How the 11-year-old Meghan Markle fought the patriarchy

The Duchess of Sussex started shattering ceilings at a very young age.
The Duchess of Sussex started shattering ceilings at a very young age.

At 11 years, while most of us were coming home from school, moseying around with our shirts untucked before plonking ourselves on the couch, Meghan Markle was already appearing on screen, casually fighting the patriarchy and changing the world.

Because in 1993, when a tween Meghan saw a Proctor & Gamble TV ad for dishwashing soap claim “women all over America are fighting greasy pots and pans”, she wasn’t having any of it!

Meghan launched a letter-writing campaign to get the corporation to remove the ad, explaining that by saying, “women are battling grease” they're implying “only women do dishes”. She continued, “When I heard this, the boys in my class said, 'Yeah, that’s where women belong – in the kitchen.'”

But just three short months later, “women all over America”, as per the tween's exact request and recommendation, became “people all over America”.

Nick News, Nickelodeon’s news program for children, covered the story many years ago and, just before the royal wedding, posted a throwback video on their Remember When Facebook page. And we are here. for. it.

The young Meghan explained, “It makes me feel like they’re [boys are] going to grow up thinking girls are less than them. You know, like, boys are better than girls.”

So here’s a little advice for young girls, and boys, from Meghan Markle, the glass-ceiling-breaking, patriarchy-smashing, feminist Duchess of Sussex: “If you see something that you don’t like or are offended by on television or any other place, write letters and send them to the right people. You can really make a difference for, not just yourself, but lots of other people.”


Do you have a little one, tween or teen, who's done something particularly inspiring or impressive lately? Tell us by emailing and we may publish their story.

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