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To consider Meghan Markle as a votary of feminism just because she got married to a Prince in a Cinderella-like affair, notwithstanding the fact that she is biracial, is to undermine all those venerated women who left no stone unturned in their quest to bring about justice to people depending upon them, to their race, gender and society. They never let the flame of their revolutionary fervour die down, which flickered so bright that it compelled the endocentric, patriarchal society to sit back and watch in awe, in the times when women were branded as fragile, soft-brained creatures meant to grace the parlour, play hostess and to procreate and sew adroitly; women with an opinion of their own were simply frowned upon. It is the fruit of their efforts that we are reaping today. To call Markle a feminist and place her on the pedestal of a celebrated feminist is to brazenly disregard the efforts of other activists who have dedicated their lives to the cause.

Meghan Markle is a creation of a new brand of pseudo-feminism which is doing more harm than good to its cause. This is all that is wrong with the modernist era where self-aggrandizing female celebrities, women who preach standing in their ivory tower so far along from reality are celebrated as feminists. Feminists in the past had and still continue to spur the revolution in all walks of life, including social movements, toppling over autocratic regimes and to fight for equal choice. However, Markle whose rise as a prospective feminist came after marrying Prince Harry, belies everything that feminism stands for. She gave up everything she stood for, including a career she probably fought tooth and nail for; to marry into a conservative family that still follows the confines of protocols. She has been stripped off her identity through the various restrictions imposed upon her which include not having a social media account, no clicking selfies with strangers, and not giving out autographs.

One cannot dispute that feminism has a lot to do with having a 'choice' – that of speaking one's own mind, a choice of saying yes or no. Feminists over time have stood up for equal civil rights, not just for women, but for the whole human race. A real feminist would fight to do away with imperialism rather than becoming a part of such an institution. Any version of feminism Meghan might portray will be entrenched with hypocrisy. Notwithstanding good intentions, it's highly unlikely that she shall be able to do anything substantial; anything that would warrant reverence and attention. To do any substantial or real groundwork she will have to work for the women of colour, women who are still deprived of equal wage, impoverished and emancipated women in need of education and right to live with dignity, meanwhile, keeping her outrage in check, being mindful of the fact that these egregious follies are emanated from the ostensible glory of British crown and patriarchal history of imperialism, of which she's now a part. In simple words, she has simply forsaken every right to speak out with conviction, to have a firm voice. Now she is confined by the shackles of protocol and propriety, which might not let conscience and empathy seep in. 

Nevertheless, to completely write off Meghan Markle and her prospective achievements will be nothing short of vicious. She can turn out to be a big philanthropist, a champion for human-rights and can render unequivocal service to the impoverished. However, to elevate her to the position of a celebrated feminist is going a bit too far. Beyond everything, to waltz to the tune of feminism wearing Cinderella glass slippers is no easy feat.

References

Chamseddine, R. (2018, April 24). The adoration of Meghan Markle and Kate Middleton is anti-feminist. The Sydney Morning Herald. Retrieved from https://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life-and-relationships/the-adoration-of-meghan-markle-and-kate-middleton-is-anti-feminist-20180424-p4zbdv.html 

Kennedy, L. (2018, May 30). Meghan Markle cannot be a princess and a feminist. The Irish Times. Retrieved from https://www.irishtimes.com/life-and-style/people/meghan-markle-cannot-be-a-princess-and-a-feminist-1.3511455

Zetlin, M. (2018, May 19). Meghan Markle Gave Up These 6 Things to Become a Princess. Would You? Inc. Retrieved from https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/meghan-markle-gave-up-these-6-things-to-become-a-princess-would-you.html

Header Image Courtesy: https://www.hellomagazine.com/royalty/2018052948990/prince-harry-meghan-markle-wedding-third-most-watched/

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Written By Deepti Jain

An engineering student and an admirer of Nehru.

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