Meghan Markle was a presenter at the 2014 UN Women HeForShe launch event on gender equality, and she wrote about the HeForShe campaign in an article for her blog The Tig before it closed.
The article was published on September 23, 2014.
“I was eleven years old when the LA riots broke out in 92 littering my hometown with fires and looting, with curfews and recklessness. I happened to be at school when the mayhem began, keeping me and my classmates on lockdown until it was safe for our parents to pick us up. We didnt fully understand what was going on, so to distract us from the soundtrack of sirens outside of our little red school house, they turned on the TV to The Price is Right. A smart choice, seeing as Bob Barker was just talking about microwaves and sofa sets. No real controversy there unless you happen to be offended by polyester paisley print. But during the commercial break an ad for the clear Ivory dishwashing liquid came on including a tagline that said Women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans. The boys in my class (Michael & Joey to be specific) said Yeah, thats where women belong in the kitchen. I remember feeling confused feeling angry and annoyed, knowing they were wrong and yet knowing that I felt small too small to say anything in that moment. When I got home, the lemon tree in my front yard charred from passing rioters, I decided to write some letters: to First Lady Hillary Clinton, to Linda Ellerbee (a TV commentator who hosted a kids news program on Nickelodeon), to powerhouse attorney Gloria Allred, and to Procter & Gamble. I put pen to paper, telling them what happened and that I thought the commercial should be changed. I didnt realize it then, but it was on this day this dramatic day clouded in smoke and confusion, where ashes fell like snowflakes in the Southern California sky that I became a feminist.
“Everyone responded to my letters except for Procter & Gamble. First Lady Clinton encouraged my taking a stand, Ms. Allred offered her help and commended my trying to effect change, and Linda Ellerbee sent a TV crew to feature me on her show. By the time the episode aired, and with this tremendous support, Procter & Gamble, in fact, changed the commercial to People all over America.
“Last Saturday, I had the incredible honor of being a presenter at the United Nations Headquarters for the UN Womens HeForShe launch event on gender equality. I spent some time last month shadowing Elizabeth Nyamayaro (Senior Advisor to Under Secretary-General & Executive Director at UN Women, Phumzile Mlambo-Ngcuka). I traveled to DC and to NY, sitting in on meetings everywhere from The Clinton Foundation to the World Bank to the War Room for the UN Secretary General, Ban Ki Moon. But it was here at the HeForShe campaign, the call to action for boys and men all over the world to support this gender solidarity movement, that I sat directly across from UN Women Global Goodwill Ambassador, Emma Watson, as she delivered an inimitable speech on feminism.
“Emma, at just 24 years old, brought to the forefront the clear facts of how crippling it is for a society to have women undervalued and marginalized, and how that devastates not just the female population, but the entire population. The conversation about feminism in the past had always been a womens issue, but this call to action reminds men that gender equality is everyones issue. The experience was surreal seated in the inner circle with everyone from the UN Secretary General, to the first female president of Finland, Tarja Halonen, to the Executive Director of UN Women to Wolf Blitzer, Gary Barker, Kiefer Sutherland, and several other power players in this fortunate few. Plus, the palpable energy of a crowd with both men and women who believe in this cause a crowd that understands that feminism is not a word that should be taboo Feminism, in fact, is not the F word.
“Emma said: In my nervousness for this speech and in my moments of doubt I’ve told myself firmly—if not me, who, if not now, when. If you have similar doubts when opportunities are presented to you I hope those words might be helpful. These simple and poignant words would have made my eleven year old self feel less small, and made my present day 33 year old self proudly rise to give a standing ovation.
“I challenge all of you to join the HeForShe movement – to stand up for the girls and women who need their voices to be heard. And to Joey and Michael, from my 6th grade class, if you happen to read this, I hope that you will sign your names to help spearhead this pivotal moment in gender equality. If not you, who? If not now, when?
[The Tig via the Wayback Machine]
This Tig article was written before Meghan gave her 2015 IWD speech and before she wrote her How To Be Both article, in both of which she also tells the dish washing liquid commercial story. There are quite a few factual inaccuracies in this story, like how Meghan was 10 when the LA riots happened and Hillary Clinton was not First Lady at the time. I don’t know what to say about the inaccuracies in her story, so I’ll just leave it at that.
