Angelina Jolie believes “the world needs more wicked women.”
In the September issue of Elle, of which she is on the cover, the Maleficent: Mistress of Evil star wrote an essay about how universally women are subjugated and persecuted whenever they pursue some form of gender equality.
“Women could be accused of witchcraft for having an independent sex life, for speaking their mind on politics or religion, or for dressing differently,” Jolie explains of how women have been treated through history. “Had I lived in earlier times, I could have been burnt at the stake many times over for simply being myself.”
In line with how Jolie’s character Maleficent was painted as a misunderstood figure in the 2014 film, where she was physically assaulted by a man, Jolie writes “‘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.”
Throughout the essay, Jolie invokes historical figures like Joan of Arc and human rights issues like honor killings to highlight what she sees and instances of women fatally punished for supposedly “wicked” behavior.
Jolie, who is one of the stars of the upcoming Marvel film The Eternals, ends her essay with the hope that more women in the world are able to develop their minds, in spite of the wicked label, starting with her daughters.
Read her full Elle essay here.