Have you ever seen that movie where Julie Andrews calls up Anne Hathaway randomly and tells her that she gets to be a princess in some fictitious eastern European country? Well, that just happened. Only it wasn’t Anne Hathaway, it was Peggielene (Peggie) Bartels, a Washington DC administrative assistant. And it wasn’t a fictitious country in Eastern Europe but the real Otuam, a fishing village in Ghana. Perhaps the coolest part of this princess story is that Peggie Bartels is not a princess at all. Peggie Bartels is the new crowned king of Otuam.
Although King Peggie Bartels’ story is totally awesome (who wouldn’t want to be a king?) she is still being attacked on all sides by male chauvinism. Many of the men think that the word “king” is only a title that a man should have and women should not rule at all. King Peggie does not believe the chauvinist hype. She believes that women can be kings and can rule just as reasonably as a king. When asked why she chose to be king and instead of queen she responded, “Because I am queen.”
We found this story to be really inspirational. It’s not every day that a secretary gets to become a king. But we wondered if all the hullabaloo over her title is warranted. Why not queen? There’s a certain “Mills-ness” about this story. A woman given extreme circumstances rises to the occasion and shows that she can accomplish anything. What can be more “Mills” than that? King Peggy should stay just that: king. If Ghanna is willing to reorganize and allow a woman to be ruler then let her be called whatever she likes. Long Live King Peggie.