For starters, and this goes without saying, but we believe Meghan Markle. We’ve adored her since Rachel Zane graced our TV screens on Suits and we now adore and admire here even more. We believe her.
We believe her because believing women when they tell their truths matters. And we believe her because no woman ever wants to admit that they aren’t okay. Our friend Katie Kawa of Nerdy Girl Notes shared an extraordinary post about the fact that we cannot be strong all the time. And I want to make sure, you all head over there to read what she had to say because I’ve been resorted into a blubbering wreck all morning.
Telling the truth is hard—admitting you’re not okay and that you need help, as Markle states, requires courage. And what she’s telling us is that she wasn’t given the help that she needed. Let that sink in for a moment. Let the fact that there are countless men (and sadly some women) who are standing on the opposite side blatantly disregarding her transparency and saying that it’s a cry for attention. There are people out there that genuinely believe someone could sit in front of another and say they’re not okay, that they felt weak and helpless and suicidal for attention.
And that’s just the sad reality of our world where instead of going forward, we keep going back. Instead of working towards fighting racism and amplifying Black voices, we keep tracing back to praise lineages of supposed purity when it’s all built on radicalized corruption and years of immoral colonization. That’s the problem in all this, that simply and plainly, this treatment goes down to racism and it’s downright disgusting.
But as we said above, we believe Meghan Markle and we are in awe of what she did by sharing her truth and opening up the platform for other women to step forward and speak when they’re struggling and need help. (We believe her when they both confirm their child would not have been protected, they’d have no security. HOW!? It’s just so downright horrifying. And we believe every word. Because people are capable of horrible things like this.)
We talk about it often that when one woman steps forward, it’ll open the doors for others to come through as well. When people step forward about something, it will always matter—no matter how different the story or the circumstances. And for women especially, it’s hard to be brave. It’s hard to be strong. It’s hard to look into the faces of those we love and say we’re not okay. (It’s especially hard for women whose voices come from marginalized communities.
No one wants to appear weak or worn-down, or God, even worse, that they’re doing it for attention. And that’s the problem for so many women, that it takes time to speak our truths because we’re already thinking of the 100s of ways in which we can be torn up for it. The 100s of ways in which people can listen to what we’re saying but never truly hear the words leaving our mouths. That people can read posts like this and still, not see that we’re trying so damn hard to say something that is unbearably hard. It’s hard yet sadly unsurprising that people came out of this interview still refusing to stand by the side of a woman who’s clearly trying her best in a situation that most of us cannot even grasp the realities of.
But as Meghan Markle sat there, looking back at moments in her life where she felt trapped, as her husband vouched for her authenticity with every word he spoke, you just knew and understood how unbearably hard this was. And then you go online hoping to find the right words to describe the heartache you feel in watching another women suffer and instead you see voices speaking the polar opposite.
This isn’t new. This refusal to believe women and to stand with them dates back longer than we remember and it’s sad that it’s still an issue today. It’s hard enough to suffer through something that makes you feel like you no longer want to live, imagine admitting to that, and having people question it. Or people validating that they knew and yet still didn’t help you. Good God, it’s all so baffling, so rage evoking and so immensely heartbreaking.
We know this post won’t change anything. An unbeliever will likely not read this and see the light, but I suppose we’re writing it because it’s important to us to stand with women when they’ve suffered and/or are struggling. It’s important for us to point out the fact that we believe them and that we stand on the side of strong women who admit that constant strength is an impossible thing and that it’s absolutely okay not to be okay. And that maybe just maybe (hopefully) we’re headed towards a better world where people can admit that they aren’t okay and get the help that they deserve.