Were you angry, sad, or disappointed by the Oprah Interview with Meghan Markle and Prince Harry?
I experienced all of the above emotions.
What is causing me to have such a visceral reaction?
And clearly, I’m not the only one. From newscasters storming off set to the vitriol happening on social media this interview really struck a chord.
The interview caused people to draw battle lines in the proverbial sand. You have to either be on #TeamMeghan or you’re an insensitive racist. One who doesn’t support mental health issues.
This interview raised very complicated issues. And therefore you can not reduce them to either being supportive of a particular person or a racist. There are so many other variables to consider.
I am an African American woman that is not a racist. I’m extremely sensitive to mental health issues.
And yet Meghan disappointed m in this interview.
I don’t doubt her truth, and it’s not for me to judge her mental state and need for care.
Meghan should have access to whatever she needs to secure her mental well-being.
But as a fierce champion of women, I cringed when Meghan droned on about her “hurt feelings from a disagreement over a flower girl dress.”
Oh, the pettiness of it all!!
Women are on the front lines fighting the good fight for equity and inclusion.
We want to have our seat at the table. And we want our voice to have the same value as our male counterparts.
To show up as effective leaders that are unapologetically authentic.
It is hard enough for women in leadership. We must battle against the false narrative of being “emotional train wrecks” that are easily offended.
That can’t accept feedback without getting our feelings all in a wad.
We shouldn’t be trusted to make the “important decisions” because we rely on emotions without considering the impact. The perception and the struggle are real.
And yet here we are listening to a woman with an international platform having a silly quibble over a child’s wedding dress…. REALLY????
Can we please elevate and rise above?
Can we please move away from the junior high school mean girl narrative?
Imagine if Meghan had simply indicated that the headlines were not true. If she could have acknowledged it was a silly disagreement with her future sister-in-law. A disagreement that was swiftly and amicably resolved. Enough said!
Instead, what she did was throw Kate Middleton under the bus all the while undermining her claims that, “it was the media that sought to polarize them.”
I don’t say this as a defender of Kate, I’m sure she has enough fans for that. I say it as someone who is passionate about seeing women winning together. To celebrate each other and save a seat for our sisters at the table.
I say this because I am outraged that the narrative for International Women’s Day was hijacked!
That instead of celebrating the accomplishment of women, the discussion of the day centered around a princess.
A princess who is complaining about her unfair treatment instead of the amazing accomplishments of so many women.
I want the discussions to highlight how far we’ve come. And how resolute we all must be, for the work that still needs to be done on behalf of gender equality.
Of course, I know she was sharing “her truth” and that’s fine.
However, when did we lose sight of the concept of two sides to every story.
Meghan is certainly entitled to her truth along with everyone else involved.
How can we in good conscious allow for a complete character assassination of an entire family without knowing the context in which things were said, without hearing their perspective, and without “their truth?”
This is foundational to good leadership.
To gather as much information as possible and let cooler heads prevail before rendering judgement.
To journey towards meaningful outcomes knowing it may require you to take the off ramp toward the high road. And to attack problems, not people with an eye toward solutions, not just being right.
Cheers to having the conversations that lead to bold change. However, in order to do that you need all parties involved to come to the table with an open mind that isn’t easily offended.
Most importantly to have an attitude that says, you can’t compete with me because I want you to win too.
Ladies what I want for us can be summed up in the words of Rodney King, “Can we all just get along?”
I would love to hear from you. Listening with an open mind that isn’t easily offended. Let’s chat about it.