Meghan Markle’s marriage doesn’t define her

As part of their ongoing tour, Prince Harry and Meghan Markle are currently in Fiji. While there, a country where only a few girls are given the opportunity to attend a University, the Duchess of Sussex gave an empowering speech about girls’ rights to receive education. She stressed that “for women and girls in developing countries, this is vital. Providing them with access to education is the key to economic and social development because when girls are given the right tools to succeed, they can create incredible futures not only for themselves but for all of those around them.”

Personally, I felt like it was a moving and powerful speech. But not everyone agrees. Judging from all the salt in the comments, several people are not the least bit convinced and are implying that Meghan is a hypocrite for saying all those stuff because she apparently “married into money,” and as someone “privileged” she doesn’t have the right to tell people “how to succeed.”

Honestly, to me it feels like these people are bitter. I mean, I don’t get all the hate. Like this one user said, “She worked hard, made a name for herself, met a prince and fell in love. Should she have said no?” It’s not like she manipulated the prince into marrying her. Prince Harry fell in love with her, the same way she fell for him. And we understand why—she is a smart, strong, and beautiful woman. She was her own person before being married to Prince Harry, and she is her own person now.

For one, she’s always advocated for gender equality and women empowerment way before she became a duchess. In fact, when she was 11 years old, she got featured on Nick News for effectively changing a sexist commercial. She took matters in her own hand by writing letters to the soap’s manufacturer, Nick News anchor Linda Ellerbee, as well as civil rights lawyer Gloria Allred, and even Hillary Clinton, who was the US’ First Lady that time.

Also, as NBC noted, “since 2014, she has helped put a global spotlight on the need for equality between women and men as an Advocate for Political Participation and Leadership for the women’s agency of the United Nations.In her role for UN Women, Markle spent time at the World Bank and with the team of then Secretary of State Hillary Clinton learning more about the issue.”

And who could dismiss her deeply empowering speech in 2015? As UN Women’s advocate for political participation and leadership, she reminded “girls that their small voices are, in fact, not small at all and that they can affect change.” She added the significance of women’s involvement in their communities, local governments, and even the highest positions. “Women need a seat at the table, they need an invitation to be seated there and in some cases, where this isn’t available, well then you know what, then they need to create their own table,” she said.

Of course, she is perhaps most well-known for playing Rachel in Suits. But what you might not know is how hard she worked to promote gender equality even on set. The Revelist reported the way in which “she got show creators to stop using her character to appease the male gaze.” In 2014, while discussing issue on gender gap in a panel, she revealed, “This season, every script seemed to begin with ‘Rachel enters wearing a towel,’ And I said, ‘Nope! Not doing it anymore. Not doing it!’” She reportedly called the show creators and “reiterated her worth.” On saying no, Meghan said: “It’s a challenging thing to do if you don’t know your worth and your value.” She added, “For me, speaking up and being able to say, ‘I’m not going to do that anymore’ has been a big shift for me personally.”

While it’s true Meghan now possesses an undeniable type of privilege by marrying the prince, what she does with that privilege is far more telling of her as a person than anything else. So quit the hating y’all, and let her do her job.

 

Art by Marian Hukom

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