I saw photos of Meghan saying words at the HeForShe event, but I have not found video of it and, as far as I know, Meghan never wrote about what she said. So I don’t know what she said at the event.
As I’ve said in the past, I enjoy the fact that Meghan is open about being a feminist and lends her voice to that cause. I, personally, am on the fence about the HeForShe campaign. I checked out their website and I’m still unsure of what their actual, attainable goals are. It’s kind of like the Heads Together thing – lots of talk, but I don’t know where the money is actually going (I seriously couldn’t find a page on the HeForShe website where it tells you where the money you donate goes to). Anyway, that’s not Meghan’s problem.
Do you think Meghan will continue with the charities she works for now if/when she marries Harry? Or will she drop these and get new ones?
15 thoughts on “Tig Archives: Meghan’s He For She article”
I do hope she continues with the charities she currently works with as these are her passion causes. She can use her new platform to increase their profiles and amplify the support.
Interesting that you identified the inaccuracies. Could it be embellishment or forgetfulness? I choose to give her the benefit of the doubt given that she spent her own personal time and money shadowing so she can attain the knowledge to speak better about the issues and work harder to change them.
Perhaps also looking at her body of work as an activist over the years as a whole (UN speech, Larry King and AOL interviews, essays) and not just this particular Tig article, it is quite clear that she is passionate, does her research, is well informed.
I think her storytelling style is effective in engaging the audience and increasing the emotional impact as well as retention value of the message she is trying to drive. Bravo.
The article highlights the inspiring words and works of others and closes with a solid call to action.
I live in a Commonwealth country and frankly, l am quite excited to see a deserving person be given this platform!
PLEASE bring back EVERYTHING Meghan Markle put on The Tig! I was just starting to read all the wonderful articles AND lifestyle tips and Poof–it was gone.
Thank You for the great content you have brought back. The Tig was very special–even before she got mixed up with Harry!!
I really think people would love to see everything Meghan Markle put on The Tig. If you can do that, I would be very happy. Donna Rose in Calabasas
I can understand her calling Hilary Clinton “First Lady” even after her term, we do that with others for easier identification.
I do hope that Meghan will be able to keep some of her current charities once she marries into the BRF. I am hopeful that Meghan will be able to carve her own path within the family, maybe not immediately as there will be quite a bit for her to learn and adjust to, she hasn’t had 8+ years after all, but once she feels settled I hope that she will champion some great causes.
Clinton won the election just 6 months after the LA riots. He was also the heavy favourite to win, so it is plausible that MM could have held off posting the letter until then.
It also takes time for official correspondence to be drafted & responded to. I remember when I wrote to the office of my local MP I had to gather all sorts of evidence before I could post the letter. Then I had to wait months before I got a reply. I would imagine the wait is even longer for the White House!
I am willing to give her the benefit of the doubt as there is no evidence that says she didn’t get a letter from Clinton.
With regard to the ‘first lady’ moniker, I believe that – as wife of the governor of Arkansas – HRC would have been called ‘The First Lady (of Arkansas)’ so maybe she had addressed her letter that way since that was HRC’s last title, or maybe she had written ‘Future FLOTUS (I hope)’ or something. Or, it could also just be the way our memories play tricks on us in remembering things – although I would think if I were publishing something I would be as accurate as possible and double-check my memories!
I guess I’m willing to give her the benefit of the doubt about the slight inconsistencies because I like what I know about her so far, and she seems to have a longstanding commitment to trying to be impactful and make change.
Regarding keeping her charities, I don’t know the complete list of charities she is involved with, but I would definitely like her to keep some that she currently works with. I think I posted this in a previous thread, but my wish is that she would:
1) keep some pre-marriage charities (fighting for menstrual rights/supplies with World Vision – maybe changing in how she works with them if TPTB have a problem, the water charity)
2) create a new charitable foundation with Harry (The Royal Foundation of the D&D of Sussex, The Sussex Trust, e.g.) with a focus on veterans and families of veterans (maybe even going so far as to having different “arms” within the main foundation…say, an educational ‘arm’ for scholarships for kids of vets or arts education as therapy, a mental health ‘arm’ that could work with Heads Together (if that makes sense), fitness and sport with Invictus, etc).
