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Bloody Hell - Angelina Jolie

(140 Posts)
LtEveDallas Tue 14-May-13 08:27:08

Have just seen this on the news:

BBC News

Poor woman. Must be terrifying to be given 'odds' like those. What a terrible decision to have to make, but the right one I think.

RonaldMcDonald Mon 20-May-13 09:10:14

Way to go

Copthallresident Sun 19-May-13 20:31:48

I should say that the filming there by the Director of Tombraider, and bringing the glory of the temples there to people's attention, bought in much needed tourist dollars......

Lighthousekeeping Sun 19-May-13 19:57:10

That's not in response to you Ronald.

Lighthousekeeping Sun 19-May-13 19:56:21

Make up your mind. One minute you are saying that filming there bought in much needed money to build hospitals which will give women a chance to get treatment and in the next you are saying that now AJ is openly talking about it she might be made aware of the fact that there are women in the world that can't access treatment? confused wasn't that the whole point of her coming out and announcing it. She can't win with you, can she?

RonaldMcDonald Sun 19-May-13 19:32:34

copthall at best all Heder is saying is that the area is/was controlled and owned by a former high ranking officer in the Khmer Rouge who is suspected of being involved in war crimes.
Though there have been repeated efforts over many years he has not been tried for his crimes.
Therefore unfortunately the only way for anyone to help in that very impoverished area is by purchase of the land to take it out of his hands.

Or else what? Leave the people there in hopeless hopeless poverty? Hope someone else does it?

I see nothing wrong at all in what she has done. Again it seems like a wise decision.

To be honest I was always a bit meh about la Jolie. My brother said she was great but I was moved neither way.

I have been dismayed by how mean you have been about her at a time when it seemed completely unnecessary and cruel to comment.
I'm glad to see that you are somewhat backing away from some of the worst of your raised eyebrows and accusations by blaming press reporting.

Here is the foundation

Copthallresident Sun 19-May-13 19:29:39

Aagh, well I will continue to believe academic peers and those I have met in Cambodia and other parts of Asia where the story of Jolie's naivety in getting embroiled with several shady characters is well known and understood, and her image is not quite so glossy,
and Jolie fans can continue to believe whatever they like. At least the filming she did there has brought much needed tourist dollars to Siem Reap, and helped NGOs who really are doing some tremendous work including running the hospital there which is rebuilding Cambodia's medical infrastructure so that women there have some chance of treatment for Breast Cancer. It would be nice to think that after this episode Jolie may be alive to the very real issue that in large parts of the world, where those without money cannot access decent medical care, Breast Cancer is a death sentence. One thing you, I and Jolie have in common is that we are very lucky to be able to access treatment at all. Now that is an issue I can get passionate about....

Punkatheart Sun 19-May-13 18:57:05

No - I shouldn't respond either - but I really thought we had moved on/back to the important subject in question.

You are quoting news which is two years old. It has since been revealed that the person who categorically said AJ had knowledge of an ex Khymer Rouge person when she bought the land, is a employee with whom she was in dispute over money. This person clearly had an axe to grind. Also AJ put on the money and it was her lawyers who put up the money.

But clearly - no matter how many times people say it - it is not appropriate to start bringing up old tenous things in a person's past, when we are talking about a current issue. What the hell is it relevance?

Breast cancer. That's what we are talking about - not some long sodding debunked story.

Copthallresident Sun 19-May-13 17:48:04

I probably shouldn't respond, this is all getting out of proportion but as an academic I am quite rigorous about my sources, and in this case it is a widely respected expert on Cambodia. From my previous link " according to Stephen Heder, a historian and former consultant at the U.N.-sponsored tribunal for the Khmer Rouge, Jolie either knew or should have known what she was getting into.

In Samlot, the former communists “have built on their power as insurgents in the 1980s and 1990s to enrich themselves while also becoming members of the ruling Cambodian People's Party, proclaiming their loyalty to Prime Minister Hun Sen, himself a one-time Khmer Rouge. All of this is common knowledge in Samlot and well-known throughout Cambodia,” Heder, now at the School of Oriental and African Studies in London, wrote in an email.

“While all the specifics may not have been known to Jolie, she must have known or should have known that doing business in Samlot meant working with former ranking Khmer Rouge who were necessarily involved in the regime's crimes against humanity and war crimes.”

Stephen is a much published historian specialising in Cambodia having worked as a journalist there in the seventies and stayed on to play a key role in preparing for the war crimes trials. Here is a good article on his credentials

Thing is that real life is often ambiguous isn't it? I am perfectly prepared to believe she has done good things in one place and for whatever reason, failed to be quite so effective in her efforts elsewhere. There is certainly a big gap between real life and the press reporting of it, all distorted through the lens of society's values, the agenda of the press , people's management and manipulation of their image etc so that we can't possibly know what the "real" Angelina Jolie, or indeed any other celebrity / public figure is like unless we know them personally.

