Meghan Markle defended the word “woke” and women involved in activism in her latest podcast episode.
Markle spoke to Jameela Jamil, Shohreh Aghdashloo and Ilana Glazer in Tuesday’s episode of “Archetypes.” The women discussed how female activism is largely criticized and looked at negatively.
“Have you ever heard the saying, ‘If you don’t stand for something, you’ll fall for anything’? I remember hearing it years ago and nodding along, thinking, ‘Mm hmm, that makes sense to me.’ Just stand for something. Stand for something good,” Markle began her podcast. “But not everyone sees it that way. Especially when it comes to women. I started to notice this almost default eyeroll when someone would mention a woman fighting for a cause. An almost, ‘Oh, here she goes again.’ Or maybe it was more of, ‘Stand for something? Why can’t she just sit down and…’ You know the rest.”
“The unspoken annoyance that seemed to swirl around women in activism was astounding to me, and I couldn’t quite wrap my head around it. I still can’t,” she continued. “But then I realized, as with most things, while it may manifest itself differently, or in different shapes or forms or ways, it’s not new. This has been going on for a long time.”
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Markle went on to speak to Glazer, a comedian, about how she includes her activism in her comedy. Jamil spoke about the movement she started called “I Weigh.” Lastly, the “Suits” star spoke to Aghdashloo, an Iranian American actress, about her experience at a pro-democracy demonstration in Iran that led to her activism work.
Markle ended her podcast by questioning why the word “woke” is as taboo as the “f-word.”
“To be able to have conversations like these felt really affirming. Empowering even. Because it reminded me that, as women, we aren’t alone. Even when we have the audacity to stand for something, we stand together,” she concluded. “And I thought a lot about words that became unnecessarily charged as it pertains to women. Like feminism, for example, often treated as taboo as the f-word or the word woke? I know…. I’m saying woke. I fully realized that I am spoon-feeding the clickbait. But here is why, because woke by definition means, alert to injustice in society, especially racism. Now what’s loaded or wrong with that?”
“And when you layer a woman into that seemingly anodyne definition, it becomes for many, almost disgusting. Outrageous, they would say. But why? What is so scary about a woman having an opinion as strongly as a man does? And why do we sometimes cower to that? Turtle, as I often say,” Markle added. “Go back into the safety of our own shell.”
In 2020, the Duke and Duchess of Sussex announced a “multi-year partnership” between Spotify and their production company Archewell Audio.
According to an audio teaser released in March, the series aims to “investigate the labels that try to hold women back.”
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“I’ll have conversations with women who know all too well how these typecasts shape our narratives,” Markle shared at the time. “And I’ll talk to historians to understand how we even got here in the first place.”
Markle launched “Archetypes” Aug. 23. Her podcast series, which features conversations between the actress and cultural commentators, historians and contemporary thinkers, kicked off with guest Serena Williams.
The Duchess of Sussex started her acting career with a small role on “General Hospital.” She went on to appear in shows and movies such as “Century City,” “CSI: NY” and “Horrible Bosses.”
She is most known for her seven-season stint as Rachel Zane on “Suits.”
In July 2016, she began dating Prince Harry, and the two became engaged in November 2017. The couple married in 2018 and share two children – Archie and Lilibet.