As I relax at Her Majesty’s pleasure – I’m not in prison, just enjoying the Queen’s Birthday holiday – I’ve been musing: can Meghan Markle, as the latest addition to Her Majesty’s kingdom, be a feminist and a duchess at the same time?
Wouldn’t a true feminist not ask, but tell Harry to renounce is male chauvinist title of prince, and give back all the money that was forced out of the commoners’ hands through centuries of imposed taxes? Shouldn’t Meghan have told Harry we are walking down the aisle at the same time, wearing the same clothes, with all the other groomspeople? I guess it proves that, given the opportunity, even a feminist will burn her brazenness to become a princess.
Perhaps feminists need to define their terms. If feminism is equal to equality, what is their definition of equality? Already, I’m hearing moderate feminists claim this new duchess has sold out and bought in to “the epitome of patriarchal power”. I’m confused. Queen Elizabeth II is a woman and a queen who has ruled for more than half a century without any threat of man or king becoming her superior, nor even her equal. I even saw her face on some money the other day! Not that I see money very often. Over time, Queen Elizabeth II has won the respect and attention of cynics, even egalitarians. She has held herself with dignity, attended to tragedies and consoled the grieving more times than can be counted and impressively refused to retire from duty.
Now, contrast QEII with early modern feminism’s pinup girl, Jane Fonda. Fonda encouraged women not to enter the institution of marriage, yet from 1965-2001 Fonda was never unmarried for even a stretch of two years. Adding insulting irony to injury, Fonda retired from work and became the trophy wife to third husband and billionaire, Ted Turner. During the Vietnam War, Fonda’s ill-informed and insensitive comments about American POWs caused a tidal-wave of anger and sadness to US soldiers for decades, who demoted her to the contemptuous rank of “Hanoi Jane”.
Even moderate feminist keyboard heroes have often accused me of being a privileged white, middle-aged (pfft) male heterosexual. If you call someone privileged, you’re actually being judgemental. To point out the colour of my skin is actually racist. To diss me for my generation is ageism. To make mention of my gender is sexist. To limit my argument because I’m heterosexual is heterophobic. How are these views “equality”?
Think of the great British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher, or Enid Lyons – the first Australian woman elected to the House of Representatives and serve in federal cabinet, who had 12 children. These women were almost the opposite of modern feminists.
One of the most successful women I have ever known said to me recently that male and female are equal in many ways without feminist interference; they are complimentary to each other. She added that feminism has broken this complimentary element in society, leading to more and more outlandish statements and “rights” that stamp men underfoot in their quest for equality. When she said this I thought “that's going straight to the pool room!” … i.e. I’m writing that in an article and pretending I made it up.
Women have enough pressure on them these days without being told by feminists they’re not allowed to be and do what they consider feminine.
There are no guarantees that the vague and contradicting paths feminists are demanding will lead to women living happily ever after.