Women are More than Lady Parts

Angelina Jolie

Angelina Jolie –Photo credit: Ian West/PA Wire

In Hollywood, nothing is unusual about a woman having surgical procedures, but most of the time, these excisions are kept secret because they are designed to maintain the look of a 20-something starlet.  Then there are women, like Angelina Jolie, who are open and honest about their choices, as radical as they may seem, to maximize their chances of a long life and a long career.

Jolie has had her lady parts removed because she carries the gene that killed her mother and her maternal grandmother with cancer.  She uses her celebrity as a channel of communication, a statement of the realities of life, as opposed to the glamour of video.

Janet Hughes of the Western News suggests that Jolie will no longer be attractive “more than for her cheekbones” and goes on to discuss how other stars have used HRT and facelifts to stay young looking.  That’s their privilege—it is their bodies, and they make their choices.

But to suggest that Jolie is only cheekbones with no lady parts denies her talent, her intelligence and her backbone. Here’s a news flash: Women are more than lady parts.

Menopause is freedom from unexpected “accidents” of femaleness.  Menopause brings its own wisdom, whether from surgery or from moving out of middle age into cronedom.  It’s time that this culture grew up, and recognized that according to the 2010 US census, 42% of  adult women  in the US are over 55, the average age for onset of menopause
(adult = over age 19; 32% of all females,  16% of the total population).

It is ridiculous to imagine that 42% of women in America are no longer viable as human beings—or as actresses. I submit the following as evidence from IMDB:

  • Angelina Jolie lady parts

    Hollywood actress Angelina Jolie was made an honorary Dame by Queen Elizabeth in recognition of her work against sexual violence

    Angelica Huston

  • Candice Bergen
  • Diane Keaton
  • Glenn Close
  • Goldie Hawn
  • Helen Mirren
  • Judy Dench
  • Kathy Bates
  • Kirsty Alley
  • Maggie Smith
  • Mary Steenbergen
  • Meryl Streep
  • Olivia Newton-John
  • Renee Russo
  • Susan Sarandon

An agent once asked me, with a snide grin, if I wanted the main character of my first novel, Maven Fairy Godmother, to be played by Angelina Jolie.  The answer is still no, I’d prefer Kathy Bates, but for Maven’s arch nemesis and Fairy Godmother Superior, Jolie would be exquisite. She knows how to make hard choices and how to set priorities for her own life.  She is a grown woman, having intestinal fortitude, which is more important than lady parts. Someone explain this to Brittany Spears.

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1 Response to Women are More than Lady Parts

  1. Donna Hammett says:

    It is always easier to cast blame and condemn than to adore and praise. Women who stand out in history were often thought f as beauties in their day but more often it was their power or money or both which propelled them to the top of the envied list. Bette Davis and Joan Crawford, not withstanding their own unique lifestyles away from Hollywood, were considered beauties in their early years but their true strength and their fame came when they were presumably no longer “viable” stars because they were older. Maureen O’Hara was an attractive young woman but her true beauty emerged once she had lived and could express that experience through her characterizations. Jolie did her share of less substantial parts as a young actress but she also won an Academy Award for some of those parts and she has earned respect and praise as she has aged and shown that her wild girl days are behind her and she uses her fame to do good for many more people than the ones who frequent her movies. I often wonder if Princess Diana had lived, if she would have been dismissed as she aged – youth is not the magic ticket to being great nor is it the time to think all else afterward will be a downhill journey.

    Like any existing thing – the whole is more than its parts – why decide a woman who gives up her option to have more children in order to raise and nurture the ones she has now is no longer a whole woman? She could have done all she did in silence and make no one aware of her actions but if she helped at least one woman make the decision to be tested, to be operated upon, to have that deepest of all conversations with herself and/or others is she considered a lesser person for being more human? People have some strange ideas of what is right and proper these days but the worst thing is that they feel they have to spread their negative attitudes for all to see and read. Maybe Grandma was right – if you can’t say something nice, keep your thoughts to yourself…