3) she and Harry need to drop off the Royal Foundation of the D&D of Cambridge & Prince Harry. Please, oh PLEASE let them separate from W&K. IMO, Harry is the more hard-working and charismatic of the trio and the other two just glom onto him to be seen as doing more work or having some sparkle. I totally think that is what happened with the garden party from last weekend – Harry’s idea and organization…W&K latched on like a couple of remoras.
3a) she and Harry get their own PR staff. No more tardy and uninspired tweets from the KP PR staff, no more getting thrown under the bus to make William and Kate look better.
4) Duchess Sparkles teams up with other royal women for worthy causes and/or women’s issues – Camilla, Sophie, Beatrice, and Princess Vitoria of Sweden, plus I’m gonna throw Michelle Obama in here because of Harry’s relationship with ex-FLOTUS and her focus on military families. At least initially, I don’t want Sparkles partnering with any celebrities so there is nothing that people can criticize her for (although people will find something).
5) I want her and Harry to just work work work, with no regard to worrying about whether they are working more than W&K (again – they need their own PR team). Whether the work is officially counted in the court circular or not, I want them working…and their PR team needs to be spreading the word about all their work.
I agree with the points you made.
While many are willing to overlook Kate’s many flaws because she will one day be queen, the same privilege will not be extended to Meghan. The daggers are already out cause she’s American, an actress & biracial. To avoid criticism she will need to become a work horse & leave those celebrity stuff behind. If people get the impression that she’s behaving like another entitled Middleton she’ll be in for a rough ride.
Hopefully Meghan will be able to knock some sense into Harry to increase his workload! His numbers are not much better than the Cambridges’ which is still quite pitiful. Meghan can’t be seen to be outworking her husband so he will also need to change.
I’m thinking if Harry and her marry, they will get their own PR team. Meghan, being an actress, knows good PR vs. bad PR and will know that Jason and Co. have been sloppy.
I think she and Harry will focus a lot on Africa, as they both seem to love it. (Will does too, but Kate has never seemed enamored by her experiences in Kenya.)
In the U.K., I imagine Meghan will focus a bit on the performing arts? Maybe working with disadvantaged children in that way…
Harry has, after all, liked theater too – its one of the few things he seemed to enjoy in school, and then he has been seen on his private time attending shows.
She was nearly 11 at the time of the riots, and she would have been 11 when Clinton took office. I suspect she took some poetic license with her story to give it a more vivid setting. I remember the riots, they were still news at the inauguration and the presence of a southern president renewed the discussion of race relations and the recent riots in the media. I imagine it was particularly vivid for the Los Angelos. I’m willing to believe that she remembers the events happening pretty much like she said they did. Should she marry Harry, though I hope she errs on the side of fact for future speeches, as she will have an even wider audience and any criticism will harm more people than just herself.
I hope that she and Harry form their own unit, separate from the Cambridges. It doesn’t work very well with three royals in a clump, four would just be a crowd. The foundation name is clunky enough.
I also hope that she’s able to continue with her existing charities, and I hope that she adds a lot of unglamorous British ones to her roster. She needs to travel all over the UK and Northern Ireland to meet the people, let them get to know her and ensure that her children consider themselves as British as tea time.
Completely agree with the above comments about Harry and Meghan (assuming they do marry) needing to separate themselves as much as possible from the Cambridges, but I predict a lot of clashes and competition between their two press offices and their two foundations should that happen. Plus, the financial aspect of establishing a new royal foundation would be tricky: Would they take part of the royal foundation endowment that came from the Diana Memorial Fund? Would they try to identify and take the funds given to veterans mental health charities away from Heads Together if Harry takes veterans causes as his own? Perhaps, as others have suggested elsewhere, if Harry (and Meghan) could slowly become active with the Prince’s Trust, they could incorporate their own interests and prepare to head that foundation once Charles becomes King. Whether they do that or not, because Meghan doesn’t have the insular family situation that Kate has, I can see her reaching out to build a close personal and professional relationship with Charles and Camilla, and guiding Harry and their PR people into a more cooperative, unified association.
