by S. FRAZER
June 14, 2021
Featured Guest Columnist Sally Frazer shares her perspective on the horrendous maltreatment Meghan Markle has endured. You can read more of Sally’s articles on Vocal.
If I see another article attacking Meghan Markle, I am going to lose my goddamn mind.
I’m not usually this defensive over complete strangers (excluding Taylor Swift, of course), but I truly cannot take any more of the negativity surrounding the Duke and Duchess of Sussex. My blood boils every time someone takes a shot at Meghan, Harry, or one of their children.
Which basically means that my innards are seething 24/7.
Last week, the couple announced the birth of their daughter. Joining son Archie, who was born in 2019, this welcome addition marks the completion of the Sussex family.
But, of course, the new parents couldn’t be allowed to enjoy this moment in peace. Intent on finding literally anything with which to attack the Sussexes, critics have rabidly jumped on the single piece of information we have about this baby: her name.
I love this name. It’s cute and elegant and unique and traditional all in one. (Not that any of that matters—they had me at Diana.)
But the choice has been condemned by critics as ‘rude’, ‘demeaning’, ‘tone deaf’, ‘cynical’, and ‘royally presumptuous’. Following the couple’s announcement, the BBC alleged that they had named their daughter without first consulting the Queen, a charge that Harry and Meghan have vehemently denied. And the tabloids have amped up their usual smear campaign for the occasion, taking shots at the couple for [insert literally anything here].
Here’s the thing. It’s bad enough that these people are harassing a lovely couple over what should be a stress-free, happy part of their lives. But now their bitching is making me mad and impeding my ability to enjoy this baby. I love a good royal baby. Just look at Prince Louis.
I’m at my breaking point, and I’ve just got to let it out. So I’m going to vent freely and break some of this anti-Sussex lunacy down.
Let’s start with the insane double standards and disproportionately negative coverage Meghan faces when it comes to British media.
I didn’t even have to layer these two articles on top of each other. They were like that.
Never in my life have I seen a book—let alone a picture book—criticized based on how much it costs per word. Since its release last week, the Duchess’ book has been blasted as “bland”, “shallow”, and “uninspired”. The *picture book* is being called shallow.
And semi-literate? It’s a f**king children’s book. IT WAS WRITTEN FOR PEOPLE WHO ARE SEMI-LITERATE.
Excuse me while I go check my blood pressure, because that “vanity project” dig really makes me want to rent a rage room. You’d think the woman just opened a museum dedicated to herself. She wrote a book about fathers who love their kids.
Aggravation level: Hades.
Next, we have the Sussexes once again being pitted by the media against Harry’s brother William and his wife Kate.
So now we’re applauding a man for “taking the high road” by—*checks notes*—congratulating his brother and sister-in-law on the birth of their child. Inspirational.
(William and Kate are class acts, though.)
Me, while reading this:
This next one really takes the cake.
Did you know that Meghan and Harry have set their nine-day-old infant up for a lifetime of bullying?
You’ve got to hear the reasoning behind this one.
Her name sounds like ‘little bit’.
That’s it. That’s the story behind this headline.
If the worst that ever happens to the kid is her classmates quoting 50 Cent at her, I think she’ll be alright.
And if these people were really concerned about bullying, they’d stop harassing this child’s mother. Reading all of the horrific things these critics have said about Meghan will cause a lot more damage to this little girl’s psyche than people telling her she’s got a “Lilibet of Diana” in her or that she looks a “Lilibet like Harry,” especially when she’s, ya know, going by the name Lili.
But wait, there’s more!
Apparently, the name also sounds “like a betting app.”
Honestly, I don’t get that at all, and I don’t find it particularly insulting. What’s infuriating about this is that if Meghan had said that Queen Elizabeth’s nickname sounds like an app used for gambling, she’d have been crucified for it.
By this point, I’m somewhere around here:
In my first piece about Meghan, I noted that derogatory tabloid articles about her are typically filled with nothing more than rumor and unsubstantiated personal attacks. This next article is a great example.
