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Meghan Markle Just Made a Powerful Point About Women’s Ambition on Her New Podcast

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In the first episode of her highly-anticipated podcast, Meghan Markle has spoken up about the harmful misconceptions surrounding women’s ambition.

The Duchess of Sussex, who was in conversation with Serena Williams, described how she was criticized for her ambition when she began dating Prince Harry, noting that it was seen as a “terrible, terrible thing.”

The episode, titled The Misconception of Ambition with Serena Williams, is the first installment of Meghan’s Archetypes podcast, released on Spotify on Tuesday, 23 August. According to the show’s description, the podcast sees the Duchess of Sussex dive into “labels that try to hold women back,” as well as “unearthing the origins of words such as ‘diva’, ‘slut’, ‘the B word, ‘hysterical,’ and many more.”

In the episode, Meghan Markle explained how the all-girls Catholic school in Los Angeles that she attended as a teenager always empowered her to go after what she wanted in life:

“This feminist ideology trickled down into nearly every aspect of my education. It’s probably safe to say into every aspect of my life,” she explained. “This message to me and my classmates was clear: our futures as young women were limitless. Ambition? That was the whole point!”



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However, she noted, “I don’t remember personally feeling the negative connotation behind the word ambitious until I started dating my now husband, and apparently, ambition is a terrible, terrible thing. For women.”

“Since I felt the negativity behind it, it’s really hard to unfeel it. I can’t unsee it either in the millions of girls and women who make themselves smaller, so much smaller on a regular basis.”

Introducing Serena Williams, Meghan described the tennis champion as “someone who embodies the spirit of ambition.” The pair, who have long been friends, began a powerful discussion about the double standards surrounding ambition.

Serena noted, “Often women are definitely put in these different boxes when we are ambitious or when we do have goals or when we reach our goals, it’s a negative connotation on how we reach the goals,” while Meghan pointed out that young girls are discouraged from showing ambition at an early age, saying if a young girl “is ambitious or raises her hand more,” she’s more likely to be labeled “bossy” because of her gender.

Serena and Meghan also discussed the double standards between how men and women are treated after having children, as Meghan explained, “The double standard between how men and women are treated after having kids is so, so real. I’ve felt it. And it’s certainly been a big part of Serena’s story as well.”

Earlier in August, Serena confirmed that she’d be retiring from professional tennis, writing for Vogue, “I never wanted to have to choose between tennis and a family,” and pointed out that if she was a man, she’d “be out there playing and winning while my wife was doing the physical labor of expanding our family.”

Meghan concluded the podcast with a powerful message about women’s ambition, saying, “The misconception that if you’re an ambitious woman, you have an agenda, you must be calculating, or you’re selfish or aggressive, or a climber, and that if you’re that fierce or strong or brave, then you somehow deserve whatever gets thrown at you.

“However disproportionate or unfair it may be. And even when it’s more than most could endure, most men, most anyone.”

You can listen to Meghan Markle’s new podcast Archetypes on Spotify now. Oh, and it’s worth tuning in to next week’s episode, which will feature the one-and-only Mariah Carey. We can’t wait…

Originally published in

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