Why Angelina Jolie Matters

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GMP Senior Editor Mark Greene is an Emmy Award winning animator and designer. He blogs and speaks on Men's Issues at the intersection of society, politics, relationships and parenting for the Good Men Project, HLN, Talking Cranes, The Shriver Report, The Huffington Post, Mamamia and Role Reboot. You can follow him on Twitter @megaSAHD and Google.
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  1. She is very heroic, on a personal level, and as a celebrity. Very inspiring.

  2. Such powerful and brave words from Angelina….especially about how a mastectomy does not diminish her femininity …..unfortunately, I know all too well the agonizing decision process that she must have gone through…and my thoughts, too, were really for my son….Having good health insurance is a huge blessing….and a supportive partner even huger….

  3. Quite refreshing in some ways — she’s the rare Hollywood actress with a decent, honest medical reason to get breast implants….

    There’s a bigger test of social acceptance yet to come, however. Let’s see if there’s any change in how people view her when or if she has her ovaries taken out. That’s just as recommended as a mastectomy in cases like hers. Will people think of her as less of a woman when she has that done? No one would admit to it, but I bet that’s more common than thinking she’s less of a woman for having a mastectomy. I bet other women would be the harshest or most patronizing about that.

  4. wellokaythen says:

    Appropos of nothing, I think it’s humorous that she talks about her “partner, Brad Pitt,” as if there’s someone in the universe who didn’t know they were together. Wait, what was the name of that guy she’s had some babies with? Bert or Brad something or other. What was his last name. He was in that movie where he played that guy who did that thing, you know the one I’m talking about….

    To be fair, though, maybe when they’re in private she calls him “Brad Pitt.” That’s just the name she uses. Full name, no shortening. Come to think of it, my wife may call him that in her head as well….

  5. John Schtoll says:

    What Ms Jolie did was probably the hardest decision of her life and should be commended for her bravery for sharing it with the world.

    Since this gene is detectable and the double mastectomy reduces the chance of cancer by a significant amount, I wonder , is it time that we do this test on female babies and take the appropriate action when they are young and won’t remember the pain of the operation.

    • Here’s the thing, John: The genes in question don’t actually cause cancer.

      In a 2003 study published in the esteemed academic journal Science, researchers found that among women carrying the BRCA1 or BRCA2 genes, cancer “risks seemed to be increasing over time.” In other words, those born before 1950 only had a 24% risk of developing breast cancer by age 50, while those born after 1950 had a 67% risk. These statistics indicate that the cancers are not at all caused by these genes; merely, these genes enable certain environmental factors to affect those who carry these genes. Moreover, these environmental triggers of cancer have become more prevalent in recent years. And though the BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene carriers do individually possess a higher risk of cancer, they comprise less than 5% of breast cancer cases.

      Sadly, we’d rather take the path of least resistance, instead of addressing the reality that we are poisoning ourselves and our children.


  1. [...] coming out with an op-ed about breast cancer, and her preemptive strike at it. The Good Men Project respected it. A woman who is undergoing cancer treatment had a very different opinion, thinking it not [...]

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