This headline looks pretty definitive, right? It’s worded as a statement: The fame-hungry Sussexes calculatedly used the announcement of their daughter’s birth to garner more publicity for themselves. And the subtitle says that this information comes from “royal watchers”.
What the hell is a royal watcher?
So you get into the article, and now it says “royal fan”, confirming that the “royal watchers” whose opinions form the basis of that definitive, unflattering headline are just people who follow the Royals. It sounds like the author is quoting Twitter users, and she probably is.
Worst of all is the ultimate message of the article: the tired allegation that Meghan and Harry are attention whores.
This whole line of attack is asinine. People love to slam Meghan as conniving and attention-seeking. The woman can’t leave her house without the tabloids pulling this shit:
It’s a straw man argument. Meghan and Harry didn’t flee England because they wanted out of the public eye; they were more than willing to stay and carry out their royal duties. They left to get away from the incessant, invasive, unrelentingly negative coverage they—and Meg, in particular—received from the British media. What they experienced wasn’t a little bad press. It was constant criticism, harassment, and disrespect for the couple’s boundaries. Meghan wasn’t facing unpopularity. She was subjected to nonstop racism, misogyny, and dehumanization from the media and the British public. She still is.
The article quotes Jane Moore, who claimed on the show Loose Women that the couple’s pregnancy announcement for their daughter was designed to drive up as much interest in their lives as possible. Calling the accompanying photo (below) one that was “designed to get maximum publicity”, Moore alleged that the announcement constituted a divergence from Harry and Meg’s avowed desire for privacy.
The article notes that the news came not long after Meghan had won her privacy lawsuit against Associated Newspapers and that the “irony” of that supposed contradiction wasn’t lost on the British press. The Daily Star ran with the
“tongue-in-cheek” bitchy headline:
Okay, first, the privacy lawsuit Meghan won was based on the publication of private letters she had sent to her father. She wasn’t just complaining about being in the news. Her rights were actually violated to the point of a court requiring the offending publisher to report her legal victory on its front page.
Second, it’s an announcement. As the grandson of the Queen (and a normal human being in the year 2021), Harry let the world know that he had a baby on the way, and these critics wanted him to do that in a way that people wouldn’t pay attention to? What is the point of this petty criticism? Harry’s a prince whose children are in the line of succession to the British throne; no matter how he and his wife went about sharing the news of their pregnancy, it was always going to spark global interest.
And even if everything they do is calculated to maximize publicity, that’s marketing, baby. You can’t criticize them for leeching off the English taxpayer and then condemn them for getting out there and making that dough.
Oh look, how lovely. An article telling me who didn’t make the bestseller list.
The way the author of this article pitted Meghan and Kate against each other, with the final paragraphs dedicated to comparing their books’ success, is just sick.
So now I’ve arrived here:
I’m sure that Meghan and Harry are actively surrounding themselves with love and support, blocking out the negativity, and treasuring every moment with their children. But what does it say about our society that so many people are brazenly willing to denigrate a happy couple in their time of joy? How miserable do people have to be to mercilessly attack a new mother at her most vulnerable, especially a woman who’s been so candid about her struggles with mental health and thoughts of self-harm?
In any other context, Harry’s actions would be commended as a loving tribute to the strong women in his family. It’s surreal to me that this man is being vilified for naming his daughter after his mother and grandmother. The Sussexes have only ever had positive things to say about Queen Elizabeth. Assuming that Meghan and Harry did run it by her beforehand, this gesture comes across as respectful and sincere.
Not that it matters—I am certain that there is not a single name these parents could have chosen that their detractors wouldn’t have found a way to criticize.
I pray that someday the Sussexes will be permitted to live their lives free of the incessant criticism and negativity that plagues them. I want nothing more than to give this strong, inspirational woman a hug and to thank her husband for taking the necessary steps to protect her.
You may wonder how I’ve managed to keep my cool when these constant attacks make me so angry. That’s my secret—
For more information about author Sally Frazer, please visit: Vocal
by Sally Frazer
Tell us what you think!
Do you agree with Sally’s opinion that the media goes out of their way to attack Meghan?
Does Meghan deserve this treatment?
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