Davos Agenda

Meghan and Harry press coverage is classic female scapegoating, Mary Beard tells Davos

Britain's Prince Harry and his wife Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, holding their son Archie, meet Archbishop Desmond Tutu (not pictured) at the Desmond & Leah Tutu Legacy Foundation in Cape Town, South Africa, September 25, 2019. REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool     TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC1AE0C8CF30

Targeted: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, with her son Archie and husband Prince Harry Image: REUTERS/Toby Melville/Pool TPX IMAGES OF THE DAY - RC1AE0C8CF30

Ceri Parker
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Davos Agenda

This article is part of: World Economic Forum Annual Meeting
  • Meghan and Harry have withdrawn from public royal life, sparking negative publicity.
  • Classicist Mary Beard argues that women are consistently blamed for their husbands' mistakes.
  • The author gave a talk on the history of feminism at Davos.

The way the British press has demonized Meghan, the Duchess of Sussex, is part of a classic pattern of scapegoating women, according to the classicist Mary Beard.

Speaking in a Davos session called A History of Feminism in the West, the professor reacted to the swirl of negative publicity following the young couple's decision to step back from public royal life.

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“We have absolutely no idea what has gone on with Harry and Meghan and we will never know. But our press is absolutely convinced that the explanatory tool here is the female interloper.”

It was something she had seen before when Nancy Reagan was blamed for former US President Ronald Reagan's mistakes, and Cherie Blair made a target for Tony Blair.

In fact, the blaming of women is a trend stretching all the way back to antiquity, argued Beard, a professor of classics at the University of Cambridge.

"It’s cherchez la femme," she said.

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