Where angels fear.

I wonder what most men thought when the news that Angelina Jolie had her breast tissue removed. I know my eyes went up and scanned the backs of my eyelids and came down with nothing.

I had no term of reference. At least I had no term of reference that would allow for a kind response as we’ve become so jaded with the self-centered spin coming from anyone in that industry. And of course the impossibility that no matter how one tried to separate the person from persona on the screen, one could not.

You see I had no concept of her as a human being. And here’s the question I had to ask myself, ‘was that my fault’.

On balance I have to say it is. You see I allowed the spin to create a hard shell about the woman. And I know that many very well paid people are employed to form that shell. I should still, as a fellow human being, have been able to see beyond it. At least see her as a mother. And I didn’t. We were spun a heap of BS where her adding three kids to her own three was somehow bad. In fact having the three herself was described as some sort of indulgence.

Empathy from a man for a woman is a thin concept. Empathy for a man is a thin concept one way or another. But for some reason yesterday a real woman shone through. A woman who was fearful her young family would lose their mother and a man would lose his mate.

So what occurred. Well, I would say we saw a woman with her priorities in the correct order.

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14 Responses to Where angels fear.

  1. Kelly says:

    I admire her for her choice. Although I know several “regular people” who have done the same, it’s good that she, as a celebrity, can be a role model for others concerning a difficult decision like this.

    • V.H says:

      How the dickens did you both cross in a minute of each other. I was in town when the phone had a hissyfit, which it’s been doing for the past day for some reason.

      I’ll be honest, I truly don’t think celebrity is a roll model for either good or bad. At best, and I mean at very best, it’s the equivalent to billboard advertising. But in this she went and became everywoman, and herself, very much alone.

      • Kelly says:

        Whether or not you or I look at celebrities as role models (I don’t at all), there are many who do. So this could be an encouragement for some. I don’t normally think of myself as naive, but it never once crossed my mind that this might just be a publicity stunt on her part. Surely any sane, rational person would give a decision like this serious thought before proceeding!

        • V.H says:

          Yes. Sane. The thing is she could have undergone the procedure and been reconstructed without any being any the wiser, had she wanted to remain private. And lets face it she could have called to a plastic surgeon and had her chest raise and lower like a car tire every six months and none would have batted an eye in the industry she’s in. But I do believe there is an altruism here. And that’s what shocked me. And it shouldn’t have.
          That’s part of what I was failing to get to about the roll model. You see I don’t think this is roll model territory. A professor in a university is a roll model, the man who runs the homeless shelter, the lawyer who defends those that cannot afford it. But this woman is a Brand in the same way Coke or Ford is a brand. It isn’t like the yellow bikini clad girls draped over the black Ferrari at a car show. She is the Ferrari.

  2. Kimberly says:

    To be honest, I looked at this story a bit skeptically. Her “spin” to the press always seems like such an FU, that it is hard not to look at her or her decisions as something so contrived. This one though, it is hard to debate her decision, which is so very personal. I am still skeptical of the media coverage of it, which I’ll have to elaborate on later as I’ve got to leave for work.

    • V.H says:

      Yes, spin is what I thought at first. But shit is anyone going to lop off their knockers to gain attention. That’s what I meant about the eyelid scan. It simply didn’t scan. There simply didn’t seem to be any way this was spin.
      As to the media, well, she’s a semi saint today. Tomorrow she’ll be fodder to a nasty attack, cést la vie.

      • Kimberly says:

        There are a lot of factors in play here which I think make it hard to view as just a woman who did what she decided was right for her and her family. I don’t know about role model. How many of us regular people can afford one of these genetic tests and even if we could, most insurance companies would consider a masectomy (without the cancer) as reconstruction elective surgery. A role model, to me, would be someone who finds this out, takes the necessary precautions, tests regularly, and becomes an advocate for breast cancer awareness and research. That’s what the regular person needs to see, because those are our options. The regular person would also keep this a private, family decision (as you mentioned above). I don’t know, maybe I’m just jaded about anything that comes out from Hollywood and the media that surrounds it because there’s ALWAYS a slant, always a reason. I don’t have any ill feelings towards her or anyone who makes a decision like this, but there’s still just something off about this one. Regardless, I can appreciate your emapathy. As you said, it can’t be a decision made lightly, shoot, it would be a hard one for sure.

        • V.H says:

          I think what I’m trying to plumb is just how well the avatar of Tomb Raider had become the person in the minds of, well me. That the Brand of A.J. had overshadowed the woman. This is true with all the current denizens of that ridge. But there is an impression that sewers aren’t needed up there.

  3. Rebecca S. says:

    Sorry Vince, although I understand her concern at dying young like her mother did, I cannot condone her encouraging women to hack off their breasts ‘just in case’. There is quite a bit of evidence out there that refutes her doctors’ claim that her genes determine her life span. Women are already scared enough of all the stuff that could happen to them without worrying about the fact that they cannot afford the optional surgery to remove their breasts because their mother/aunt/sister had breast cancer. For crying out loud, this story makes me mad!

    • V.H says:

      Even a year ago I would have wholeheartedly agreed with you. Now not so much. There are a bunch of lesser cancers that are extremely swift moving and this one is one of them.
      Where I’ve the problem is that the test is $3000 and you need two of them. So that there is right now a case before the Supreme Court of the USA preventing the monetizing of genes in this way. In general though the advances in cancer care over the last 5 years has been prodigious. In most the treatments are so exact that they target the node with no outside side-effect. Hair loss so much a part of the treatment hardly ever occurs now.

      • Rebecca S. says:

        I’m calmer now. I woke up to find that the party everyone I know was hoping would get in to the Leg. after our Provincial election, did not, so when I wrote the above I was mad about a few other things. Still, I am still skeptical 🙂

        • V.H says:

          I don’t ever mind if you have strong opinions. And especially so on something like this.

  4. Sage says:

    I wondered about her decision until I heard she was 95% likely to come down with breast cancer… If that’s the case, the odds really were against her and I don’t blame her.

    • V.H says:

      The highest unbiased number is 85%. But even with those numbers you don’t bet against them. Again though it really isn’t so much the getting cancer but that if she does get it she will die from it since the cancer is a sprinter. If it isn’t treated very soon after the mutation occurs it metastasizes in bone and other organs.

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