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The Internet is more focused on Angelina Jolie’s message than on her breasts.
Angelina Jolie is being lauded by many today after openly discussing her decision to have a preventative double mastectomy after discovering she was at high risk of breast cancer. Her honesty in her New York Times op-ed has drawn praise from many quarters.
However, her story has also brought the Internet’s sexists and misogynists crawling out of their dark corners to have their say.
Twitter appeared to have the largest contingent of sexists lamenting the loss of Jolie’s breasts in what is clearly a very sad day for them.
Too bad about Angelina Jolie. She had a nice rack. #cancer
— Josh DePyper (@jdepyper) May 14, 2013
Still speechless over angelina jolie’s choice. That rack is no more……
— Tommy Chan (@TreeTrunksCHAN) May 14, 2013
you gotta feel for Brad Pitt. Marries Angelina Jolie and now she get rid of her rack…. kinda makes her pointless
— Jamie (@PredawnDuke) May 14, 2013
Angelina jolie is gunna cut off her boobs… Well… Brad pitt is gunna be fucking the nanny.
— R Jeezy (@RasberryJacob) May 14, 2013
**BREAKING NEWS** Angelina Jolie has a double mastectomy! “I won’t get cancer now!” the titless bitch went on to say.
— Woof The Wolf (@Woof_the_wolf) May 14, 2013
Christina Applegate, now Angelina Jolie – some of the world’s greatest breasts undergoing the chopping block – sad
— WackyPacks (@rufusjonz) May 14, 2013
Angelina Jolie a drama queen and attention whore underwent a preventive double mastectomy.
— ASpence (@spencean) May 14, 2013
A sad day in Hollywood as we did a find farewell to Angelina Jolie’s breasts. Tragically cut down in their prime. Gone too soon. 🙁
— Barry Dutter (@BarryDutter) May 14, 2013
Elsewhere, a French politician asked if Jolie had the procedure “to look more like men?” Former minister Christine Boutin was criticized for her tweet, with one describing her sarcastically as the “queen of good taste.”
As vitriolic and sexist as some were, many, many more showed support for Jolie and her decision to talk about what she went through.
“For the public I see it like this. Angelina Jolie is beautiful. Angelina Jolie had a double mastectomy. Angelina Jolie is still beautiful,” wrote FrankManic. “Therefore I can allay at least some of my fears that my mastectomy has made me less beautiful, or less of a woman.”
Jolie had many supporters on Twitter, too.
Angelina Jolie has always been a badass but has never stood more brave and beautiful than tonight. Call your Dr tomorrow lady friends.
— Holly Marie Combs (@H_Combs) May 14, 2013
What a strong,brave decision by Jolie to decide to have and publicly announce her double mastectomy! SO empowering to women wrldovr! Salute
— Lara Dutta Bhupathi (@DuttaLara) May 14, 2013
Much respect & for sharing in classy way: Angelina Jolie on why she had a double mastectomy & how it can save lives: nyti.ms/19l8bbZ
— Elizabeth Banks (@ElizabethBanks) May 14, 2013
Wow, my complete respect goes to Angelina Jolie. It takes a real brave & courageous woman to do what she did.
— Anne V (@AnneV) May 14, 2013
A thread about the op-ed hit the front page of Hacker News, and not just because Oscar-winner Jolie was in a movie about hackers. Users had a respectful and reasoned discussion about preventative surgery and Jolie’s efforts to raise awareness.
Any time someone steps up to discuss an important issue that’s affected them personally, there will always be trolls. But this time, Jolie seems to have drawn more support than criticism for discussing a very personal decision that may help many others.
Photo by Gage Skidmore/Flickr
Based in Montreal, Kris Holt has been writing about technology and web culture since 2010. He writes for Engadget and Tech News World, and his byline has also appeared in Paste, Salon, International Business Times, Mashable, and elsewhere.