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Meghan Markle calls out double-standard around women’s sexuality: ‘So much more vilified than a man’

Duchess of Sussex says being labelled a ‘sl*t’ sticks with women

Chelsea Ritschel
New York
Tuesday 22 November 2022 16:15 GMT
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Related: Meghan Markle calls out ‘angry Black woman’ trope

Meghan Markle has spoken candidly about women’s sexuality, and how “their sexuality is so much more vilified than for a man”.

The Duchess of Sussex addressed the topic of sexuality and “sl*t”-shaming during the latest episode of her Archetypes podcast, where she spoke with Sex and the City author Candace Bushnell and actor and singer Michaela Jaé Rodriguez about the societal double-standard women face.

While speaking with Rodriguez, Meghan acknowledged that, as women age, they begin exploring their sensuality and “feminine Divine”. “Things that I think, as all women we face is, as you’re getting older, you’re exploring and starting to understand your sensuality, your feminine Divine,” she said.

However, according to Meghan, this sexual exploration is often used against women, while men who are “players” are “celebrated” for the same behaviour.

“Your sexuality often times, it can be very much used against you, and I give the example of, you know, for a woman especially versus a man, a man, if he is a player or out having fun or whatever he’s doing, it’s often celebrated, even heralded,” the duchess said. “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.”

Elsewhere during the episode, titled: “Beyond the Archetype: Human, Being,” Meghan also spoke to Bushell about the topic of women’s sexuality, which the Sex and the City author said “looks a lot like Samantha Jones,” the sexually liberated character played by Kim Cattrall in the hit TV series based on her newspaper column.

Bushell said she came to the conclusion after questioning what women’s sexuality looks like when you “take away the ‘I am dependent on a man’ aspect,” and “if women had their own money, and they had their own power”.

“It looks a lot like Samantha Jones, you know, being single in New York in the 90s. And having a lot of women friends who were single and were not dependent on a man for whatever reason, you know, there was a lot of sex going on,” she said. “And a lot of enjoyment of sex and, you know, pretty much any of the cliches about women’s sexuality, I found they were just not true.”

According to Bushell, it was this realisation that inspired her to write Sex and the City.

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