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Maleficent: Mistress of Evil doesn’t hit theatres until October but Angelina Jolie wants everyone to channel their witchy sides now. Aside from the trailers and promo posters, Jolie figured the best way to kick it off was through her own words.

Instead of a sit-down interview with a reporter, Angelina penned a powerful essay for Elle‘s September issue. She starts off by examining the definition of “maleficent,” then proceeds to break the word down to what the word really means on a global scale and how “this kind of myth and prejudice has persisted throughout the centuries and still colors the world we live in.” Jolie explores how it all began, from the Bible, to the witch hunts in Europe and Salem trials in America. Then she looks at what it’s like for hundreds of millions of women today, whether they have suffered from genital mutilation, are punished for singing and dancing in public, are being raped and assaulted for simply wanting the ability to vote, or are forced to marry before they turn 18.

“Women could be accused of witchcraft for having an independent sex life, for speaking their mind on politics or religion, or for dressing differently. Had I lived in earlier times, I could have been burnt at the stake many times over for simply being myself,” she writes. “It is startling how often women who run for political office in democratic countries are described as witches. Bring together a group of strong women, and before too long someone will brand them a ‘coven’—the technical term, to be clear, for a gathering of witches meeting at night to consort with the devil. Women who stand up for human rights in many countries are still labeled ‘deviant,’ ‘bad mothers,’ ‘difficult,’ or ‘loose.'”

 

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“‘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. If that is wickedness, then the world needs more wicked women.” Ahead of the release of Maleficent 2, Angelina Jolie celebrates all the free-thinking women who have cast their spell upon the world. Link in bio for the full September cover story.⁣ ⁣ ELLE September 2019:⁣ Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia⁣ Photographer: @alexilubomirski⁣ Cover star: #AngelinaJolie⁣ Stylist: @elizabethstewart1⁣ Wearing: @dior⁣, @cartier Hair: @adamcampbellhair⁣ Makeup: Toni G⁣ Nails: @nailsbyemikudo⁣ Set design: Jack Flanagan⁣ Produced by: Nathalie Akiya at Kranky Produktions.

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Angie says these so-called “wicked women” are simply those who are sick and 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.”

She adds: “If that is wickedness, then the world needs more wicked women.” Standing ovation, please.

It’s not always about the fight, though. “We want to be able to be soft and nurturing and graceful and loving—not everyone is born to fight. And we don’t have magical powers. What we do have is the ability to support one another, and to work with the many great men who value and respect women as their equals,” Jolie notes.

Speaking of great men, she does refer to how proud she is of her sons, “for the men they are becoming, the way they respect their sisters and are respected by them.” And about her daughters, Angelina reveals she often tells them “the most important thing they can do is to develop their minds … There is nothing more attractive—you might even say enchanting—than a woman with an independent will and her own opinions.”

Aside from her dynamic, inspiring words, this is also Elle magazine, so the cover and accompanying photo shoot are kind of amazing. The best may be how her dogs, a Rottweiler and Pit mix chosen by her eldest sons at a shelter, look big and protective but are clearly captivated by Jolie. Just like the rest of us. Please, Angie, write all the articles.

 

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“I was in my twenties, meeting refugees in Sierra Leone during the closing stages of a brutal civil war. I understood for the first time the level of violence that exists in the world, and the reality of life for the millions of people affected by conflict and displacement. And I discovered [in my international work] my life’s work and purpose.” Link in bio for Angelina Jolie’s September cover story.⁣ ⁣ ELLE September 2019:⁣ Editor-in-chief: @ninagarcia⁣ Photographer: @alexilubomirski⁣ Cover star: #AngelinaJolie⁣ Stylist: @elizabethstewart1⁣ Wearing: @dior⁣ Hair: @adamcampbellhair⁣ Makeup: Toni G⁣ Nails: @nailsbyemikudo⁣ Set design: Jack Flanagan⁣ Produced by: Nathalie Akiya at Kranky Produktions.

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