my apology I want to acknowledge the selfless and generous act of her sharing this experience. I understand from media commentary that because of her more women will get checked and screened. More women will find the courage. More lives will be saved. This can only be good. If you need to take action, please do. Read the article and do what you need to do.
Read more details and the world’s reaction.
I have checked and cross checked the list of women in my life, in my heart…and I cannot find another instance of this attitude.
Sure there are women that I have little in common with. Women who make choices different to what I would opt for. But I cannot find another example of my doing what I had done with regard to Angelina Jolie.
I hope I never do.
I hope you all will forgive me.
If you haven’t yet please go read the article and act…
Thinking of you all, including Angelina, with ♥