Women support women, except when it's Angelina Jolie.

Just last week, Shiloh – the 18-year-old daughter of Angelina Jolie and Brad Pitt – reportedly filed to legally drop "Pitt" from her surname.

Shiloh is the third of the ex-couple's kids to make the move, with Zahara, 19, filmed introducing herself as "Zahara Marley Jolie" in 2023 and Vivienne, 15, recently credited as "Vivienne Jolie" in the program for a stage show she's involved in.

Gossip outlets have linked these moves to Jolie's abuse claims against Pitt, which have been alleged in various court documents during their bitter divorce proceedings — still dragging on eight years after Jolie originally filed.

Watch: In an interview with the BBC, actress Angelina Jolie spoke about how she's coping with her divorce from Brad Pitt. Post continues after video.

Video via BBC.

But when I was scrolling on Instagram last week, I noticed a disturbing trend.

On several posts from news outlets announcing Shiloh and Vivienne's name changes, amongst supportive followers were a mass of commenters blaming Jolie for her daughters' decisions.

Not only that, these comments were from other women, full of outrage towards the actress.

"She is turning their kids away from him one by one. This is horrible!" read one comment on an E! News post about Shiloh's name change.


"This is honestly parent alienation at its worst. I feel like Angelina Jolie has poisoned all of the children against Brad," read another.

"It is time for Angie to move on with her life and stop trying to ruin Brad. He's not perfect, none of us are. This is just a publicity stunt," someone else added.

"She has made it her job to turn those kids against Brad," another woman chimed in.

In an earlier post about Vivienne's name change, the comments section was eerily similar.

"They'll regret it later when they're old enough to understand. What bad parenting on their mother," one woman wrote.

Plenty of people place Pitt as the victim, with another person writing: "His biggest mistake was meeting Angelina. She's always been a troubled person."

Angelina Jolie with her kids at the Eternals premiere. Image: Getty.


And another commenter brought up Jolie’s fractured relationship with her own father, Jon Voigt, by attempting to draw some kind of comparison: "Angelina has no relationship with her father at all. I'll just leave it there."

An FBI investigation into allegations by Jolie that Pitt acted violently on a 2016 flight led to no charges being filed, and Pitt’s spokespeople have denied allegations of abuse.

However, no one knows what really happened in Jolie and Pitt's marriage aside from the couple and, by extension, their six children.

So I'm curious as to why huge numbers of women flat-out refuse to believe Jolie, to even entertain the thought that their children, the vast majority of whom are now adults, might have their own independent thoughts about their father.

Why is there so much vitriol directed at Jolie, and so much defence of Pitt?

It's important to add that a lot of people weighing in do support Jolie, but the misogynistic voices are louder. And the thing is, I don't think the women commenting realise what they're doing IS misogyny.

More than ever, as domestic and family violence is getting the media attention (and public outrage) that it deserves, we as a society have been urging law enforcement to listen to women. To believe women. We, as women, aim to support other women.


So why don't we believe Angelina Jolie?

It all traces back to 2005, when the biggest Hollywood couple at the time – Brad Pitt and his first wife, Jennifer Aniston – announced their shock split. Our parasocial relationship with 'Brad and Jen' meant we, the public, all reeled from this. We thought they were the real deal. We thought they were forever.

When it transpired that Pitt had fallen in love with his Mr and Mrs Smith co-star Angelina Jolie – while he was still married to Aniston, no less – the gossip-consuming public were quick to pick sides.

People even sported t-shirts reading "Team Aniston" or "Team Jolie". I don’t need to remind you which 'team' had the popular vote. It was obviously the likeable, clean-cut Aniston, not the edgy, unapologetically sexy Jolie.

Never mind that Pitt himself was the one actually married at the time of the affair

Most people forgave him – including Aniston herself, as she derided what Jolie did as "uncool" in a 2008 Vogue profile – and continued to villainise Jolie for literal decades. Even until today, it seems.

Brad Pitt and Jennifer Aniston reunited at the SAG Awards in 2020. Image: Getty.


Once again, none of us truly know what went down in Pitt and Aniston's marriage and subsequent divorce. But many women were quick to decide that Angelina Jolie was a terrible person for 'stealing' Jennifer Aniston's husband away, and that action was, apparently, eternally unforgivable.

To some, it means that nothing Jolie claims about Pitt is true. It's attention-seeking. A publicity stunt. She's poisoning the kids against him. What a shame for him. Meanwhile, Brad Pitt's enjoyed continued success in his career, apparently untouchable by any murky allegations.

In a post-#MeToo society — in which many women have banded together to support each other and call out acts of misogyny — when it comes to Jolie, some of us are still slut-shaming and victim-blaming like it's 2005.

So I'll co-opt the words of one of those commenters and say: It’s time for [us] to move on with our lives.

Feature image: Getty.

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