As I have said, I don’t much care for Kate Middleton.
Now, to be precise, I don’t know the woman. Here’s what I mean. I don’t much care for the construct of Kate Middleton, or the type of admiration her construct tends to inspire.
We are allowed to say we don’t like celebrities, and it can be generally understood that we mean we don’t like their construct, their avatar if you will. Celebrities build their public selves via images released to the media and carefully orchestrated public behavior. They put themselves out there, we can have some opinions.
Deep breath. Long sentence on the way. Here, with a full set of appropriate conditions, are the reasons for my personal feelings about what I have assumed about the avatar now known as the Duchess of Cambridge. I understand she’s not Ms. Middleton anymore. That’s one of my issues.
- Is it the prince and eventual princess thing? Must descendants of America’s original revolutionaries hate British royals? Nope. I find no deep harm in a ceremonial head of state. I’m quite fond of Elizabeth. It has been pointed out that if America had a King we might do better in selecting Presidents for their abilities, instead of their haircuts.
- Am I jealous that Kate married Wills? Nope. I kind of prefer Bad Harry.
- Do I find her taste in clothing tedious and somehow lacking either the preposterous frump or the doomed glamor that often characterizes aristocracy? Do I shake my head, perplexed, at how much people admire her style? Yes. But that’s insufficient grounds for dislike.
So what then?
‘m uncomfortable that becoming a Princess inspires adulation. I’m particularly uncomfortable that to inspire said adulation, almost-princesses must become visibly thinner, say little, and invest primarily in good hair. Young princes just have to keep their pants on in public.
And, to extrapolate, I find there’s often a correlation between Kate-worship and political beliefs. Particularly around the role of women. Note that I use the term, “often,” advisedly. If you have other ideas, I’m open.
Please don’t mistake my feelings or my intent. I believe the agricultural role for women, bear children, feed a family, work near to the kitchen or hearth rather than roam afield to hunt or ride a tractor, is valuable. This life can provide nurture for the woman as much as her family. I would have been happy to stay home and have a passel of children.
But I’m a feminist. A dyed-in-the-wool, stone cold believer in the rights of women. As defined by women. And I find that often Duchess of Cambridge worship keeps company with the more restrictive values of Kinder, Kuche, Kirche. Most modern technology, education, and evolution has been directed towards control of human biology. So if we can’t enable women to own their own biology, and as a result choose a role that transcends it, well, what’s the point?
I guess, examining my feelings as best I can, I believe the Royal part of the Duchess of Cambridge avatar cements an idea of the feminine that I don’t care for, to an idea of authority and dignity that I’m unwilling to relinquish. I understand Kate had no choice. I understand that protocol requires her to behave as she does. I just don’t like what that protocol, and her avatar under that protocol, imply about women.
Men don’t aspire to marry princesses in order to become a prince.
We are not accessories. We are not primarily valuable for our blue dresses. Nor our tresses. We should not have to get thin to rise to power, any more than men do.
I’m sure she’s a very nice young woman. If only she’d kept her last name.