On Tuesday's episode of the 'Archetypes' podcast, the Duchess of Sussex unpacked the 'b-word.'
Meghan Markle faced -- and heard -- her least favorite word! On Tuesday’s episode of the Archetypes podcast, titled "To 'B' or Not to 'B'?," the Duchess of Sussex speaks with Mellody Hobson, president and co-CEO of Ariel Investments and chairwoman of Starbucks Corporation, and cosmetics mogul Victoria Jackson, about the word "b**ch."
During the episode, Meghan never says the word, which she makes clear is one of her least favorites. The certified "word nerd" talks about the implications that comes with "b**ch" and how it is ultimately tied to women in power.
The duchess begins her conversation with Robin Thede, the creator of A Black Lady Sketch Show, who breaks down the various instances a women may be called the b-word, whether it’s when they are exerting their power, turning down advances from men, or simply saying no, which leads the duchess to bring up another word that has the same implication to her -- difficult.
"In other words, I think what Robin is getting at, and what these people are implying when they use that very charged word, is that this woman, 'Oh she’s difficult,'" she says. "Which is really just a euphemism or probably not even a euphemism, but really a code word for the b-word."
Meghan discusses how Robin and other women have gone on to reclaim the word with the use of the term "bad b**ch." The duchess also references how the comedian used the term during the "Bad B**ch Support Group" sketch on her Emmy-winning show.
However, Meghan does not feel the need to reclaim the term. It’s just not for her.
"I mean, for a person who hates the word so much, this is giving me hives," Meghan admits after a clip of the sketch runs. "As you may have guessed, I have zero interest in reclaiming this term. But these women I respect, whose work I love, a lot of them are entirely comfortable with that. They want to do that. To take the power out of it."
In another part of the conversation, Meghan unpacks the truth behind b**ch.
"So, perhaps the truth is that labeling a woman the b-word, or is difficult, is often a deflection, a way to hide some of her really awesome qualities, her persistence, her strength, her perseverance, her strong opinion, maybe even her resilience," she says.
During her conversation with Victoria, Meghan talks about the implications the word b**ch has as men often use it in public spaces to discredit women of power.
"That’s what I’m thinking about, maybe that’s why I have such a visceral reaction to this word," Meghan says. "Because it was implanted on a granular level without any of us thinking about it at the time. And so, these stereotypes that were lurking beneath the surface of these characterizations, they just became ingrained in us without any real understanding. Because these were complex women with a range of life experiences and nearly all of whom, wielded some kind of power and attempted in some ways to challenge the social order."
The mother of two also celebrates how some women are "reframing, reclaiming and relinquishing" the term.
However, she explores the notion that words never hurt, when in fact they do, and challenges women to find other "b" words out there to describe them.
"But what happens when we use that pain to fuel purpose?" she asks. "When the b-word is shouted with one intent but you’re able to let it go, and to remind yourself of all the other words that start with a 'b' that describe you."
Each episode of Meghan's Archetypes podcast explores various labels that are put on women to hold them back. So far, the duchess has discussed the term "diva" with Mariah Carey, unpacked the "Angry Black Woman" with Issa Rae, and the misconception behind the word "ambition" with her BFF, Serena Williams. Other guests have included Constance Wu, Mindy Kaling and a surprise appearance from the Meghan's mother, Doria Ragland.