Many of us have been watching in awe at the profound impact that Meghan and Harry’s Oprah interview has had on the fight against endemic injustice. There has been an outpouring of empathy for the Duchess’s suffering at the hands of the British. Not only has she had to live through the public spectacle of a royal wedding, she has had to endure the indignity of public scrutiny every time she wishes to travel by private jet. This is not how a victim should be treated. The Duchess is riding on a wave of American support and has challenged one of the oldest institutions on earth. She shows us that the world can be turned upside down when the power of suffering is successfully harnessed.
Such was the emotive power of her interview that a presidential bid is now being mooted for Markle. What would President Markle bring to America? Here are the five tenets of Marklism:
Find your voice
The Duchess is living proof that now is the time to find your inner victim and unleash her/him/they for the greater good. There is an oppressed person within all of us, just waiting to get out. Your subjugation may be latent and inert, but with hard work you can nurture it into an effective victim identity. Look to Meghan for your inspiration. If a Duchess can identify her inner victim there is hope for the rest of us.
You may find it hard to uncover your own personal oppression, but you can find inspiration in historical figures. Imagine yourself in the shoes of Emmeline Pankhurst or Rosa Parks and re-enact their struggles in your mind. If you find that reading books or studying history is too difficult, simply turn on the telly and watch some cartoons. This is how Meghan discovered the oppression-busting idol, the Little Mermaid. Although the Little Mermaid wasn’t forced to sit at the back of a bus, face workplace discrimination or denied the vote, she did struggle to confine herself to gender-species norms as a semi aquatic being. Mermaids have always suffered from the unwarranted lust of imperial sailors. They are directly linked to colonial oppression.
Speak your truth
Once you have developed your victim identity, it will be time for you to ‘speak your truth’. This announces your presence to the world and ensures that, not only will you be listened to, but you will also be believed. Your truth may diverge from real events, but you will be judged by your skill in narrative construction, rather than the presentation of facts. Next time your boss accuses you of bullying behaviour at work, try harnessing the power of story to reclaim the narrative. As Meghan has shown, life is about the stories we tell ourselves.
Play your part
Remember that ‘your truth’ can only become ‘our truth’ if we have an emotional connection with your reality. Just like Meghan, you must learn your lines, but it is equally important to emote. Try tilting your head to the side, widening your watery eyes and presenting your ‘I know .. I know .. I couldn’t believe it either’ face. Ask a friend to nod supportively as you elucidate your pain.
Feel your power
Do not waste time demonstrating that you are a kind, compassionate human being. Simply state that you are these things. Refuse to accept duties that are not enhancing to your own sense of self worth. If cutting ribbons is too burdensome, cut ties with family instead. The past is only there to constrain you. Like Meghan, you should not ponder the reason why you have the platform that you do; your power is innate and has nothing to do with, say, your title. Remember, power has shifted to those who pretend that they are powerless. Meghan shows us that being silenced is better than being silent.