Washington: Actor Angelina Jolie, who has portrayed a variety of women in her long acting career, is particularly famous for bringing one infamous “villain” to the big screen: Maleficent. In a magazine’s new issue, the actor insisted that the world needs more “wicked women”, and said she aims to help her girls Zahara (14), Shiloh (13), and Vivienne (11), become “strong-minded.”
While fans wait for Jolie to return to the silver screen with ‘Maleficent: Mistress of Evil’ in October, the Oscar-winning actor is tackling a subject darker than Disney.
Jolie, who is on the cover of Elle’s 2019 September issue, has in an essay penned for the magazine explored the history of “wicked women” and how they came to be called such, reported E! News.
“What is it about the power of a woman free in mind and body that has been perceived as so dangerous throughout history?” she began her powerful piece.
In discussing the attributes of women deemed as “witches,” the 44-year-old actor found personal similarities.
“Women could be accused of witchcraft for having an independent sex life, for speaking their mind on politics or religion, or for dressing differently. Had I lived in earlier times, I could have been burnt at the stake many times over for simply being myself,” she explained.
Jolie also pointed out how societies around the world continue to persecute women today for the same qualities they did all those years ago.
“Since time immemorial, women who rebel against what is considered normal by society–even unintentionally–have been labelled as unnatural, weird, wicked, and dangerous. What is surprising is the extent to which this kind of myth and prejudice has persisted throughout the centuries and still colours the world we live in,” she wrote.
“It is startling how often women who run for political office in democratic countries are described as witches,” Jolie continued.
“Bring together a group of strong women, and before too long someone will brand them a ‘coven’–the technical term, to be clear, for a gathering of witches meeting at night to consort with the devil. Women who stand up for human rights in many countries are still labelled ‘deviant,’ ‘bad mothers,’ ‘difficult,’ or ‘loose’,” she added.
The humanitarian spoke about the various ways women and girls are controlled and punished, including through genital mutilation, rape or honour killings.
“For all our modern advances, the independence and creative energy of women is still frequently seen as a dangerous force to be controlled, often in the name of religion, tradition, or culture,” Jolie penned.
“Why is so much energy expended to keep women in a secondary position?” she asked.
“Looked at in this light, ‘wicked women’ are just women who are tired of injustice and abuse. Women who refuse to follow rules and codes they don’t believe are best for themselves or their families. Women who won’t give up on their voice and rights, even at the risk of death or imprisonment or rejection by their families and communities. If that is wickedness, then the world needs more wicked women,” she said.
As the ‘Eternals’ actor concluded her essay, she brought up the importance of a strong mind, a lesson which she relays to her daughters.
“There is nothing more attractive–you might even say enchanting–than a woman with an independent will and her own opinions. With love to all the wicked women and the men who understand them,” she wrote.
The September issue of the magazine hits newsstands on August 27.