Meghan Markle today spoke of how female sexuality ‘is so much more vilified’ than men’s and even women in their 50s can be targeted by gossip about how they were ‘a sl*t in college’.
While men are described as ‘players’, women are mocked for their sexual behaviour, the Duchess of Sussex said in the latest episode of her Archetypes podcast on Spotify.
Meghan’s comments came during a discussion with trans actress and singer Michaela Jaé Rodriguez on experiences during her teenage years.
‘As you’re getting older, you’re exploring and starting to understand your sensuality, your feminine divine,’ the duchess says.
‘But your sexuality can be very much used against you… [a man] is a player or out having fun or whatever he’s doing, it’s often celebrated, even heralded.
‘But for a woman, I don’t care if she is perhaps the most successful woman in finance in her mid-50s I promise you someone will still come and say ”yeah, but she was such a sl*t in college”.
‘It will stick with her. I don’t understand what it is about the stigma surrounding women and their sexuality, the exploration of their sexuality that is so much more vilified than for a man and I wonder what that experience.’
In the episode, entitled ‘Beyond the Archetype: Human, Being’, Meghan also revealed she owns a piece of art bearing the words ‘human kind – be both’, and surprised students in her old high school.
In addition, the duchess spoke to Sex and the City author Candace Bushell about how women were treated in the entertainment industry.
Meghan began the episode by describing a piece of art in her £11million mansion in Montecito, California.
‘There’s a piece of art in my sitting room – it’s not fancy. It’s kind of this rectangle shape, almost plaque like. And it just says simply ”human kind” – be both,’ she says.
‘My friend, Jen gave it to me a couple of days ago and it always makes me smile. Because I love her and our friendship – it reminds me of her, we’ve been super close since we were about 17 – but also, because it’s true. Human kind – be both.
‘It got me thinking about other types of wordplay that resonate and I specifically was thinking about something that I was told many years ago. You’re not just a human being, you’re a human just being.
‘Now the woman who told me this was trying to remind me to just be easier on myself, sort of in the same vein of saying don’t let perfect be the enemy of good. Well this is just another version of that same ilk of advice, you’re human, just being.’
Meghan made a visit to her old school, Immaculate Heart school in LA, and chatted with pupils about whether they were being ‘labelled’ or ‘given the space to be human’.
She asked if any of them had heard the word ‘bimbo’ – to which one of them replied that they had only seen it once on TikTok.
‘Talk about ageing myself,’ Meghan says, before describing how she the word was ‘something that I grew up seeing all the time’.
The duchess has previously complained about being treated as a bimbo when she was a ‘briefcase girl’ on Deal Or No Deal.
During the episode, Meghan described the characters in Sex And The City – Carrie, Samantha, Miranda and Charlotte – as “iconic”.
She said Bushnell’s writing “still holds up today”, adding: “It still feels boundless today. And in her recent novel and one woman show Is There Still Sex In The City? she continues to peel back the layers of what women can be in all stages of life.”
Bushnell told Meghan she did not make “a tonne of money” from Sex And The City, and, when the duchess asked her how that makes her feel, she replied: “Angry.”
Bushnell added: “That’s one of the realities. The fact of the matter is, you know, I’m fine, I’m OK, I’m doing OK, so I just keep working.”
Following another conversation with the poet Amanda Gorman, Meghan describes how her guests had made her feel.
‘I find it so inspiring to listen to women who are clear on who they are – unwavering, not waffling, confident, in spite of whatever barriers they may have seen in the foreground,’ she says.
‘And as I thought about closing this episode, how I could just bottle up that feeling, that inspiring feeling of liberation, when you shed all those fears of judgment [and] you sit in your authenticity. When you allow yourself to be human and to be.’
Rounding off the episode with a quote from a poem, she adds: ‘And where there is woman, there is forever a way. Truer words have never been spoken.’
Meghan tells listeners she wants to revisit a major part of her ‘origin story’, Immaculate Heart school in LA.
‘I wanted to explore these labels and boxes are part of the self-identification for the young women there,’ she says. ‘Or if they’ve given themselves the space to be a human.’
As the duchess walks back into the school, she describes how the memories were coming ‘flooding back’.
‘It’s so great because as an adult you come back into this environment, it feels so small, but when you’re in high school at this campus was so big.
‘Middle school and high school is a really big time for anyone in their life. You’re so impressionable and you also think you know everything when you’re a teenager.
‘But for young women especially this is the time period in which you sort of start to look around.
‘Around the culture and society, the messages you’re receiving, and you ask yourself constantly, how am I supposed to be?
‘At least that was very much. My experience of adolescence and maybe maybe things have changed.’
Meghan is heard chatting with three young women who had just graduated, Abigail, Diana and Grace.
Asking which labels they felt were applied to them, one of them replied, ‘the b-word’, while another said, ‘bossy’.
Meghan then mentions the word ‘bimbo’, saying: ‘So, when you guys hear the word bimbo, who do you think of or what do you think of?’
After one of them replies that they’ve only ever heard the word on TikTok, Meghan says: ‘I mean talk about aging myself, but this idea of the bimbo, the dumb blond, this was something that I grew up seeing all the time, and here we go, they hadn’t.’
The royal then tells the group how she once received a religious studies assignment at school to plan her own wedding.
‘That’s insane,’ one of them replies.
Meghan then has a conversation with Dr Shefali Tsabary, an expert in family dynamics and personal development.
Yesterday it emerged Archetypes appeared to have dropped in popularity with US listeners, with the last episode at just 77 in the US charts as of 1pm yesterday – behind a collection of lullabies.