"We are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial overtones to some of these stories."
Sarah Malik

30 Oct 2019 - 2:01 PM  UPDATED 31 Oct 2019 - 7:02 PM

English female MPs have written a letter in support of the Duchess of Sussex, Meghan Markle, critiquing media coverage of the Duchess of Sussex as reaffirming outdated colonial stereotypes.

"As women MPs of different political persuasions we wanted to express our solidarity with you in taking a stand against the often distasteful and misleading nature of the stories printed...concerning you," the letter signed by 72 female English MPs read.  

"We are calling out what can only be described as outdated, colonial overtones to some of these stories. 

"As women members we share an understanding of the abuse and intimidation which is now often used as a means of disparaging women in public life from getting on with our very important work."  

"We expect the national media to have the integrity to know when a story is the national interest and when it is seeking to tear down a woman for no reason." 

The letter is a refreshing reminder of the social responsibility and solidarity others can offer to lift the mental load from minorities when it comes to speaking out against discrimination. Female politicians, as powerful women in the spotlight know this only too well. 

Markle recently spoke out about the emotional cost of life in the public eye in an interview, telling a reporter she felt particularly vulnerable against negative press coverage as a new mother. It came after Prince Harry announced he was suing the UK tabloids for invading the couple's privacy by  allegedly hacking into voicemails. 

Press coverage of Markle has unduly focused on her mixed race heritage, referencing her exotic DNA and family lineage. Previously the palace was forced to up the ante in moderating the couple's social media accounts after being inundated with racialised online trolling

Sarah Malik is deputy editor of SBS Voices. Follow her on Twitter at @sarahbmalik.

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