Lighthousekeeping Sun 19-May-13 16:09:36

When I think of Angelinas "press image" this is the kind of thing that springs to my mind. She's not some spoilt A List celeb doing more harm that good. I don't know where some people are getting their info from. Read this article. It's exactly how I imagine her to be

Punkatheart Sun 19-May-13 12:16:33

Grandchildren. Told you I was tired!

Punkatheart Sun 19-May-13 12:16:02

Thank you. Timely intervention by JulieMumsnet.

Please let's keep this to the very important issue of someone making a decision re a cancer gene.

Let's also be positive too for any women going through or about to go through such a step.

I think that cancer can make you strong - it can also weaken you to the core. It can have many many complex effects.

However, a diagnosis that is never wanted does change your life. It is deeply frustrating to be exhausted. I can see my garden taking control - I went out today, pulled out a few weeds and then felt worn out. I hate that my body is robbed of vitality and yes, there are times when I could kick a wall. I also have no idea what I would have done in AJ's position - really and truly. It's a huge step to take. But I hope that I means she lives to a great old age, with floods of grandhildren.

That's what I wish for all of us, really. I am a bit of a hippy at heart.


JulieMumsnet (MNHQ) Sun 19-May-13 11:02:41


We know that this is a very emotive thread and we wish all of you well, but if you could take the time to think of our splendid talk guidelines we'd be very grateful.

Thank you.


RonaldMcDonald Sun 19-May-13 10:42:47


i disagree.

Your issues weren't with press coverage though they moved there over time

you came onto the thread to immediately raise your eyebrows at Jolie's charitable work <based on little evidence that you have provided other than what you 'know' and a rubbish link>

You then focussed on how Jolie's decision to have a reconstruction might make others feel.
A reconstruction was an option open to her and she decided to take it. Same for others who have the option open to them. They make the best decision for their circumstances given their options. Her having choice and making a choice does not affect anyone else.

You then posted about her choices for reconstructive surgery and describe them as unnecessary. Perhaps unnecessary or inappropriate for you. Perhaps entirely necessary, in her opinion, for her. Necessary could be for any number of reasons but surely quite wrong of you to comment. Would you comment in the same manner about anyone else's choices after preventative breast cancer surgery?

You said she wasn't a saint.
Unnecessarily so as certainly no one on this thread was exalting her.

Although you described the operation she went through as 'gruelling' you then denigrated the press for doing the same.

Many of us and the press did describe her as brave and inspiring.
I think making the decision to have a double mastectomy as a preventative measure does take bravery. All cancer treatment requires bravery.
I think it was inspiring and brave that she chose to speak publicly about making the decision and her treatment.
No one, anywhere, assumes that Jolie's situation is worse than anyone else's experience. I'd assume that most people assume that she had the very best 5 star experience that a movie star's money could buy.

Questioning her son Maddox's adoption <illustrated by a tenuous insinuating link it seems you must have never read> is just insensitive, unnecessary and cruel.

That's my perspective on some of your outpourings. As I have said I hope it has helped you in some way to treat another person undergoing preventative cancer treatment in this way.
It has made for unpleasant reading imo.

Copthallresident Sun 19-May-13 09:23:49

ronald you haven't read my posts. I make it clear the issues are with the press coverage. I have absolutely no feelings about AJ , i know nothing about her apart from her press image and the fact I happen to know it may not be all it seems, and i think it would benefit from some perspective. so would you wink

RonaldMcDonald Sun 19-May-13 07:27:21


IMO you are heaping the entire bullshit that surrounds cancer at AJ's door.
I think you have been incredibly insensitive and inappropriate.

As a website run by women I was so surprised to read anything like this on here. I thought that there would have been respect for her honesty.

AJ has nothing to do with talking about cancer being a fight etc or any of that tripe.

The link you posted was nonsense and at best insinuation regarding her charitable work in Cambodia and there is absolutely no evidence to show Maddox has living parents.
Also you had no reason to speak about these things

Imagine if people discussed you and your illness always saying 'well I have less time for her as she has always been so so beautiful'
Or 'well someone once told me that she could have been better at her job'
or 'oooo did you hear there was something dodgy about her children'


How the press have reported her surgeries is not how she has. She was, like most with cancer or staring at cancer, straight to the point.
She had a reconstruction. That doesn't belittle the experience of those who haven't or who won't in the future. Nor do it say that anyone values them less.
Do you level that criticism on other people who have had reconstructions?

What I hear is bitterness and meanness focussed on a woman who lost her mother to breast cancer and when faced with her odds of dying the same way had a double mastectomy to try to remain on the planet for her children.
Trying to blame her for all cancer ills is nonsense and inappropriate.
Trying to slur her when she is being positive and hopeful and forthright is wrong and speaks more about those who are doing it that her.

