I’ll be the first to question the legitimacy of the notion of ‘objectification’, a concept borne out of the contemporary social justice movement. However, watching the commentariat after last week’s marriage between the British prince, Harry, and American actress, Meghan Markle, I was struck by how intensely the left has objectified Markle (admittedly, herself also a social justice warrior) without even a moment’s consideration. That’s quite hypocritical, given they are ostensibly the biggest opponents of objectification, especially of women of color.
Here Markle is before the royal wedding:
Ahmed Olayinka Sule, a ‘social critic’ who cites Malcolm X and Kwame Nkrumah as some of his inspirations, goes as far in the Daily Maverick to call Markle a “token”, as if Harry and Queen Elizabeth II plotted for him to go out and find a non-white woman to marry in order to make the royal family more diverse. A token. Horrifying.
Not one thought is given to the fact that this is a woman who simply married the man she loved. No, she’s a political vessel for the cause: Sule says Markle has “two choices”. She can either maintain the status quo of British royalty, or challenge it and bring about change. Markle, in Sule and others’ on the left’s minds, is an ideological deployee with a job to do. She is not a wife, but a tool. Despite her own leftist inclinations, this is despicable.
In an article republished at the Australian Broadcasting Corporation, Timothy Kazuo Steains writes that Markle’s joining of the royal family may be a way for “mixed race” Australians to express their experiences. For Vox, Sarah E. Gaither writes that Harry and Markle’s marriage is a “big deal” because biracial people should be “represented”.
The world is also apparently becoming a “better place” because two people of differing races fell in love and got married, writes Jenna Amatulli for HuffPost. Harry could just as well have fell in love with a white woman. The god of social justice did not push these two together to show how times have changed.
Given the above, here she is after the royal wedding:
‘Objectification’ at its most obvious, indeed.
According to social justice activist, Dr. C. Chic Smith, “when Black women are objectified, those who are routinely shocked and appalled seem to fall silent.” This rings true, apparently, in this case. This list on Everyday Feminism is also quite revealing of the hypocrisy at play here.
No doubt I’ll be criticized for downplaying the ‘racial dimension’ to this. Surely, as a white male, I just don’t get it! But I’ve always been proudly colorblind, even in the days when I was a leftist.
Interracial relationships and marriages of note are not a new phenomenon. Closer to home, Seretse Khama, the first post-colonial President of Botswana, married Ruth Williams in 1948, under far more difficult circumstances. The British government and Batswana elders both tried to intervene to stop the marriage because of socially conservative considerations in both societies. Yet, Khama and Williams persevered and made it work against the odds. (Botswana, by the way, is one of the freest markets in Africa today. Whereas South African politicians promise more intervention in the economy as electioneering methods, the new President of Botswana recently campaigned on a ticket of privatization and deregulation. Botswana could also be Harry and Markle’s honeymoon destination.)
Affairs like the royal wedding do not ordinarily interest me. But as someone from a country that always has elevated interracial tension, I find it concerning that in the affluent and generally enlightened West, nonsense like this would repeatedly flare up. Unlike Khama and Williams, Harry and Markle married in one of the most liberal democracies in the world, an event which has been embraced by everyone who matters. The left’s objectification of Markle, despite this, is quite horrifying and hypocritical.
Let’s be happy for them — and the millions of other peasants, like us, who get married on a daily basis but are not royalty — as individuals.
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