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'Megxit' and the amplification of sexism through Meghan Markle's press portrayal

Since day one, Meghan Markle has been the target of hate on the press and social media. Whether we like her or not, that's blatant sexism.

In yet another victory for Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, BBC's documentary The Princess and the Press has agreed to change the name of its second episode from 'Megxit' to 'Sussexit.' According to Prince Harry, the sexist term was created by a troll and amplified by royal correspondents and mainstream media. He is not wrong.

Though witty, the combination of Brexit and Meghan's name is basically blaming Meghan for the couple's decision to quit their royal obligations as if she were the one who pushed Harry to step back. Moreover, since the beginning, the media has been eager on blaming her for every single issue Prince Harry has had as if he were not responsible for his own actions and relationships. Now, the situation here is that no matter what, hate is always targeted towards Meghan Markle. 

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In an analysis made by Bot Sentinel, a Twitter analysis service, it was revealed that of 114,000 tweets that mentioned Prince Harry and Meghan Markle, the big majority of hate was directed towards Meghan. What is worth noting is that only 83 accounts are responsible for 70% of the hate she receives which means she might be the target of a hate campaign against the Duchess.

We mentioned that Harry wasn't wrong about his allegations and the thing is that media have indeed amplified that hatred towards Meghan Markle ever since she entered the scene. Mostly everything that's been covered about her has been treated differently than with Kate Middleton, for example. If Kate said she liked avocado toast, the media would say things like she's so healthy or would even tell you how to prepare said toast; When Meghan said something similar the story was that she was "fuelling drought and murder." When Kate was photographed touching her belly during pregnancy she was being maternal; when Meghan did it she was seeking attention. See the pattern?

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These might seem like idiotic small cases but, in fact, have helped promote a fictionalized narrative around Meghan that has just fueled hatred towards social media and the press. The way these two women, and other celebrities, have been portrayed in media is sexism and can (and have) affect severely the targeted person. We just saw what happened to Britney Spears or even Princess Diana if we want to leave the conversation on royal affairs.

The main issue here is that, as Harry and Meghan mentioned in the controversial tell-all with Oprah, the Firm (meaning the institution of Crown) were active in “perpetuating falsehoods” in media but more importantly, they failed to help the couple deal with the attacks that lead to Meghan having a real mental health issue.

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It was clear that the path wasn't going to be easy for Meghan. She's an American, divorcee, (the Crown hasn't forgotten and kept vilifying Wallis Simpson), and perhaps what would spark most comments is the fact that she's a woman of color. But even knowing that she came to break all royal "stereotypes" she was left alone, and was even bullied from within. Meghan isn't a martyr but let's just accept that we still live in a sexist and racist world and the way she's been treated is proof of that. 

Photo from Instagram: @sussexroyal

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