Female MPs have united with Meghan Markle to fight against “abuse and intimidation”. Here’s what they said in an open letter calling for change.
Over the last few weeks, Meghan Markle has taken a public stand against the racism and sexism she has faced by the press in recent years. The Duchess of Sussex and her husband Prince Harry announced their decision to sue the Mail on Sunday for publishing a personal letter written by Meghan. And, in a TV interview a few weeks later, the Duchess revealed that she’s not OK with the public hate that she has faced.
Now, Meghan has gained public support from a cross-party group of female MPs, because they also know all too well what it is like to be ruthlessly scrutinised in the public eye – just for being prominent female figures.
More than 70 members of parliament have co-signed a letter in “solidarity” with Meghan to call out the “often distasteful and misleading” press against her. The letter also describes the “colonial undertones” of some of the published stories. And the women detail how they “share an understanding of the abuse and intimidation” that Meghan experiences.
Labour MP Holly Lynch shared the open letter on her Twitter on Tuesday (29 October), captioning it: “Women MPs from all political parties have put aside our differences to stand in solidarity with the Duchess of Sussex today and are sending her this open letter.”
The letter reads: “As women MPs of all political persuasions, we wanted to express our solidarity with you in taking a stand against the often distasteful and misleading nature of the stories printed in a number of our national newspapers concerning you, your character and your family.”
“On occasions, stories and headlines have represented an invasion of your privacy and have sought to cast aspersions about your character, without any good reason as far as we can see. Even more concerning still, we are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial undertones to some of these stories. As women Members of Parliament from all backgrounds, we stand with you in saying it cannot be allowed to go unchallenged.
“Although we find ourselves being women in public life in a very different way to you, we share an understanding of the abuse and intimidation which is now so often used as a means of disparaging women in public office from getting on with our very important work.
It continues: “With this in mind we expect the national media to have the integrity to know when a story is in the national interest, and when it is seeking to tear a woman down for no apparent reason. You have our assurances that we stand with you in solidarity on this. We will use the means at our disposal to ensure that our press accept your right to privacy and show respect and that their stories reflect the truth.”
Fellow MPs who have added their signature include Jess Phillips, Stella Creasy, Rosie Duffield, Dianne Abbott and Yvette Cooper. Many people have responded to Lynch’s tweet, thanking the women for showing their support for the Duchess.
No woman should have to face such public hatred, which is why this letter is an empowering read for females everywhere. After all, as we have learned from the likes of the Suffragettes and the Time’s Up movement, when women stand together, we are stronger and we can change the course of history.
Perhaps, now that Meghan knows she is not alone, the support from her female allies will help in making more vital changes in society.