Sexism comes to us not just in the obvious forms of rape apology and the constant evaluation of women’s bodies in the press. Sometimes it comes in the underlying assumptions.
The tabloids are abuzz recently with news that after all the money the British government spent on refurbishing Kensington Palace, the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge, Will and Kate, will not be living there.
The theory put out in the tabloids is thoroughly sexist and more than a bit insulting to William. According to the print edition of Star Magazine and other sources, Kate has decided that she wants to raise her children much the same way that she was raised, in the country and away from the prying eyes of the paparazzi. According to Cate Meighan, “Kate seems to have a pretty clear cut idea of the kind of mother she is aiming to be.”
If one is to believe the tabloids, (and really, why would one do that?) Kate is making all the domestic decisions for the family from where they live to how and where their children will be raised and educated.
Ignored are the following facts:
- William hates the paparazzi and has made a concerted effort to avoid them at all costs. Hiding from the tabloids on a country estate is entirely in keeping with his stated desires.
- William recently took a course at Cambridge in agriculture, and as large as Kensington Palace may be, it is hardly conducive to growing fields of wheat.
- Having grown up in a troubled family with a father who appeared very removed and a mother who died when he was still quite young, William has made quite a point of creating a very different kind of family than the one in which he was raised.
- The most important thing that is clearly overlooked is how much William values his role as father. In pictures from the family’s recent trip to Australia, it was clear that William was a loving and involved father. It is evident that he wants to spend time with his child and play a pivotal role in his childhood.
Sexism comes to us not just in the obvious forms of rape apology and the constant evaluation of women’s bodies in the press. Sometimes it comes in the underlying assumptions. A family decides where to make its home, and every tabloid reporter just assumes that the wife/mother is calling the shots. And perhaps that is the case.
Or maybe, just maybe, Prince William is a lot less sexist than the press that hounds him. Maybe he relishes home life and enjoys time with his wife and son. Maybe he wants to be ensconced in a home, not a national monument. Maybe he craves privacy rather than servants, and maybe he wants to raise his children with warmth and love not just privilege.
It seems that the press does not give William credit for being an active participant and decision-maker as a father and in his marriage. Is it so impossible to believe that the future King loves his wife and son more than the trappings of royalty and values his roles as father and husband more than his role as a Prince?
Lynn Beisner writes about family, social justice issues, and the craziness of daily life. Her work can be found on Role Reboot, Alternet, and on her blog: Two Parts Smart-Ass; One Part Wisdom. You can find her on Facebook and Twitter.