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Piers Morgan and the Disease of Fragile Masculinity

Piers Morgan, an English broadcaster, resigned from his hosting position on Good Morning Britain after he questioned the authenticity of Meghan Markle’s confession of suicidal thoughts and was called out about it. Morgan has been vocal about his opinions on the Duchess of Sussex ever since it was revealed she was in a relationship with Prince Harry, and this was the tipping point for many people. Morgan’s gross behavior can be tied to something know as fragile masculinity.

Wiki Commons

Men have cultural expectations on what it means to be a man, so when a man falls short of those expectations, fragile masculinity comes into play. Men who have their masculinity threatened are more prone to aggression and violence against women and gay men. Studies have shown that masculine threats also drive political opinions and outcomes and found correlations between fragile masculinity and support for aggressive political means.

Why would Piers Morgan feel the need to discount Meghan Markle’s mental health experiences in the media without really knowing her? The two met for drinks once while she was starring in the legal drama Suits. Although he was married, Morgan describes afterward that Meghan met her future husband and “ghosted” him after going on a solo date with Prince Harry. Since then, Morgan has not been shy with his misogynistic and racist comments about Meghan.

woman holding up me too sign
Photo by Mihai Surdu on Unsplash

Women are used to the aggressive behaviors of men who don’t get their way regarding women. I know many friends who politely decline the advances of men and are met with aggression. Fragile masculinity ties into the idea of toxic masculinity which perpetuates cultural norms that are harmful to society and men themselves. Movements like #MeToo expose how deep and how common it is for men to hurt others in defense of their masculinity. 

As a woman and someone who struggles with mental health, I am glad that viewers and co-presenter Alex Beresford called Morgan out on his horrible comments about Meghan. The way to combat toxic masculinity and aggressive behavior is to cut it off at the source. Don’t give a platform to those who will perpetuate harmful norms and hold them accountable if they do speak on it.

Sydney Erickson is an English and Public Relations Major. She is an enrolled Cowlitz Indian. She loves books, movies, spirituality, and Marvel. Sydney hopes to become an author and actress one day. This is her second year writing for Her Campus.
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