Meghan Markle praised Prince Harry for embracing his ‘feminist’ side, while gushing that the royal is setting a ‘beautiful example’ for their son Archie by being so ‘comfortable’ advocating for women’s rights.
While sitting down for a ‘backyard chat’ with Gloria Steinem, the 39-year-old recalled a moment when Harry, 35, proudly told the activist: You know that I’m a feminist too, right Gloria?! It’s really important to me that you know that.’
Meghan shared the sweet story in a written Q&A for female empowerment platform Makers Women, during which she and Gloria, 86, discussed a range of issues, including voter suppression, women’s rights, and the importance of representation.
Speaking about how her own understanding of feminism has evolved over the years, Meghan praised Gloria for being such an inspiration to her – before naming her husband as a perfect example of a man who is both a feminist and ‘masculine’.
Responding to Gloria’s point that it is possible to be ‘a feminist and be masculine and a guy’, Meghan said: ‘Like my husband!’
She then went on to recall a conversation that she and Harry with had with Gloria, saying: ‘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.”‘
‘But you need that,’ she continued, noting how important it is for her that her one-year-old son is able to look up to Prince Harry.
‘And 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,’ she 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 [feminism] as part of his own self-identification
‘That there’s no shame in being someone who advocates for fundamental human rights for everyone, which of course includes women.’
And Meghan was not the only one complimenting Harry’s parenting skills, with Gloria describing the royal as a ‘nurturing father’ who will ensure that Archie ‘will grow up knowing it’s OK to be loving and nurturing’.
But while the women concluded their chat talking about Prince Harry, the primary focus of their conversation was the importance of voting – particularly among women and people of color.
In her introduction to the Q&A, Meghan highlighted a quote from Gloria that stuck out to her most during their chat: ‘If you don’t vote, you don’t exist.’
‘These words from Gloria Steinem have stuck with me since she first spoke them during this conversation,’ she wrote. ‘Throughout our friendship, we’ve spoken of our shared beliefs surrounding women’s rights, the need for representation and the very timely conversation on voting.’
The mother-of-one added that she believes ‘we vote to honor those who came before us and to protect those who come after us’, adding that Gloria is one of the women she honors when she casts her vote.
Although Meghan has yet to verbalize her support for a specific candidate, she once again made it incredibly clear who she plans to vote for come November, expressing her excitement at seeing a woman of color on the Democratic ticket – Joe Biden’s running mate, Kamala Harris – and explaining that the nomination was particularly meaningful to her because she is biracial.
‘I’m so excited to see that kind of representation,’ she said. ‘You know, for me, being biracial, growing up, whether it was a doll or a person in office, you need to see someone who looks like you in some capacity.
‘As many of us believe, you can only be what you can see. And in the absence of that, how can you aspire to something greater than what you see in your own world? I think maybe now we’re starting to break-through in a different way.’
Speaking about racism and its impact on voter turnout, Meghan admitted that she is incredibly ‘concerned’ about ‘voter suppression’, revealing that she recently had a conversation with Democratic politician Stacey Abrahms in order to better understand how to ensure that people of color don’t face intimidation at the polls.
‘We can already see all the different challenges that we’re facing,’ she warned, adding: ‘For example, if you’re a person of color and you’re in line, for potentially hours on end, and during that time someone tries to intimidate you to tell you that you should get out of line because you might be under surveillance or any number of intimidation tactics that are so scary.’
Meghan also touched on the way in which ‘the digital space shapes our thinking about race’ – an idea that she has explored while reading Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Noble, a book that examines the ways in which search engines like Google ‘reinforce racism’.
For example, it wasn’t that long ago that when you’d start to type in a search engine “why are white women…” it would start to autofill with words like “so pretty” or “so beautiful,”‘ she said.
‘And then when you would type “why are black women…” it would autofill with words like “so angry” or “so loud.” You get to see how our minds are being shaped by something so much bigger than what we’re actually feeling or putting out there.’
The written Q&A was published one day after Makers shared a sweet behind-the-scenes video from Meghan’s ‘backyard chat’ with Gloria, in which the Duchess of Sussex was seen unashamedly gushing over the feminist icon.
Meghan appeared overwhelmed with excitement at points during her intimate conversation with Gloria, who sat down together last month to discuss everything from voter suppression to the importance of representation.