Angelina Jolie has always been a strong voice for women’s rights, and she took on the topic of sexual assault and harassment in Hollywood in a powerful new speech. We’ve got what she had to say at a U.N. conference.
Angelina Jolie isn’t just your average stunning, A-list movie star. The 42-year-old has been a longtime human rights activist and a United Nations special envoy for their High Commission on Refugees. So her voice is a powerful one and she used it to address the topic of sexual abuse when giving the keynote speech before the U.N. Peacekeeping Defense Ministerial Conference in Vancouver on Nov. 15. As one of the first top stars to come out and confirm that she had a bad experience with disgraced producer Harvey Weinstein, 65, early on in her career, she knows that anyone in any business can be a victim.
“Sexual violence is everywhere – in the industry where I work, in business, in universities, in politics, in the military, and across the world,” she said in her address according to People. “All too often, these kinds of crimes against women are laughed off, depicted as a minor offense by someone who cannot control themselves, as an illness, or as some kind of exaggerated sexual need.” Angelina continued, “But a man who mistreats women is not oversexed. He is abusive.” Way to tell them Ang!
The superstar has tirelessly campaigned throughout the globe to combat sexual violence, especially when it’s used as a weapon against women in areas of conflict. She brought up the subject in her address when she said that of sexual abuse, “It is cheaper than a bullet, and it has lasting consequences that unfold with sickening predictability that make it so cruelly effective,” she added. See pics of Angelina, here.
“Even if we accept that sexual violence has nothing to do with sex, that it is a crime, and that it is used as a weapon, many people still believe that it is simply not possible to do anything about it,” she bravely continued. The fight is “hard, but it is not impossible,” she said. “We have the laws, the institutions, and the expertise in gathering evidence. We are able to identify perpetrators. What is missing is the political will.”
Angelina told the New York Times in October shortly after the publication dropped their bombshell expose on Weinstein’s years of alleged sexual abuse and harassment that he made unwanted sexual advances on her ahead of the 1998 film Playing By Heart. “I had a bad experience with Harvey Weinstein in my youth, and as a result, chose never to work with him again and warn others when they did,” she said in an e-mail to paper. “This behavior towards women in any field, any country is unacceptable.” Weinstein’s rep countered that, “Any allegations of non-consensual sex are unequivocally denied by Mr. Weinstein.”
HollywoodLifers, is Angelina a proud role model for women’s rights?