Angelina Jolie was in Vancouver yesterday to deliver the keynote address at the UN Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference urging governments around the world to do more to stop sexual violence, calling it "a critical obstacle to achieving women's equality and our full human rights”, explaining that it is used as a weapon of war, one of the most effective weapons of war:
"It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective," she continued. "This is rape and assault designed to torture, to terrorize, to force people to flee, and to humiliate them."
Her remarks, of course, apply everywhere – conflict zones, conference rooms, classrooms, luxury hotel rooms, and Hollywood sets. And of course her crusade against sexual harassment, abuse, and violence did not just begin when Harvey Weinstein was exposed. But he definitely came to mind during this part of her speech:
"All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offence by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need. But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive."
This is an importance distinction. Think about the way Dave Becky, Louis CK’s now former manager, explained why he supported Louis for so long. In his apology, Dave tried to rationalise that the reason he didn’t believe the rumours about Louis was because he thought it was just “a matter of infidelity”. Horniness. This is one of the ideas that Angelina is dismantling here – that these are not minor offences motivated by libido but major misdeeds motivated by much more than pure lust.
It’s been a busy few weeks for Angelina as she’s managing her work with the UN and her work on the award circuit campaigning for First They Killed My Father. A few days ago, she and Loung Ung were at AFI Fest talking about the film. The Golden Globe nominations will be announced in less than a month, on December 11. I can’t imagine the Hollywood Foreign Press Association not wanting her to be in the ballroom that night.
Here’s Angelina meeting Canada’s Prime Minister, Justin Trudeau, yesterday in Vancouver. This is the only photo I’ve seen so far of the two of them together at the UN event. With his popularity and her fame, you can imagine what the value of an image like this would have been. Needless to say, there’s all kinds of deliberation behind the one they’ve specifically chosen to release – not a shot of them standing side by side smiling, but a shot of two leaders engaged in conversation. Given what we know of Angelina, she would definitely have had a hand in making that decision.