Punkatheart Sat 18-May-13 15:36:24

Yes my hair is very thick now. Mind you I had to be bald about three times but it got there in the end.

Copthallresident Sat 18-May-13 15:32:28

Oh yes the benefits of Cancer treatment are undersold, they should market chemo as a spa treatment, you lose weight, get clearer skin and your hair grows back luscious and curly.......grin

Punkatheart Sat 18-May-13 13:29:52

Thank you Cop. Black humour I can relate to. Asked about my health recently I boasted that I never get colds. I am on Interferon - which seems to prevent 'em. 'This cancer is a real cure for colds,' I laughed.

I will get my coat.

Copthallresident Sat 18-May-13 13:24:44

BTW Punka You would be very welcome in the Tamoxifen thread, it is inclusive of all women who have had or face any sort of Cancer Dx "gruelling" or otherwise. Quite a lot of black humour and focus on the normal and getting on with life but also the support of shared experience. Obviously we are all different and cope differently but it is one form of support....

Copthallresident Sat 18-May-13 13:14:02

And as a woman with Breast Cancer I pointed out her story and successful reconstruction and reduction in her risk will doubtless provide comfort to women faced with a familial risk and the decisions she faced. So far, so good. For the greater numbers of us faced with an actual Breast Cancer diagnosis, then the perspective adopted in this coverage has raised all sorts of issues.

- The fighting, brave rhetoric that the Press leads society in adopting. As I pointed out upthread a young mumsnetter summed it up in starting up a Facebook meme to try and counteract all the ones that appear with that rhetoric - it can't be repeated enough

"(and I do blame the press for always saying how someone is 'bravely fighting' cancer. Cancer happens to people and they deal with it - there's no going into battle. )

All the people sharing "inspirational" pictures about people "fighting" cancer and some people "losing the battle", have you ever had cancer? I'm sure you mean well but it's not a personality contest, you don't live because you're tougher or stronger or braver than anyone else. People don't die from it because they didn't "fight" hard enough. If there is a battle to be fought it is between science and nature, and the patient is just the battleground. Some people will have all the treatments and take every possible supplement and do everything by the book and they will still die. They haven't failed in any way."

- The focus on breasts and beauty instead of on women being enabled to go on and lead fulfilling lives with or without them. Many of us can't have reconstruction, and the process of coming to terms with not having a breast, or indeed deciding whether to submit to "gruelling" surgery and it's long term consequences when faced with a serious illness is not helped by the Presses focus on celebrities like AJ and Michelle Heaton (and before them Anastasia, Kylie - though I felt she at least proved a celebrity can expose the reality of Breast Cancer treatments with dignity and without attention seeking) emerging with perfect boobs. I was never that bothered about my breasts so it wasn't hard to come to terms with, it really doesn't look that bad, I could look in the mirror post surgery and chemo bald and one boobed and see it was still me, everything I value about myself still in tact. However I know many women whose psychological burden was increased by that emphasis.

- The eulogising, as if her experience, actually a lot less "gruelling" than that faced by many diagnosed with Breast Cancer, is somehow more profound and gruelling than anyone else's, has really pissed off a lot of women who have Breast Cancer.

- The press generally as well as in this case do not represent the issue of risk in a balanced way. The number of women at risk of Breast Cancer as a result of these known genes, and all the other known risk factors, is a small proportion of all the women at risk. AJ's dilemma is real but actually rare. There is a danger that women think, as I did, that because they have no family history, eat a healthy diet, exercise, breastfeed etc. they have little risk and they take their eye off the ball but actually that only improves your chances by a small margin.

Lighthousekeeping Sat 18-May-13 12:10:28

Her adoptions have got nothing to do with it and hat article doesn't prove anything anyway.

Punkatheart Sat 18-May-13 12:06:00

I have lymphoma. Brave is fine. It's the battle stuff which pisses off cancer patients most.

I just think the focus is needed on the subject in hand.

Celebrities will face criticism whatever they do but this is specifically about breast cancer. It would be lovely to have direct responses from women with the disease and their perspective. Has AJ helped? Let's talk about the disease and judge the person less.

Copthallresident Sat 18-May-13 11:29:21

Also as I pointed out before she doubtless is as fed up of being labelled brave as all the other women I know who have faced BC.

Copthallresident Sat 18-May-13 11:25:05

punk just responding to all people down the thread who were commenting on her amazing charitable works, based on the strongly held views of people I know. It is ok to eulogise but not to point up the reality?

Punkatheart Sat 18-May-13 11:14:48

Sorry but there is no need to bring in other elements when we are discussing a woman's breast cancer and reconstruction. If a friend was dying of lung cancer, would you suddenly start discussing some dubious scheme she had been involved in?

This should be a discussion about cancer.

She is a brave woman and trying to reduce her but other thrusts of criticism is to me, somewhat pointless and irrelevant.

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