What started as a lighthearted meme about her right leg spiraled in to discussion about her weight and her health. Of course.
Now, I have no qualms admitting that I am firmly on #TeamJolie in the Angie and Jen debate. I’ve always liked Jolie. The Jolie that we see publicly anyway. Who she is privately is a mystery to all of us. But the persona presented publicly was one that I admired. She had her bouts of The Cray, she dated inappropriate men, she loved sex and never apologized for that fact. But then she did what many of us do and she matured. She stopped being so public about her darker side unless there was a take away of sorts. She became a humanitarian and she became a Mom. The fact that she ended up with Brad Pitt really made no difference to me. I liked her because she wasn’t afraid to be who she was.
What bothered me about the commentary surrounding her weight was that it felt like subversive slut shaming.There’s something about Jolie that makes many women become unhinged. To those women, Jolie will always be the whore that stole someone’s husband. But I wonder how much of that resentment is really about Jolie’s unapologetic attitude towards sex.
It was as if the peanut gallery at large had to find something to distract people from Jolie’s very obvious confidence and sexiness. They had to find a flaw, something that would make her seem defective. That way they could taint her and all women who don’t have many sexual hang ups or attach high expectations to sex. Because the more of those women that exist, the harder it will be for the other women to use sex to get a man to do what they want.
I think it terrifies women to know that all the things they chose to believe about relationships and men were untrue and that they were sold a false bill of goods from their friends and mothers and “society.”
Now, I’ve always believed that most people in major metropolitan areas don’t care what a man or woman does behind closed doors. But I’ll say this. It absolutely gobsmacks me when I read opinions left on blogs where the topic is women and sexuality and hooking up. The hatefulness and resentment and shaming attempts that come out is incredibly jarring. That, almost 10 years later, women still harp on the Joile/Pitt/Aniston triangle is shocking to me. I never understood it.
But now I do.
There was Pitt, married to a beautiful, rich and seemingly wonderful woman. And yet he still supposedly strayed. On the surface, Aniston had what so many women believe makes them the total package – the body, the money, the success. Plus, they had exchanged vows. In front of people. With a priest or rabbi or other type of religious figure there. That was supposed to mean that they would be together forever. In order for him to leave that, he must have been lured away by some malevolent man-stealing slutty siren. Because no man would ever kick a woman like Aniston to the curb.
Except he did. Why? I have no idea and it’s none of my business. Marriages fail all the time and usually both parties are to blame.
It’s terrifying for some women to realize that “I do” or any other kind of promise isn’t a real guarantee. Also scary is that there are women out there who don’t use sex as some kind of negotiation tool. Which is why I think so much of the so-called slut shaming comes not from men, but other women.
With the explosion and accessibility of porn along with the growing number of women foregoing long term relationships or marriage in lieu of casual arrangements, there’s been a major shift in the paradigm.
Women were so proud of the fact that they no longer needed men for financial security or to have children. Men responded by saying they no longer needed a wife or girlfriend to get laid. This has made so many women nervous that they jump at any offer from a man for a “relationship.” As I said in a post earlier this week, men know many women want commitment. So they give it to them. Whether or not they actually mean it is a whole other story.
It used to be that, to get laid, people had to post an ad on Craigslist Casual encounters. Now we can fire up an app, find someone in a 5 mile radius, meet them for a drink and get some sexytime. Or they can just pretend to commit. It’s that simple now. And it has a lot of women very, very threatened.
There’s just something about sex that causes the hairs on many women’s neck to stand on edge. As if that’s all we have to offer and if someone takes that away from us we bring nothing to the table or have no leverage.
Why is that?