Duchess Meghan Markle, Bloody Feminist!
At the UN Women's Conference giving no fucks
I am proud to be a woman and a feminist.
Before we start pigeonholing the newly minted Duchess of Sussex into the stereotypical categories that women are often placed into when they marry into the upper echelons of privileged society -- just stop. The above quote -- which took pride of place on her page on the royal family's website -- is a more correct interpretation of the woman behind the title. She's a feminist. She's an activist. And she doesn't want women to think they have to wash your dishes, or that they can't go to school because "periods." (Her official platform highlights working to combat the stigma around menstruation, and she's been earnestly decrying your sexist dishwashing demands since she was a tiny, freckled pre-teen.) Oh, were the Nazis mad that she's half-black? Well, we're sure they'll like this much better.
To slightly understand Meghan Markle is to view her through the eyes of her Catholic school nuns -- who've been kvelling with pride about her since she was in high school. And by all reports, she was the best kind of Catholic school girl: full of justice and real charity in addition to being a kind and considerate young woman who reached out to others just to let them know that they mattered -- so good at making people feel special, that one person saved a note Markle wrote to her nearly 20 years ago.
Meghan Markle has been kicking ass and taking names for the sole purpose of achieving equality for women since she was 11 years old. When she saw the sexism in an ad for dish soap, she was not in the mood for that shit. What do you mean, “WOMEN all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans!”? No, fuck, no. (She did not say "fuck.") Men need to get their asses in the kitchen and fight those pots and pans too, because honestly, women are not dish slaves. Girls should not constantly have to hear that it’s women’s job to do the dishes, and honestly, neither should boys. So she decided it was her duty to do something about it. And that’s what she did.
Markle wrote to Hillary Clinton, Linda Ellerbee, Gloria Allred, and Proctor and Gamble, describing her issue with the advertising for the dish soap. After three months, the ad was changed from WOMEN to PEOPLE. Results! This would not be the last time Meghan managed to make waves or touch lives before she was introduced to Prince Harry by a "mutual friend." As a junior in high school, she was inspired by a teacher, Maria Pollia, and it drove her to take more interest in the homeless. So Her Royal Highness, the Duchess of Sussex, went to Los Angeles's Skid Row -- which we are informed is not a place for the faint or even middling of heart -- and spent a year and a half volunteering at a soup kitchen, taking an interest in people's lives, reporting back to Pollia on how this or that client was faring. Because she is good people. You would never catch Ivanka Trump anywhere near a poor person unless they had a few dollars for her to steal, or maybe if she had to pretend not to be a cold, unfeeling statue for a photo op. But she would never actually help them.
As Duchess of Sussex, Markle's role will undoubtedly be an extension of her lifelong passion for activism. As we can see in her biography on the royal website, she highlights her work on women’s issues quite prominently.
One of her most powerful statements on women’s issues came in the form of an op-ed she wrote for Time after she traveled with a group called New Vision to Delhi, India, to focus on menstruation and the stigma that keeps young women from success. Inability to purchase sanitary pads and lack of access to restrooms at school causes girls to miss out on the education that boys take for granted, so she made it her mission to alleviate the problem. As you can see, she is always about getting problems solved; she is not a Princess and the Pea style duchess. Even if you are invisible to most of the world, her eyes can see you just fine. You matter.
What kind of princess works in soup kitchens -- and not in tidy places, but in LA -- and shadows Indian women in the slums of Mumbai to learn how to best serve humanity? The good kind. Not only is she good, she is kind. And she has not forgotten about the girls and young women who need access to sanitary pads to help them continue to be able to attend school so they have a chance at success.
In lieu of sending ostentatious gifts to the happy couple, they have asked for donations to be given to the Myna Mahila Foundation, because honestly, she married a fucking prince. Pretty sure young women need their education far more than the couple needs a new snuffbox or some old fashioned shit that they don’t even want anyway.
Also, we just love her. Sorry not sorry. AT ALL.
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