“Kate Middleton is an anorexic slut”.
“Meghan Markle is a selfish bitch, who only cares about herself.”
“Kate is just lazy, when will people accept this? The woman has never worked a day in her life, the only job she had was landing a prince.”
“This woman is a textbook sociopath narcissist. 99.99999% she’s a vile wrecking ball.” #meghanmarkle #megxit
Believe it or not, these are some of the more conservative comments fired across social media toward Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex and Catherine Middleton, the Duchess of Cambridge.
Over the past few months, social vitriol has ramped up several notches toward Middleton and Markle and is largely the byproduct of a lingering tabloid claim that the two are locked in a turbulent and toxic feud.
The plot line—which holds about as much water as a sieve—has culminated in a flurry of activity on social media as people rush to pick their team; despite knowing nothing of the pair’s true relationship or indeed anything beyond the public fanfare.
But it’s hard to be surprised.
After all, we love a trope that reinforces the notion that women are just out to sink their claws in one another; especially when said women are beautiful, affluent royals.
Adding even more shine to this catfight, is the obvious culture war at play as well. Middleton, is the serene, English rose– the future Queen and the bearer of all the heirs to the British throne. Markle is the brash American actress; an opinionated, divorced outsider with a controversial family.
Kate represents the establishment, while Meghan symbolises a modern monarchy.
If only things were so clear cut.
But aside from the obvious sexism of following (and believing in) this age-old narrative, aren’t we all just bored of it? After so many years of tabloid gullibility, surely we’re smart enough to read between the lines and seek more from the media we consume.
It seems at least, that certain media outlets are trying to do better. Some members of the British Press took a stand against social media users this week, urging them to stop the senseless trolling and sought help from Instagram to monitor and remove abusive comments before they received much air time.
Hello Magazine launched the “hellotokindness” campaign, urging posters to think hard before posting offensive comments.
“When Meghan made a surprise appearance at the British Fashion Awards, our moderators had to disable comments on the Instagram post and delete more than 500 because the debate became so abusive,” writer Emily Nash noted.
“We’re asking people to think before they post and say #HelloToKindness. We want to make social media a more positive space for everyone to enjoy.”
And, if social media trolls are so intent on hooking their angry pincers into something, might I suggest they look at the real injustices of this world? War, famine, climate change, corruption, sex-trafficking—the list really is never-ending.
There’s a lot to be angry about, but let’s stop wasting our ammunition.