One of my biggest concerns about Meghan, as others have also mentioned, is her close “celebrity” connections. In particular, Jessica Mulroney rubs me the wrong way. Meghan and Jessica seem extremely tight, and nothing that I’ve seen of Jessica makes me think she’d be an appropriate influence on anyone, much less someone in the royal family. She seems to be the ultimate opportunist, vain and self centered, fame-hungry, and her “candid” instagram posts are so very shallow and self-serving, emphasizing her long legs, her cleavage, her now-filled cheeks and lips, and her fashion. I’m also concerned about how she seems to promote and use her daughter, Ivy. Should Harry and Meghan become engaged, I’m predicting that Jessica will play a large part in planning the wedding and that Ivy will be a flower girl. I’d love to know how the Canadians here view her and her husband.
I think most Canadians have a poor view of Brian Mulroney, the former PM of Canada and Jessica Mulroney’s father in law. In the 1993 election which the Liberal Party led by Jean Chretian won by a landslide, conservatives only picked up 2 seats, which was seen as a widespread hatred for Brian Mulroney.
I appreciate that Meaghan has been involved in charity, but like most celebrities who do charitable deeds, it reeks of self-serving and increasing’s one’s profile & PR. I wonder what impact her work has had? Has she done fundraising and worked with causes on the ground? Because all I can see right now is doing a few speeches, name dropping all the famous people that she gets to meet in these fancy UN conferences (like in her blog post above) and getting her picture taken in a “Western Saviour saving poor African kids” storyline. I much prefer celebrities who do good deeds on a regular basis and don’t feel the need to name drop and constantly advertise their doing these deeds and actually having an impact.
I don’t doubt that a part of Meaghan cares to help others, but I also suspect that a lot of the charitable deeds that she has done in the past was a way for her to network and connect with people more famous & talented than she, and garner a paying gig for herself once ‘Suits’ was over. Before she met Harry, I’m sure Meaghan was thinking about her next career move, which would be hard for her because she was in her mid-30’s already and was not working on an A-list show, thus she did not have a huge public profile. But now, she no longer has to worry about securing a paying gig post-Suits, so she doesn’t have to ‘hustle’ at these conferences and charity gigs.
Red Tulip, yours is a sobering, unemotional and dead accurate appraisal of MM’s charity interests and activity to date. “Involved in charity” is a more accurate description than the overblown hyperbole of ‘humanitarian’ and ‘philanthropist’, at least to this point. Add the Instagram posts and blog and and there you have a career strategy looking beyond the life of Suits. In such a cutthroat industry, it is an achievement to have regular work for seven years, particularly if a woman, but needing to constantly plan and hustle to the next gig.
Nevertheless, I’m uneasy when charity is used as a form of personal PR; I’d have more respect for someone who just does it, regularly, without fanfare beyond what is necessary to highlight the organisation. Results also count, rather than a photo op. I don’t see MM (or other minor celebrities) any different from Pippa Middleton in taking up a swathe of charity work for personal reasons; in Pip’s case it was to rehabilitate her image to make her more acceptable to moneyed families with an eligible son. We haven’t heard much of the charity work since the engagement.
Hi MMR – I clicked onto the site to see if you had written anything new – I didn’t get a email advice that you had a new article – although I did get notification via Hotamil regarding the post that you were looking into the issues. Is there an issue with either hotmail or gmail that you are aware of ? I get the KMR notifications to my gmail a/c – I was using my hotmail address initially – but for some reason that stopped working so I swapped. But I am not currently getting the MMR ones to either address . . . .
I have just found the emails in my G-Mail Spam . . . . . now I need to work out how to stop this happening
Meghan’s memory isn’t that far off. She was born in 1981. The LA riots happened between April and May of 1992. That makes her 11 at the time depending on her birthday which escapes me at the moment. She could have been 10 turning 11. Also, Bill Clinton became President in January 1993. George Bush was on his way out of office when the riots happened. So Hillary wasn’t the first lady at the time of the riots. That makes Meghan’s memory and written version of events accurate.
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