The Duchess of Sussex did a solo appearance at the When All Women Vote Couch Party yesterday, a virtual event aimed at… encouraging women to vote, I suppose. Not to get too nitpicky, but I think if you’re a woman seeking out the virtual “rah rah women vote” live stream, you’re probably already going to vote. This isn’t about converting people into first-time voters then. It’s about celebrating the 19th amendment and talking about the importance of voting rights. What Meghan said:
“When I think about voting and why this is so exceptionally important for all of us, I would frame it as: We vote to honor those who came before us and to protect those who come after us,” said the duchess. “That’s what community is about and that is specifically what this election is all about. We’re only 75 days away from election day and that is so very close and yet there’s so much work to be done in that amount of time.
“We all know what’s at stake this year. I know it. I think all of you know it if you’re here at this fun event here with us,” she continued, alluding to the presidential race between Democratic nominee Joe Biden and President Donald Trump. “You’re just as mobilized and energized to be the change that we all need and deserve.”
“This week we are recognizing the 100th anniversary of the 19th Amendment which of course gave women the right to vote—but not all women and specifically not women of color. As we look at things today, though it’s taken decades longer for women of color to get the right to vote, even today we are watching so many women in so many different communities who are marginalized, still struggling to see that right come to fruition—it’s just simply not okay. When we look at the attempts of voter suppression and what that’s doing, it’s all the more reason we need each of you to be out there supporting each other to understand that this fight is worth fighting and we all have to be out there mobilizing to have our voices heard.”
Meghan concluded by reiterating the importance of women showing up at the polls (or mailing their ballots) and urging her viewers against inaction. “We can and must do everything that we can to ensure that all women have their voices heard,” she said. “If we aren’t part of the solution, we are part of the problem. If you aren’t going out there and voting, then you’re complicit. If you’re complacent, you’re complicit. We can make the difference in this election and we will make the difference in this election.”
I’ve said this before, but none of Meghan’s back-in-America speeches have been groundbreaking or particularly newsworthy just in and of themselves. She’s “endorsing” very general things here – it’s important to vote, we should acknowledge the history of voting rights, voter suppression is still happening, this is an important election. It’s the fact that *she* is saying these things that makes it newsworthy. These sentiments are so basic and general, she should have been allowed to say them while she was a working royal. But she would have needed the approval of four palaces and dozens of staffers and courtiers, and she would have been told no, that’s too political, no you can’t do that, no you’re a horrid American. Which makes it gratifying for her, I’m sure, to just be able to use her voice.
Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.