Meghan Markle, royal
Meghan Markle, royal

SocietyOctober 23, 2019

Columnists unite to help save women who are doing it tougher than Meghan Markle

Meghan Markle, royal
Meghan Markle, royal

In response to Meghan Markle’s admission that she’s finding it a struggle to be a new mother in the media spotlight, columnists across the globe have banded together to launch a charity to support all those women who ‘have it worse’, Emily Writes can exclusively reveal.

Meghan Markle – duchess, new mum, tabloid punching bag – is just asking for ridicule after admitting she was struggling in a TV interview. Holding back tears, she said that “not many people have asked if [she’s] okay” as she deals with the twin pressures of new motherhood and harsh media scrutiny. “But it’s a very real thing to be going through behind the scenes.”

LOL doesn’t she know she has a castle?

Maybe she doesn’t? Thankfully, columnists all over the world have written breathtakingly banal think pieces to let her know.

Some might say that she has given voice to new mothers struggling with the immense social pressures on them to be perfect. Or that she’s simply saying what many mothers have felt and continue to feel, even if what she’s going through is on a much, much larger scale and she doesn’t face the exact same problems mothers in other countries face.

Some might think she’s brave to make herself so vulnerable in talking about what life is like for many new mothers who feel they can’t do anything right.

Some might suggest talking about the British “stiff upper lip” that’s also such a huge problem in New Zealand is crucial to ending the stigma around internalising your pain and shame.

As wild as it may be, some might even suggest that we should take every opportunity to break the silence mothers feel forced to keep about their struggles, putting them at risk of suicide. Suicide is (as of last statistics available from 2018) the leading cause of maternal death in New Zealand. The Herald reported last year that in the 10 years to 2016, 28 women committed suicide during or within six weeks of pregnancy. Of those, 16 were Māori women.

But those people would be wrong because hate goblin and mostly out of work UK social commentator Katie Hopkins has set the record straight. She said that because there were… umm let me get this right “African women” and “rape survivors” and “children with HIV” in the world, Meghan couldn’t talk about what she’s feeling as a new mum.

Katie Hopkins shouldn’t be confused with New Zealand’s own Kate Hawkesby who criticised Meghan’s “very American, very celebrity response” and suggested that a castle should negate the pain Meghan is experiencing. “Try telling that to a solo mum on a benefit with no staff and no castle – that’s tough.”

Now, you might be cynical and think that these columnists are just trotting out these women to use them as props to take down other women. But that would be wrong and unkind.

Because both KHs have put their money where their mouth is – along with all of the other women columnists who while on deadline decided “I’m rich but that other woman is richer so she’s fair game”.

I’m very pleased to announce they’ve set up a charity to support all of the women who have it worse than Meghan. Because they genuinely care about these women. You might think these women only exist in their orbits to rip into new mothers they don’t like, or that they just use them to pad out columns when they’re on deadline but that’s simply untrue. Shame on you.

The Privilege Fund for African Women, Rape Survivors, Single Mums on Benefits With No Staff and No Castle, and Children with HIV is poised and ready to change lives. The system for funding this cause is a wonderful one. Every time a columnist evokes a group of women for the purposes of bringing down other women, the commission for their column is paid into the fund.

Because surely they’re not just using these women to prove a point – they must be hugely engaged with the communities they’re citing if they’re so easily referencing them in a column to take down another mother.

We’re delighted to say this system has worked seamlessly so far. It currently holds more than $6 trillion dollars in reserve after opening up the automatic donations to include: Racists, people who had no interest in the royals until they “allowed” a “mixed race” woman to join the family, people who the day before her interview insisted there was no such thing as privilege but now say Meghan is privileged, men who hate women, more racists, irrelevant hasbeens who front UK breakfast shows, self-hating women who haven’t yet learned about internalised sexism, competiparents, parents who think taking down other parents makes them better parents, and people on Twitter who jack off to pictures of Prince William’s Bald Spot.

The Privilege Fund for African Women, Rape Survivors, Single Mums on Benefits With No Staff and No Castle, and Children with HIV is doing what Meghan should be doing. It’s using its spokespeople to shine a light on the struggles some women face with post-partum depression and anxiety.

The work of this fund is ensuring women know that no matter their circumstances, they can and should reach out and talk about how they’re feeling.

With a tragic suicide rate claiming our pregnant mothers and new mothers, this fund seeks to say that feelings of inadequacy, shame, or defeat should be shared in the open. It stands vocally against lazy stereotypes about African nations, single mothers, parents of children with serious health issues or parents on benefits shouldn’t be used to silence those women.

We can only thank all of the columnists who highlighted the work of their new charity, thus proving the point that mothers of all walks of life can face tough times. And we are always there for them.

Bravo to all of those brave columnists using their voice to make life that little bit easier for all women, not just some.

Mad Chapman, Editor
Aotearoa continues to adapt to a new reality and The Spinoff is right there, sorting fact from fiction to bring you the latest updates and biggest stories. Help us continue this coverage, and so much more, by supporting The Spinoff Members.Madeleine Chapman, EditorJoin Members

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