The self-described champions of modern feminism are women like Lena Dunham; women who beat their chest and tie their brand of feminism to the political success of the Democratic Party. Though they are often the loudest voices, their brand of feminism does not represent the average American woman.
Given a national platform, talent, and millions of dollars at their disposal, most American women would choose to lead a life of education and service to others. They would choose the life of Angelina Jolie Pitt.
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Mrs. Pitt is the quiet feminist, the one who doesn’t make videos about losing her political virginity to President Obama. Leading by example and courage, she understands her life is not ordinary and chooses to use her fortune and platform to help others rather than acting like other Hollywood starlets, living a life of self-indulgence.
Since 2001, she has been a Goodwill Ambassador for the United Nations High Commissioners for Refugees and has famously adopted children from endangered regions, traveled to war zones, and continues to campaign for human rights. She has traveled around the world, using her celebrity to focus on the issues of refugees, women, and children.
Such is the duty of a privileged feminist, fighting for those without a voice; the victims of war, displacement, and sexual abuse. A more charitable existence than advocates for 30-year old college students demanding free birth control.
Mrs. Pitt opened up about her recent surgery to remove her ovaries because she was high risk of developing cancer. Her piece educated women about their options, her journey, and the greater purpose in life as a mother, wife, and daughter.
In her NY Times op-ed, she said, “You know what you live for and what matters. It is polarizing, and it is peaceful.” She continues, “I feel feminine, and grounded in the choices I am making for myself and my family. I know my children will never have to say, ‘Mom died of ovarian cancer.'”
Her feminist credentials don’t need to be measured by burning bras, campaigning for President Obama or bowling for abortions. The modern American woman is able to have a larger role in the world than that. Mrs. Pitt has taken her husband’s last name, removed her breasts and ovaries, and chosen to have six children at the cost of her career and yet she is still a feminist.
And though Mrs. Pitt’s life allows her to give more, travel more, and advocate on a larger scale than the average American woman, she should be the role model for young women, showing them of the potential of a woman’s life.