• Universal/Everett Collection; Hulton Archive/Getty; Andrew Schwartz/Columbia Pictures/Everett Collection; Kimberley French/Columbia Pictures, via AP

    Gender Benders

    Step Aside, Boys

    With ‘Elysium,’ Jodie Foster joins nine other actresses who played roles intended for men.

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  • Eric Gay/AP

    SAY WHAT?

    Quotes Roundup: Spotlight on Abortion

    Some of the best quotes in this whirlwind week come from the Lone Star State.

    If you’ve been living under a rock this week, let’s get you up to speed. Texas tried to pass bill SB5, which would have banned abortion after 20 weeks and forced a shutdown of nearly all abortion clinics in the state. But state senator and meme-of-the-moment Wendy Davis, donning pink running shoes, filibustered the bill for more than 11 hours—and wasn’t allowed to eat, speak off-topic, or even use the bathroom. As the clock neared midnight, cheering crowds successfully stopped a vote from making the deadline. Afterward, she made the quote above to reporters at about 3:20 a.m.

    Not to rain on everyone’s parade, but that’s from Texas Gov. Rick Perry. In spite of Wendy Davis’s vote-blocking filibuster, Perry fully intends to hold a special session of the Texas Legislature on July 1 to try again to pass his precious abortion bill SB5. And it’s predicated to be a successful attempt. Perry also said Davis’s filibuster was a “hijacking of the Democratic process” and said she “was the daughter of a single woman, she was a teenage mother herself. She managed to eventually graduate from Harvard Law School and serve in the Texas Senate.” Ready for Round 2, Wendy?

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  • Jordan Pix/Getty

    PLEA

    Angelina Jolie vs. Rapists

    Actress urges United Nations to do more for victims.

    Angelina Jolie, a Goodwill Ambassador for the U.N. High Commissioner for Refugees, urged the United Nations on Monday to make action against rape in war a top priority. Jolie reminded the Security Council that “hundreds of thousands if not millions of women, children, and men have been raped in conflicts in our lifetimes.” British Foreign Secretary William Hague, presiding over the meeting, also urged the council to act, as “rape is used systematically and ruthlessly.” Hague and Jolie have teamed up in the past to combat sexual violence, especially in war zones. After Jolie’s remarks, the council adopted a resolution that calls for immediate cessation of all acts of sexual violence by parties to armed conflict. It is the broadest resolution adopted by the council related to sexual violence. 

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  • Frederick M. Brown / Getty Images Entertainment

    Disagrees with Jolie’s decision to undergo double mastectomy.

    It would seem like a man would be dismissing Angelina Jolie’s brave decision to have a double mastectomy, but Melissa Etheridge has taken the cake. A breast cancer survivor herself, Etheridge called out the actress in an interview this week, saying that Jolie’s mastectomy was “fearful,” not “brave.” After discovering she had the BRCA gene mutation that could lead to breast cancer, Jolie opted for a preventive double mastectomy. Jolie's fiancé, Brad Pitt, called the decision “heroic,” but Etheridge disagreed. She claims that many women have the mutation, but “it’s the stress that will turn that gene on or not.” In an op-ed in The New York Times, Jolie admitted that her decision was difficult but felt “empowered that I made a strong choice.”

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  • A self portrait of Jasmine taken in May, when her hair grew back.

    Best Laid Plans

    When Breast Cancer Hits Young

    Jasmine Johnson had a plan to prevent breast cancer. Then the disease hit. Allison Samuels reports.

    Jasmine Johnson has always been clear about what, health-wise, the future would likely hold.

    Her family history of breast cancer, she realized even as a small child, ran deeper than most. Her grandmother died of the disease before she was born; then, when Johnson was 5, she watched her 36-year-old mother die at home from the same illness. Some years later her paternal grandmother would also battle the disease and survive.

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  • Angelina Jolie attends the World War Z world premiere at the Empire Leicester Square on June 2, 2013 in London, England. (Fred Duval/FilmMagic-Getty)

    At the premiere of "World War Z."

    She's back! In her first appearance on the red carpet since undergoing a double mastectomy last month--and detailing her decision in an op-ed for the New York Times--Angelina Jolie (looking amazing, as usual) walked out with Brad Pitt at the London premiere of his movie "World War Z." Jolie has been recovering at her home in Los Angeles since the surgery before embarking on her next directing project, a film called "Unbroken."

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  • Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway. (Joe Kohen/FilmMagic, via Getty)

    Hard Decisions

    Why I Chose a Mastectomy

    The actress Vanessa Bell Calloway talks about breast cancer, and the hard choices she had to make.

    Actress Vanessa Bell Calloway couldn’t helped but be moved by the recent editorial by fellow actress Angelina Jolie discussing her decision to have an preventative double mastectomy. In 2009, the veteran of stage, television, and film went in for a mammogram and was told the results looked “suspicious.” The co-star of the Showtime series  “Shameless"—who appeared in the original Broadway production of “Dreamgirls” and became a familiar face to fans in the hit films “Coming to America,” “What’s Love Got to Do With It,” and “The Crimson Tide”—shares with Allison Samuels of The Daily Beast her head-butting battle with breast cancer, the lessons she learned about relinquishing control, and her plans for a healthier future for her two daughters.

    I can still remember sitting straight up in my bed one morning thinking something’s wrong. I didn’t know what it was and I didn’t know where it was, I just knew something wasn’t right and I couldn’t explain it. I told my husband, an anesthesiologist, about the feeling I had. First he asked if I was in pain and I said no and then he said not to worry, but of course I did anyway. I had that nagging feeling that all women get at one time or another when that little voice in our heads just won’t be silent.

