HAJI MOHAMED DAWJEE: Why I can’t talk about #Megxit anymore
For the past week or so my Whatsapp notifications have not had more than a split second rest between them. Each ping is pain in my a**. And almost all of them are from my wife who most times is literally sitting on the couch opposite from me and obsessively scrolling through the Daily Mail and other British media outlets for news on the whole Harry and Meghan are leaving the royal family debacle. In her own words, “I am getting a PhD on the situation”. In my own words: I don’t care, please stop before I cut off my own arm just so I have something to throw at you.
Succinctly put, my very intelligent wife’s opinion on the whole thing is this: “It’s absolutely shocking what they’ve done. I mean, good for them if they want to leave, but then they should leave their titles behind as well. Why should they have to benefit from being royals if they’re not carrying out their royal duties? It’s something you have to work for.”
First of all, work? What work? In my opinion, imperialism is long overdue for extinction. The bluebloods of the world are boring private school educated foot soldiers of a regime that embodies many of the world’s problems: classism, racism, colonialism etc.
The work that royals do mostly revolves around state visits and let’s be honest, they brought this menial labour on themselves when they decided to become one of the foremost providers in the offering of conflict and rivalry throughout history. And lastly, there’s the charitable aspect.
When royals are not using taxpayer money to jet off around the world and hand out stoic handshakes, they’re posing with sick babies and getting tutorials on how to administer vaccines. Well, it’s the very least they can do since the coloniser is the great deliverer of foreign diseases, don’t you think?
I agree with my wife on this point: good for them for leaving. Good for them for abandoning the path of what can only be described as an archaic period drama, and wanting to move forward in a way that’s far more independent. And more than that, what better time to make this move and prove this point when the tone of Britain’s politics so aptly sets them up? The country is filled with faultiness at the moment. It is cracking from the bottom up because of longstanding polarising political and generational opinions.
Take Brexit, for example, which very much runs parallel to Megxit, and why not? Should we stay in the European Union or should we go? Should we be sympathetic to the mixed-race duchess or should we defend the queen and the aesthetic norms of monarchy, tradition and all it stands for? The difference is that with Brexit, the British have decided on a more conservative, samey and backward society, whereas with Megxit, Harry and Meghan have chosen everything but. They have gone the route of progression, openness and pluralism.
In a society tainted by the festering wound of harsh opposition to change, why then is this even a discussion? To me it’s just obvious that they would leave, in fact, they should have done it sooner.
What Harry and Meghan represented, or were supposed to represent, was Britains embracing of a more multicultural, even post-racial society – but no such society exists to embrace them so they seek refuge elsewhere in order to escape the hounding press and vindictive traditions of royal live. Are they self-indulgent when it comes to hanging on to titles because it seems as though they want the perks of royalty without the responsibilities? Well, again, I ask, what are the responsibilities? As for perks, they have openly stated that they do not want to depend on the state any longer or taxpayer’s money.
Frankly, there’s no discussion to be had. It all seems pretty simple and self-explanatory. I don’t think either of them would care too much if they were stripped of their titles, but I will say this: let Meghan be called a duchess, just because it pisses people off to know she is the culture war they will never win.
Haji Mohamed Dawjee is a South African columnist, disruptor of the peace and the author of 'Sorry, Not Sorry: Experiences of a brown woman in a white South Africa'. Follow her on Twitter.