Media worldwide is celebrating how “Megxit” is a win for women because it represents gaining independence from controlling structures, men and women both fighting for women’s rights and women gaining their independence in society. However, the word “Megxit” in itself is not feminist as it places undue importance on Meghan leaving the royal family while completely ignoring Prince Harry who is an equally important decision-maker in the situation. Feminism is about equality: it’s about men’s issues as a result of patriarchy as much as it is about women’s rights. “Megxit” does not represent the equality that feminism stands for. Only representing women’s rights and issues while unfairly ignoring the man in the situation, “Megxit” does not do justice to Feminism in 2020.
“Brexit” is a controversial referendum of 2016 where the UK decided to leave the European Union. Creating immense media sensationalism, “Brexit” was the second most searched topic in 2016 in the UK. As a result of “Brexit”, there was political and economic uncertainty created in the UK.
“Megxit” is a convenient term chosen by the media to sensationalize Meghan and Prince Harry stepping back from their Royal duties. The similarity to the word “Brexit” gives “Megxit” a negative connotation because it shows that there is likely political and economic uncertainty created due to the situation. “Megxit” portrays that Meghan is responsible for creating a split in the Royal family which will lead to many issues just like “Brexit”. Instead of adopting a feminist narrative and highlighting Meghan’s issues during her time in the Royal family, “Megxit” highlights shifts the focus to the Royal family which will face issues because of “Meghan’s exit”.
For many feminists, “Megxit” highlights the struggle of Meghan in the Royal family and portrays her regaining her freedom after separating from the Royal family. Prince Harry is only reduced to a powerless figure in this narrative where his role in the decision making, the impact of leaving the Royal family and struggles as a member of the Royal family are silenced. Feminism highlights women’s issues but it does not silence the man’s narrative. Moreover, the widespread use of the term “Megxit” in the media does not do justice to truthfully portraying both Meghan and Prince Harry’s side of the narrative. It represents the media’s blind chase for sensationalism by using a word that will increase viewership and attract readers.
Meghan Markle and Prince Harry both decided to step back from their duties in the Royal family. Beyond the headline of “Megxit”, most news articles only highlights the struggle that Meghan had to undergo when she was a member of the Royal family and silence Prince Harry’s narrative, yet again. Most news articles mention the loss of freedom that Meghan suffered since she could not pursue her acting career, the racism she had to endure, family disputes with Kate and frictions with Queen Elizabeth. However, there are very few articles that talk about the reasons why Prince Harry chose to step back from his duties. Being a spotlight figure of the media was challenging for Prince Harry and he wanted to protect his son Archie from constant media attention. “Megxit” does not do justice to equality because it portrays Meghan as the choice-maker to exit and Prince Harry as a follower of her decision.
In 2020, the start of a new decade, where we have news widely available to us, we still need to put in more thought about the words we read. It is essential to root out words that are only created for media sensationalism and do not do justice to the truth. Before celebrating a term like “Megxit” as a win for feminism, we need to understand what the word really portrays and if it fits into our ideological values.
We don’t want to be feminists in 2020 who have forgotten our reasons for standing up to the structure, we don’t need to follow the herd because things seem correct, we need to think more and raise our voices.