A few days ago I listened to the song Princess of China by Coldplay featuring Rihanna. In all my previous listenings of this song I had missed something obvious. At least it was obvious to my modern sensibilities about sexism.
In the song, Rihanna sings, “I could’ve been a princess, you’d be a king.” Although Chris Martin (Coldplay’s singer and the other voice on this song) is older than Rihanna, it’s not a big stretch to think of them as peers and not in an intergenerational relationship for the song. In other words, making Chris Martin a king while Rihanna stays a princess and does not graduate to queen, seems unfair and sexist.
But then I thought back to my own country’s leader, Queen Elizabeth II and her husband, Prince Philip. That’s right, not only does Prince Philip have little power, symbolic or otherwise,but also for the rest of his life he will never rank higher than prince. That is blatant reverse sexism at work. And elitism – Queen Elizabeth’s family always has primacy.
But does anyone question this reverse sexism? No one that I have heard of. You know, the rabble isn’t completely stupid – we could handle the idea of King Philip not being the leader. We know who wears the biggest crown in that family.
So Queen Elizabeth II, while you were stamping out sexism in your great grand daughter/son’s life, perhaps you could have taken a peek into your own relationship with power. Before making sure your great grandbaby would lead the UK and some of the commonwealth as either a boy or girl, you could have looked at your own husband.
That man across the room, yeah, your life partner, is only a prince. I sometimes think it a bit silly that Charles, at his age is only a prince, but you can’t be blamed for that, I know you want to live forever. If calling Charles a prince sounds ridiculous, it’s a full blown comedy movie of ridiculousness for Philip to be called a prince.
So Queen Elizabeth II, can you see your way into giving your, husband, Prince Philip, the dignity of being a king? Stamp out this reverse sexism now. Equal rights for Philip!