Meghan’s Sex Workers Banana Messages – Good or Stupid?

This week, the Duchess of Sussex hit the headlines after visiting a sex worker outreach centre in Bristol and writing goodwill messages on bananas that were included it food parcels for the vulnerable women.

The Duchess used a black marker to scrawl handwritten notes such as “be strong” and “you are loved”.

Outreach Work

She and Prince Harry visited One25 who take the girls, food, condoms, offer advice and even blankets and hot water bottles, whilst helping them get off the streets.

As they were shown the food bags being prepared in the programme’s kitchen, the Duchess suddenly said: “Oh actually do you have a Sharpie marker? I have an idea.

“I saw this project this woman had started somewhere in the States on a school lunch programme.

“On each of the bananas she wrote an affirmation, to make the kids feel really, like, empowered. It was the most incredible idea – this small gesture.”

Armed with a marker and stating “I am in charge of the banana messaging!” she wrote a series of messages on the bananas destined for the food bags sent out on the outreach van including “You are special”.

Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex leave Windsor Castle

Now, it is fair to say that reaction to this has been mixed to say the least. One sex worker thought that what she did was ‘really stupid’.

She added: “People out here struggle to eat and sleep and she gifts us some words on a piece of fruit.

“She has the means to help us more than that. It’s offensive, you know.”

However, this view wasn’t shared by another sex worker, who had a more positive view on it, describing it a “really sweet”.

She said: “It’s so cold right now, it’s a struggle to raise money to get a bed for the night, so any food and bedding is a big help.

“I think it’s great Meghan is supporting them. It is really sweet.”

After Meghan had signed the banana, a volunteer said: “I can imagine being on the van, and ‘Meghan wrote this thing, and what?’ I think they might not eat it. I think that banana would be at home until it is rotten. Because I would do the same.

“It sounds really cheesy, but little things like that when you are out – especially tonight, we can see the weather – just to get that little thing… Meghan took her time out to write that one. It’s lush.”

Virtue Signalling or a Great Step Forward?

I have to say, I am rather torn on this one. Part of me thinks this is virtue signalling, an effort to get better headlines after a number of months of allegations that she treats royal staff like garbage, and she is in the middle of a feud with Kate. What will a banana with nice words REALLY do for those most vulnerable? Is this more about her public profile than helping people?

Then again, those women on the street may not be feeling full of confidence, so maybe just a kind word will do some real good?

What I will say is that it can be a good thing IF it is accompanied by actions and real campaigning work. If the totality of her work is to go back to the Palace and (allegedly) scream at more staff after handing out some bloody bananas, then I agree with the first lady, she could be doing more.

If however the Duchess now begins to actively campaign for the rights of sex workers and sex worker safety, then this will be a wonderful step. If we could get an exponent for the Danish policy we spoke about last month, that would be even better.

She won’t need to let the homeless come and sleep in one of her rooms. But she can have a real impact on the lives of sex workers.

Whether it is fair or not, Meghan doesn’t fit the stereotype of a royal. She comes from an under-privileged background, and there is a chance that she may be able to get more of a bond of trust than someone born to privilege, who though well meaning, may not be able connect with the vulnerable as well.

The future will be interesting. A sex worker advocate in that echelon of society will be of great help to those who need it most. These messages can start humanising those in trouble. If that this is the start of a journey, then we will back Meghan to the hilt.

Martin Ward
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Martin Ward

Martin Ward is a well respected editor and writer with over five years experience in the adult industry. After stints in the Escort Advertising call centre and on the escort forum, he moved into the site editor position around three years ago.

Since then, he has specialised in articles on the battle for equal rights for sex workers, sexual health, as well as bringing the readers fun news from around the world. He also has a major interest in LGBT rights, and is an active campaigner in this field.

When he isn't fighting the good fight, he enjoys spending time with his girlfriend, and young daughter. He also enjoys reading and taking long walks.
Martin Ward
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