Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex is using her voice to speak out on the importance of voting, as she sits with activist Gloria Steinem for a conversation about women’s rights and representation.
The two icons sat down for a “historic backyard chat” to “discuss representation, why each vote matters and how all women ‘are linked, not ranked’.
The Duchess of Sussex appeared overwhelmed with excitement at points during her ‘backyard chat’ with Gloria was filmed for Makers Women, a women’s empowerment platform. “This is a great day for me,” she tells the activist, after asking her opinions on the upcoming election – and what it means for young women to get out and vote.
Speaking about the importance of women, especially the younger generation voting in the upcoming election.
“People forget how hard women like you and so many others before you fought for us to just be where we are right now,” Meghan said. “If you don’t vote, you don’t exist,” Steinem replied as Meghan nodded in agreement. “It is the only place we’re all equal, the voting booth.”
What worries me the most are young people, who I understand are the least likely to vote and I can understand the feeling that they don’t think they have an impact,” Steinem said. “Yet, it’s more important for them to vote than anyone else because they’re going to be alive long after I am, and they’re going to be suffering the consequences.”
“Do you feel hopeful?” Meghan asked.
Steinem replied, “I do feel hopeful.”
Read excerpts from their interview below:
Gloria Steinem: Welcome home. I’m so glad that you’re home!
Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex: Me too. For so many reasons. We’ve talked a lot these last few weeks. I keep thinking my goodness — I’ve looked up to you for so long! It’s wonderful to just be in your company, to learn so much and to feel inspired to be home. But also to help people remember why it’s so important to vote.
G: Really, we’ve been rescued by women of color in all of our recent elections because of a vote of conscience and compassion. The heart of the Democratic party has been Black women, actually, and now there is a potential Vice President who is Black and that’s exciting.
M: I’m so excited to see that kind of representation. You know, for me, being biracial, growing up, whether it was a doll or a person in the 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. Do you feel hopeful?
G: Oh yes, I do feel hopeful. We still require an adjective, if you know what I mean. There are ‘doctors’ and ‘women doctors’ and ‘Black women doctors’ and ‘Hispanic doctors’ … the noun still tends to be confined to the ruling group. But we’ll get past that.
M: You know it’s so interesting. I was reading this book called Algorithms of Oppression by Safiya Noble and it talks about how the digital space really shapes our thinking about race. 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.’ 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.
G: That’s terrible isn’t it? In a way, the computer age has made it clear by listing it so we can fight it more easily. … I wonder if the COVID-19 disaster — which is an unmitigated suffering and very unequal suffering, I must say — is teaching us something because it doesn’t recognize race, gender or nationality. It sees human beings as human beings. And perhaps we’re beginning to see that too.
M: On top of that, it’s just giving everyone this moment of reset; to reevaluate what actually matters. I think it’s often forgotten how women like you and so many others before you fought for us to just be where we are right now.
Visit www.yahoo.com to read the full interview