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  • John Macdougall/AFP/Getty

    A Mighty Chest

    Angelina’s Brutal Operation

    From severed blood vessels to painful scars, doctors reveal what’s involved in a double mastectomy.

    There's nothing sexy about a double mastectomy. A day after Angelina Jolie announced she'd had one, her doctor revealed a more detailed account about the actress's operations, including a painful "nipple delay" procedure. So far, it seems, Jolie is recovering well, and her nipples are intact. But it wasn't—and isn't going to be—easy.

    We spoke with doctors about the brutal reality of these procedures, and the questions that linger even after a success is pronounced.

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  • Angelina Jolie announced Tuesday she had a preventive double mastectomy after learning she carried a gene that made it extremely likely she would get breast cancer. (Pool image by Alistair Grant; via Getty)

    Genetic Frontiers

    Angie Heeded the Call

    Dr. Kent Sepkowitz on why Angelina Jolie was right to take action after discovering she had the BRCA gene.

    Angelina Jolie made news Tuesday with her sober, nontheatrical, and informative revelation that she had undergone a bilateral mastectomy to prevent development of breast cancer.

    However radical-seeming the intervention, the medical evidence for bilateral preventive mastectomy is extremely sound. According to the National Cancer Institute, the reduction in risk of breast cancer among women at medium and high risk for breast cancer is about 90 percent, though the procedure is not a guarantee that no breast cancer will occur. The recommendation is based on many studies reaching back to the 1990s that have shown the same remarkable protection in every report. In an early study from the Mayo Clinic, 639 women with a strong family history of breast cancer underwent the procedure and had a 90 percent reduction in breast cancer compared to the expected rate. When the blood test for the BRCA genetic mutation became available, the same research team analyzed the risk and found that the same risk reduction occurred in this genetically similar group.

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  • US actress and humanitarian campaigner Angelina Jolie leaves a G8 Foreign Ministers Meeting in London on April 11. (Toby Melville/Reuters, via Landov)

    STILL SEXY

    Angie’s Bold Boob Move

    When the actor announced she’d had a preventive double mastectomy, I immediately felt her pain. But I’m just doing what I have to do—Angelina’s genuinely brave. By Michelle Cottle.

    Turns out the sexiest woman in the world and I have something in common. Two things, actually.

    On Tuesday, the New York Times ran an op-ed by Angelina Jolie in which the actress shared her decision to undergo a bilateral mastectomy followed by reconstructive surgery. In Jolie’s case, the procedure was prophylactic. Her mother, after a nearly decade-long struggle, succumbed to ovarian cancer in 2007 at age 56. Jolie herself has the BRCA1 genetic glitch, which her doctors estimated put her odds of developing ovarian cancer at 50 percent, and her odds of breast cancer at a dizzying 87 percent. And so, for the sake of her children, her husband, and her sanity, Lara Croft decided to have both breasts overhauled before they turned on her.

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  • Women in the World Conference 2013. (Roxxe Ireland/Marc Bryan-Brown)

    Watch Out, World!

    In a star-studded, moving two days at the fourth Women in the World Summit in New York, women were challenged to demand their rights. Millions more around the globe got the message through social media and the Web.

    Sheryl Sandberg gave us Lean In, her neo-feminist mantra that if women are to get ahead in American society, they need to remain committed to the workplace and not let career take a back seat to family and marriage. Now the fourth annual Women in the World Summit has added to and amended that vocabulary by highlighting how women must, in the words of summit founder and co-host, Newsweek and The Daily Beast editor-in-chief Tina Brown, “lean on”: on corporations, on courts, on governments and clerics, and, above all, on fathers, brothers, boyfriends, and male acquaintances to stop persecuting women and to “safeguard the rights and well-being, and to free up the economic potential, of a full half of all [the world’s] citizens.”

    The summit’s “lean on” message reverberated throughout two days of electrifying panels April 4 and 5 in front of a sold-out crowd at Lincoln Center’s David H. Koch Theater. Now in its fourth year, the event—which draws world leaders, top CEOs, firebrand activists, and grassroots organizers to New York to discuss the most pressing global challenges to, and to spotlight the energetic momentum of, the women’s-rights movement today—was sponsored by Toyota, AT&T, Bank of America, the Coca-Cola Co., Liberty Mutual Insurance, Merck for Mothers, Mary Kay, and Thomson Reuters and co-hosted by Brown, Dr. Hawa Abdi, Nizan Guanaes, Julie Hamp, Jane Harman, Maya L. Harris, Lauren Bush Lauren, Ai-jen Poo, Meryl Streep, Melanne Verveer, and Diane von Furstenberg. The event’s social-media hashtag—#wiw13—inundated Twitter and reached more than 18 million people on the first night alone as audiences celebrated the courageous stories shared on stage and broadcast calls-to-arms to their own followers.

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  • Writer, director, actor, and special envoy to the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees, Angelina Jolie, speaks on 'Malala Undaunted' at the Women in the World Summit 2013. (Roxxe Ireland/Marc Bryan-Brown )

    Inspiring

    Angelina Honors Malala

    At the Women in the World Summit, Jolie made an emotional tribute to the young Pakistani activist. By Lloyd Grove

    At the close of the first day of the Women in the World Summit Thursday night, Angelina Jolie presented Malala Yousafzai, the Pakistani teenager who was shot in the head by the Taliban last year because of her impassioned advocacy for girls education. Following the horrific attack, Vital Voices, with a donation from the Women in the World Foundation, established the Malala Fund to be directed by the 15-year-old. In a video address, a miraculously healthy-looking Malala announced that she will use the fund to help with the schooling of girls in Pakistan.

    “This is the happiest moment of my life,” Malala told the audience, adding, “If we can educate 40 girls, we can educate 40 million girls.”

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