Meghan Markle admits to ‘spoon-feeding the clickbait’ by defending the word ‘woke’

‘Woke, by definition, means alert to injustice in society, especially racism,’ the duchess says

Meredith Clark
New York
Tuesday 15 November 2022 17:41 GMT
Meghan Markle calls out ‘angry Black woman’ trope

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Meghan Markle has spoken candidly about words that are given a negative connotation when used by women, specifically the word “woke”.

In the 15 November episode of her Spotify podcast Archetypes, the Duchess of Sussex defended the widely criticised usage of the word “woke.”

“I thought a lot about words that become unnecessarily charged as it pertains to women, like feminism, for example, often treated as taboo as the F-word or the word ‘woke,’” the 41-year-old royal said during Tuesday’s podcast.

The duchess immediately admitted to stirring up controversy by simply mentioning the word “woke,” but emphasised how the term has been weaponised against women.

“I know I’m saying woke, I fully realise I am spoon-feeding the clickbait, but here’s why,” Meghan said. “Because woke, by definition, means alert to injustice in society, especially racism.”

“Now, what’s loaded or wrong with that?” she asked. “And when you layer a woman into that seemingly anodyne definition, it becomes for many almost disgusting, ‘outrageous,’ they would say. But why? What is so scary about a woman having an opinion as strongly as a man does? And why do we sometimes cower to that? Turtle, as I often say – go back into the safety of our own shell.”

The word “woke” has gained mainstream popularity in recent years, often being used by the political left to refer to progressiveness and social justice. However, those on the political right have weaponised the term as a way to poke fun at those who disagree with their beliefs. The term has also become negatively associated with the ever-contentious “cancel culture” debate, as critics of cancel culture blame “woke” ideologies for striking down their favourite politicians, celebrities, or comedians.

Even critics of the Duke and Duchess of Sussex have used the word “woke” to negatively describe the royal couple. In 2021, royal biographer Angela Levin said Prince Harry should “back away from being a woke lecturing celebrity.”

This year, Levin also claimed that the duke and duchess were “trying to create an alternative, woke royal family,” and told the Daily Mail that Meghan felt “enormous bitterness” that she wasn’t able to “modernise” the royal family.

Ironically, actor and activist Jameela Jamil appeared on this week’s episode of Archetypes, in which she praised the Duchess of Sussex for taking an “unfathomable amount of s***” over the past few years.

As Jamil recalled the first time she and her partner, musician James Blake, met the royal couple, she noted how Meghan has a “similar dynamic” with her husband, Prince Harry.

“Actually when the four of us met that one time it was a really sweet dynamic of two very similar relationships, and it was very nice for me to see that you have that in your home because you need it,” the Good Place actor said. “Because it’s an unfathomable amount of s*** that you take Meghan, I can’t believe it.”

Jamil added that she “fought back for years” on Meghan’s behalf, and that she was “so outraged by the twisting of this very normal, very kind, very civilised woman”.

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