It was during the final minute of the interview that Jolie, who happened to be sitting next to Foreign Secretary William Hague, responded to the question of whether she ever thinks her humanitarian work is more rewarding than her acting. “I think I’m going to have to give up acting as the kids hit the teenage years anyway, because there’s going to be too much to manage at home,” she said, adding, “If it went away tomorrow, I’d be very happy to just be home with my children.” And that was totally the most significant part of the whole piece. Not William Hague calling the situation in Syria “one of the worst things happening in the world today.”
…Jolie’s acknowledgment that the obligations of parenthood don’t end when a kid is toilet trained – a sentiment that became part of the national conversation earlier this year whenAnne-Marie Slaughter famously railed about “having it all” — would, in the context of a different discussion, have been a legitimate jumping-off point for another public discourse of work and motherhood. I would like to point out, however, that, gosh, it’d sure be nice if a woman’s choices about how to raise her family didn’t always seem to come with a big fat wave of A-HA! She can’t hack it! By all means, let’s focus on making sure women everywhere are reminded that, as the CS Monitor tells us, Jolie and Pitt “can hire whatever help they want. Nannies, housekeepers, tutors, LEGO experts, whatever. But still, parenthood changes things.” Thanks, helpy helpertons!
It’d be even nicer if the takeaway from an 11-minute segment about bringing aid to women who’ve been sexually assaulted could be something other than the big news that Angelina Jolie says she’d be happy staying home with her kids. I swear to God, I can’t imagine how emotionally deficient a journalist would have to be to watch a story about harrowing sexual violence and boil it down to a headline about who’s quitting acting.