Sexists care more about Angelina Jolie’s breasts than her life

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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.

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.”

Some redditors shared photos of Jolie with messages such as “RIP Angelina Jolie’s boobs.”

As vitriolic and sexist as some were, many, many more showed support for Jolie and her decision to talk about what she went through.

Reddit had many other discussions in which users were grateful for Jolie’s words.

“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.

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.

The comments sections on the New York Times and Reuters Facebook posts about Jolie were largely in praise of her.

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

Kris Holt

Kris Holt

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.