The Sussex Instagram account has been the subject of controversy before. But recently, they shared a quote from a figure that’s been problematic to the feminist community. Meghan Markle has always been a staunch supporter of feminism, but now the public is confused about her stance. How could she quote a person with such antiquated ideas about women? The public figure Prince Harry and Markle choose to quote and the problems it’s caused might surprise you.
The Sussexes quoted the Dalai Lama on their Instagram
Earlier this month, the Sussexes shared a Dalai Lama quote on their official Instagram account. The quote read: “I believe that at every level of society — familial, tribal, national and international — the key to a happier and most successful world is the growth of compassion.”
This isn’t the only time Prince Harry and Duchess Meghan have shown support for the Buddhist leader. At their wedding in 2018, the couple wanted the Dalai Lama to deliver the sermon. However, the Archbishop of Canterbury, Justin Welby, who married them, denied their request because the Dalai Lama isn’t Christian. Instead, they settled on American Bishop Michael Curry.
According to the Daily Mail, Markle, who is a known yoga devotee, is fond of a Dalai Lama quote: “Don’t let the behavior of others destroy your inner peace.” And since marrying Markle, Prince Harry revealed that he’s fond of meditation, one of the key components of the Buddhist religion.
The Dalai Lama is often held up as a hero to those who advocate for social justice. This is similar to Markle’s reputation: She is sometimes referred to by critics as the “Woke Duchess” because of her fondness for social justice issues.
For example, when Markle acted as the guest editor for the September issue of Vogue, she toed the line royal tradition by pushing issues like feminism and global warming. Markle was accused of “wading into politics by promoting Trump-hating celebs” in her “left-wing” edition of Vogue. But that’s not the only reason the Dalai Lama has become a problem for the Duchess of Sussex.
The Dalai Lama thinks a female successor would need to be ‘attractive’
In 2015, the Dalai Lama made comments that surprised and angered feminists. He stated that if he was to have a female successor, she would need to be “very attractive” or she would be of “not much use.”
Recently, a BBC reporter challenged him on that comment, but the Dalai Lama stuck to his original statement. “If a female Dalai Lama comes, she should be more attractive,” he said while laughing.
According to the Dalai Lama, in Buddhist literature, both inner and outer beauty matter. But he stressed that equality is still important, and stated that he supports both women’s right and equal pay in the workforce.
Markle has long considered herself a feminist. As a child, she fought against sexist advertising by Procter & Gamble. A TV commercial for Ivory soap caught her attention at the age of 11 when she thought it implied that only women should do the dishes. She wrote letters expressing her concern, and a few months later, the advertisements were changed to be more gender-inclusive.
She continues to promote feminism today with charities like Smart Works, which provides clothing to women for job interviews. Considering that the duchess is such a stout feminist, how can she continue to support the Dalai Lama after his comments implying that a woman is not valuable unless she’s beautiful?
Is Meghan Markle still a feminist after supporting the Dalai Lama?
Markle hasn’t responded to the Dalai Lama’s comments about women, so we’re not sure of her thoughts on the matter, or if she’s even aware of the issue. But others have found even more reasons to criticize Markle usage of the quote.
Piers Morgan, a long-time critic of Markle, called her a hypocrite for choosing the quote which focused on compassion. According to Morgan, Markle needs to focus on her own house first before lecturing others on compassion. Meaning, she should reach out to her estranged family and friends to offer them compassion before telling the rest of the world what to do.
Others have found reasons to criticize Markle’s support of feminism altogether. Pushing the idea of feminism on the public, while in a role she obtained purely by marriage to a man who earned his position from birth, could be considered hypocritical. Markle considers herself a feminist, but many disagree with this categorization because of her role.
Unfortunately, as hard as Markle tries, almost everything she does is taken badly by the public. Although, her main problem seems to be her need to lecture and push political agendas in the first place. When the public pays for your lifestyle, it’s never a good idea to try to force ideas or lecture the people.