Fairytales, books, and movies make marrying a Prince look like sunshine and daisies. It makes it seem like once you’re married, all there is to life is “happily ever after” but alas, it seems to be the exact opposite in the case of Meghan Markle and her marriage into the British monarchy. Her recent interview with Oprah alongside Prince Harry prompted me to wonder why people hate her so much, and why the British media is so relentless in their attacks towards her, and everything she does.
The answer is simple, really. People hate a woman who knows what she wants. The moment they see an assertive, strong woman who sets boundaries, is successful in what she does, and explicitly states what she is and is not comfortable with, people feel threatened. They’d rather see a porcelain face with a plastered smile who does charity work and waves at her husband as he comes home from a long day of prince-ly duties. Looking at the side-by-side headlines of how important moments in the royal family have been reported between the two daughters-in-law of the royal family is absolutely appalling and downright scary to see. If you’re one of those people who hate Meghan Markle, unfortunately, you’re also one of those people who have been unconsciously influenced by the baseless headlines that the media fuels us with, in an attempt to garner attention and manufacture a story. What’s even more possible is that these ideas of yours are rooted in toxic, regressive ideas of how women should be: submissive and a “perfect fit” into society. These opinions formed partially by the media and partially by your own outdated ideas interplay to create your stance of being a member of the “I hate Meghan” club — one that is ill-founded and misinformed.
What’s even worse are the things that we as a society expect of people and celebrities of certain status. Once an individual achieves fame, people decide that privacy is a thing of the past and every excruciating detail about one’s personal life should be publicly aired. Do you go around asking your co-workers about their strained relationship with their father? Do you ask people you’ve just met about their personal life with their partner? When Meghan asked for people to respect her privacy in terms of her relationship, in terms of her father, and in terms of her family, she was criticized and accused of being manipulative and “catty.” When did someone gracefully asking for others to mind their business become an attack on their personality?
What further baffles me is how little support she got from her “family” that she married into. The fact that she had to go to the HR department of the palace in order to get some support for herself and actually have someone investigate the slander and breaches of privacy is absolutely crazy — and it was still not done, as the media continued to publish incredulous articles about her and the royal family continued to turn their backs and pretend not to see. No one supported her, no one stood up for her, and no one listened to her. Instead, she was silenced and accused of being a “bitchy” addition to the royal family.
In all this time, all Meghan has done is stand up for herself, and for that, she has been shamed and belittled. Frankly, I respect her and equally, Prince Harry for the wonderful ally he has been to her and for the struggles she has gone through. This Womxn’s History Month, I hope you take a moment to listen to and empathize with the womxn in your life. It is only with powerful voices and active allies that we will find ourselves in a world that’s worth living in, where each individual, no matter their race, gender, sexuality, or ethnicity is treated justly.