Duchess Meghan: There are so many women voters still being marginalized

Cenotaph Remembrance Parade

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.”

[From Harper’s Bazaar]

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.

Meghan, Duchess of Sussex and HRH The Countess of Wessex attends the National Service of Remembrance at the Cenotaph on Sunday 10 November 2019

Photos courtesy of WENN, Avalon Red, Backgrid.

Related stories

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.

19 Responses to “Duchess Meghan: There are so many women voters still being marginalized”

Comments are Closed

We close comments on older posts to fight comment spam.

  1. NatureLover says:

    I am glad that she is speaking out to encourage more people, women especially, to vote as it is a precious commodity that many people in the world do not have a choice too. I lived in Argentina in 1981 at the age of 17, during the coup. To say that I had no idea how incredibly lucky we are to have the freedom and privilege to vote in a legal democracy, is an understatement. I encouraged my cousins to protest in the streets due to the military actions that were crimes against humanity and much more. They told me that if they stepped outside and started to protest, they would become one of the hundreds of thousands of people that disappeared, never to be heard from. They were kidnapping and killing those that tested the powers at be and it was frightening. My aunt told me to never leave the house without my passport.
    Our freedom to vote is precious and we must not take it for granted. What I saw there was a nightmare of epic proportions!

  2. Becks1 says:

    I think encouraging people to vote is always a good thing. Maybe the people who seek out this kind of virtual summit/talk are already going to vote, but the video and quotes are going to make the rounds on social media (and on tv etc) and it will reach someone who may not have planned to vote. I think its also important right now to focus on voting because so many people in the US think about voting as the lesser of two evils, or “they’re both problematic” or “biden just isn’t really that exciting” or whatever. and RIGHT NOW, its like, VOTE FOR THE BORING ONE!!!!

    • Sarah says:

      That’s what I thought, it’s the press and clips and soundbites that are shared widely after the event that will add to the noise about the the importance of voting and will hopefully help persuade more people to register/vote.

    • Amy Too says:

      Exactly this. The people at the virtual event were already going to vote themselves, probably, so this event is meant to encourage them to get out the vote in others and to continue working for and donating to nonprofits that help people get registered to vote, that give people rides to the polls, that help people get their mail in ballot, that bring awareness to and fight voter suppression in the US. That’s for the people at the virtual summit.

      And then the press is going to pick up on everything she said and it will be reprinted everywhere, including in tabloids, just because she’s Meghan Markle, and that’s how she reaches the people who aren’t registered, haven’t voted before, aren’t sure if it matters, etc, and she can persuade them that it does matter and they need to vote.

  3. MarcelMarcel says:

    Kimberly Foster posted a great reaction to Kamala Harris’ election on YouTube. (Her channel is For Harriet). Anyhow it featured some amazing womxn! Princess Weekes aka Melina Pendulum popped up.
    One of the points covered was how black womxn will consistently rock up and vote.
    I live in Australia where you’re legally required to vote. We definitely have our own issues but I find it wild that there are eligible voters choosing not to vote. (I realise there’s voter suppression etc… I just can’t imagine what it’s like to be a fully grown adult that actively doesn’t vote).

    • Diana says:

      The good thing about compulsory voting is that our government would have a far harder time getting away with the same voter suppression tactics used in the USA. Our elections are always on weekend days, always with plenty of polling stations accessible to people no matter which suburbs they live in, and employers must, by law, allow employees to leave and vote of they’re working on election day. It’s such a good set up.

  4. Lavande says:

    I mean that’s great, she’s right about all of that. But i don’t exactly get the criticism of the monarchy for not wanting her to speak out about other countries’ elections. That seems like a pretty reasonable request for anyone who is part of the monarchy with all the benefits. The fact that the monarchy exists is more absurd to me than them not speaking out about other countries’ politics. If the monarchy honestly criticized / made comments about another country’s regime, that would just invite people (AT LEAST trolls from whatever other country) to make comments about why does the British monarchy exist. And why would they want to invite comments?
    I don’t think there’s any modernizing the monarchy. In modern society we discuss things and ask questions and are held accountable. I just watched the episode of the crown with the KGB thing. If you’ve seen that you know the monarchy isn’t interested in inconvenient truths. She met Donald trump politely.
    She regularly meets dictators politely. My s.o is from Morocco, they have a dictator, also he’s probably Secretly gay and his wife recently disappeared for like a year. Criticise him and you’ll go to jail with an unrelated excuse like ´you had an abortion .’ As Royals, Harry and Megan met him and acted like it was normal. With all the absurd things the royal family Does and the things they Never do, I don’t get the surprise about them not wanting Meghan to ever do new things.

    I do wonder if Charles will change anything

    • BnLurkN4eva says:

      It’s not about speaking out about other countries. Meghan wasn’t allowed to speak about anything considered political. She could barely speak about feminism and if she was still a working royal she wouldn’t have been allowed to say anything about BLM and remember the BLM movement is going on in Britain also. So no, it wasn’t about other countries that she couldn’t speak out on, it was any topic that to them appeared controversial. Silly.

    • anotherlily says:

      America is not ‘another country’ for Meghan. It is her country. Even if she had stayed in the royal fold America would still be her country. Her mother is American. Her child has both American and British citizenship.

  5. What eating you says:

    I think it’s great that she spoke up about what she feels is right.

  6. Mumbles says:

    If you see what’s going on out there and still haven’t registered to vote, or are already registered and aren’t going to bother, you’re a helpless cause. No zoom party is going to save you.

    Michelle Obama was so good at reminding people that the bad guys are going to do their damndest to make this hard and unpleasant, especially for poor people and people of color. She said pack a meal and get ready, we need to do it. It was good to get people to accept this unfortunate truth. Maybe those of us can figure out how to help – volunteer as poll watchers, or make sure people in line have water and snacks like we did during the protests.

  7. AMM says:

    I mean, she gave a speech in New Zealand about the importance of women voting, as a working royal. She blogged about voting on the Tig. She was part of the UN as the Women’s Advocate for Women’s Political Participation and Leadership. This isn’t a new topic for her. If the BRF didn’t expect her to talk about voting once she left, they were idiots.

  8. Janice Hill says:

    Your point is true that Meghan is participating in an event with people who are already voting, but I think you are being unnecessarily hard on her. Regular readers of Celebitchy know that Meghan most definitely speaks out for people of color and works with people who traditionally have been marginalized, both in their regular lives in voting.

  9. Charfromdarock says:

    Encouraging women to vote should not be a controversial issue.

    I made the mistake of looking at this on Twitter, the vitriol against Meghan continues to be appalling.

  10. hhalfpint says:

    I was a part of the event last night. The point of the event was to get individuals to reach out to voters, via text, in specific areas like PA and FL to let them know how about accessing mail-in ballots, where to get the information about polling places, how to check their voter registration, etc. Meghan talked for about 5 minutes as the beginning just to set the stage on how important voting is and how we are all part of a legacy of women’s right to vote. It set a nice tone for the rest of the event, which was a Q&A with Valerie Jarrett, and then a tutorial on how to text.

    As someone who has been wanting to get more involved in voting issues, I really appreciated Meghan taking some time to come and talk with all of us.

    • lza says:

      I’m so happy you’re doing this! I send postcards encouraging and reminding people to vote. I’m not sure how well they work, but it makes me feel like I’m doing something.

    • Crbnftprnt says:

      Thank you @hhalfpint for reminding people of the purpose of the event. and thanks to you and others they reached their goal of raeching 300K+