Let's Stop Bringing Jennifer Aniston Into Brangelina's Split Because It's Sexist AF
She probably hasn't been sitting around for 12 years waiting to be vindicated, tbh.
You will probably have heard the news that earlier this week Angelina Jolie filed for divorce from Brad Pitt, signaling the end of their 12 year relationship.
And then a bunch of claims emerged suggesting that Jennifer had immediately decided to divorce Justin Theroux after hearing the split news.
Well, The New York Post have gone one step further and put this image on their front page announcing the news.
People have called them out for it.
And I'm sorry, but enough is enough now.
Jennifer Aniston spent actual goddamn years fending off tabloid bullshit. Not a week could go by without a publication claiming that she was "sad" or "lonely" and "unlucky in love."
All of which is pretty fucking sexist. We never see similar headlines about single celebrity men.
And the narrative was always that Jen wasn't over her relationship with Brad, and was desperate for a family.
This notion only became stronger as the Jolie-Pitts expanded their brood. But this is also pretty fucking sexist – and plays into the idea that the only way for a woman to achieve happiness is to be married with children.
But then she met Justin Theroux, fell in love and then married him. Committing to another person for the rest of her damn life is a fairly good indication that she was indeed over the relationship that broke down TWELVE YEARS AGO.
Let's just think about this for a second. They split up over a decade ago. And yet, for 12 years, Jennifer has been defined by this one relationship. It seems that no matter what she does with her life, it is forever punctuated by what her ex-husband is doing.
And to imply that a woman who was left by her husband for another woman has sat around waiting to be vindicated for 12 years suggests that self-worth is derived only from male attention.
But that's not it, because here's also another sexist narrative at play. We've also been bombarded by the notion of Jennifer and Angelina as rivals.
Remember when Brangelina was in its infancy and there were literal T shirts made, emblazoned with the words "Team Jolie" or "Team Aniston," designed for the public to pledge their allegiance?
Well, this rivalry perpetuates the outdated dichotomy of a wronged woman and an evil seductress.
It's kind of like the Madonna/Whore complex – where women either exist in a perfect virginal camp, or a "slutty" one. In this situation, Jennifer, who was America's Sweetheart at the time of the split, was presented as the "good" one – the poor woman who'd been jilted by her husband. Angelina, however, with her vials of blood, pronouncements that heroin "fascinated" her, was firmly in the latter camp. But it's pretty clear that both women have more compelling qualities than this reductive depiction of them.