Meghan Markle began working in gender equality and women’s empowerment for the UN in 2016, but she has been an active campaigner for parity between the sexes since the age of 11.
After seeing an ad for soap with the tagline ‘Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans’ the incensed child wrote letters to everybody from Hilary Clinton to manufacture Proctor and Gamble about the sexist implications of the advertisement.
Proctor and Gamble eventually changed the wording to ‘people’ instead of ‘women’.
That’s quite the achievement for somebody who hasn’t even started high school.
One of the most bewildering dichotomies fed to young girls is that they should spend their childhood, a time of innocence and identity building, waiting to be wed. This is expected to continue through adolescence and into adulthood during which it is constantly inferred that we will not be complete until we are partnered, preferably in a big white dress that signifies the virginity we probably do not have.
From the anecdote above, it is quite clear that Meghan Markle didn’t have much time for that storyline as a kid. Considering the fact that she is a 36-year-old divorcee, whose first marriage lasted just two years, you can safely assume that she is not spending her late thirties gagging to be married again.
And yet just the sight of her holding a garment bag has the gossip columns awash with speculation that she is gallivanting around town, trying on dresses for her big day. We’ve even been told the song she is likely to choose for her first dance.
In a video interview with Lifestyle magazine the actress picked Whitney Houston’s I Wanna Dance With Somebody as the song that she listens to when she is happy. And because her wedding (that isn’t actually happening) will be the happiest day of her life the logical conclusion being drawn is that this will be the song the newlyweds will dance to.
It’s lunacy. It’s been said endless times before, and it will be said again, but imagine if the same garbage was written about a male counterpart. Or, imagine if an obscure interview Prince Harry once gave, in which he admitted he has a soft spot for In The Air Tonight, was used to paint him as a hopeless romantic who was quietly planning a wedding that wasn’t even happening.
It wouldn’t, and doesn’t, happen because the archaic idea that an individual is not complete until they marry just does not apply to men. Older, single men are debonair, bachelors, cads and silver foxes.
Unwed women in their thirties or even worse, their forties, are just desperate.
Unfortunately for Meghan, she is undergoing to same microscopic analysis that Amal Clooney, her UN colleague, had to endure until she tied the knot with Hollywood’s most eligible bachelor. You could almost hear the collective sigh of relief when she popped out twins.
The expectation put on a woman to reproduce intensifies around the last childbearing years of her life. When it becomes apparent that no, she won’t be bearing children or marrying, her celebrity wanes dramatically.
When was the last time Jennifer Aniston got a headline? After spending two decades speculating would she or wouldn’t she, it has been decided that she is not deserving of air time because her time has come and gone.
But Meghan is still only 36, and has another few years in her yet. Surely marriage is on the cards, to a royal no less. And after that, we get to start discussing her reproductive choices. How excellent! I bet she has picked out names already.
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