Meghan Markle has sat down with political activist and journalist, Gloria Steinem, to discuss feminism and voting – but the interview has caused backlash for the Duchess.
The backyard interview for Makers, which was crashed by the Sussexes’ dogs, covered a number of hot topics, including the upcoming US election and Markle’s proclamation that “it’s not mutually exclusive to be a feminist and be feminine”.
Also covered in the chat was Prince Harry’s alignment with the feminist movement.
“Well, you can be a feminist and be masculine and a guy,” Steinem said, who is an original icon of the movements from the 1960s and ’70s.
Feminism, Markle said, was an important element of her husband’s identity.
“Like my husband! I love that when he just came in he said, ‘You know that I’m a feminist too, right Gloria? It’s really important to me that you know that’,” Markle said.
“I look at our son and what a beautiful example that he gets to grow up with a father who is so comfortable owning that as part of his own self-identification.”
And while the interview has delighted many royal fanatics, others have been quick to accuse the Duchess of being a hypocrite.
The anger stemmed from a comment Markle made in reference to a bracelet she was gifted by Steinem, featuring her motto that women are ‘linked, not ranked’.
“It means everything to me on every level; we are linked not ranked,” Markle said.
Fans were quick to point out that despite agreeing with Steinem’s sentiment, the 39-year-old continues to use her title, The Duchess of Sussex – a rank she married into.
‘Duchess‘ is a rank.
Why not go by Meghan Markle or Mountbatten-Windsor?
Or even just Meghan?
Her name-recognition is stratospheric.
The title goes against all left-wing principles as a symbol of aristocracy and against being ‘linked not ranked’.
I don’t get it.
— Hanny Hawkins (@hanny_hawkins) August 26, 2020
“‘Duchess’ is a rank. Why not go by Meghan Markle or Mountbatten-Windsor?” one Twitter user said.
Another commented on the “pure coincidence that Meghan [and] Gloria are signed to the same speaking agency”.
The Duke and Duchess of Sussex both signed on to Harry Walker Agency soon after they moved to the US.
Other fans were more supportive of the chat, and praised Markle for encouraging citizens to vote in the polarising election.
“I’ve been really concerned about voter suppression. We can already see all the different challenges that we’re facing,” Markle said.
Markle first spoke out against Donald Trump during the 2016 election, a move that reportedly cost her friendship with Trump’s daughter, Ivanka.