Re Zoe Williams’ column (Violent misogynistic fantasies like Jeremy Clarkson’s are not new – but the Sun gleefully publishing them is, 19 December), last week I felt confused about why I had found the Harry and Meghan Netflix series upsetting to watch, unsurprised as I was by their treatment from the media and the royal family.
As I read Jeremy Clarkson’s violent opinion, I realised it was because of what Meghan’s experience, Jeremy’s reaction and the Sun’s complicity confirms about the society I survive in. The sort of place with the type of media that take visceral pleasure in tearing a woman apart, bullying and hounding her until she is unsafe and has to leave. And then punishing her for leaving with mockery and bile. Game of Thrones is the medieval point of reference for a reason.
This is, and isn’t, about Meghan. Her treatment tells us everything we need to, and don’t want to, know about this country. If these words are being printed in national newspapers, what do you think the men responsible for writing and publishing them are saying behind closed doors?
So we complained to Ipso, so the piece got taken down, so Jeremy issued a bullshit apology. What next?
Waltham Cross, Hertfordshire
• Zoe Williams’ article sums up my feelings too. But Jeremy Clarkson does not speak for the over-60s at all, despite his wild assertion that “Everyone who’s my age thinks the same way”. We don’t. I don’t know anyone who agrees with Clarkson’s violent, racist fantasies.
I am in my 70s and I am deeply worried to see such anti-women and racist comments gaining ground in the mainstream media. People of my age, of every age, must start speaking out loudly against these views. Just because we are a certain age, it does not make us all rightwing, racist misogynists.
• Nesrine Malik may be missing a point (Why the woes of Harry and Meghan tell us little about British racism, 19 December). It is because of their position at the heart of Britain’s most historical and established institution that Harry and Meghan can bring to light the entrenched attitudes of racism, bullying, class, conservatism and lack of empathy, deeply wired into our culture, at the very centre of the establishment. To disturb the status quo at the palace is to challenge the very foundations of these corrosive “values” that run through society. Yes, they are privileged, yes their experience doesn’t necessarily touch the everyday struggles of everyday people. But they are playing their role in our collective attempt to change and heal, bringing their experience and influence to bear where they can, and have the privilege to do so.
If everyone plays their part, faces the challenges on their own doorsteps, collectively change is evoked. Let’s value everyone’s experience and contribution, not devalue it because it doesn’t encompass everything.
Whaley Bridge, Derbyshire
• I am slightly worried by the fact that I am exactly one day older than Jeremy Clarkson. Contrary to his assertion that everyone his age will agree with him, I rather like the Duchess of Sussex and have always found Clarkson a complete and utter ghastly twonk.