When a Vanity Fair writer congratulated Angelina Jolie on her fortunate lottery when it comes to genetics, it rubbed a few people the wrong way. I admit I was taken aback when I first read:
What to get the mother who truly does have everything in the genetic, romantic, professional, and philanthropic departments?
Part of me feels we’re splitting hairs, that the writer only meant to point out the fact that Jolie is tall, attractive, athletic and has a beautiful family. But how can you dismiss the fact that the woman has lost her mother to genetics? Or that she gave up organs to avoid the consequences of those genetics? Or that she will certainly worry about passing on those genetics to her children.
One of the first few comments on the Facebook feed pointed it perfectly:
I deeply question your observation that she has ‘everything’ including ‘genetics’ when those same genes predispose her to fatal cancers.
Are we being too sensitive or is this yet another point that shows awareness for BRCA-related and other hereditary cancers is still needed?