Meghan Markle: Women's sexuality is used against them while male 'players' are celebrated

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 03: Meghan, Duchess of Sussex, leaves after attending the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations on June 3, 2022 in London, England. The Platinum Jubilee of Elizabeth II is being celebrated from June 2 to June 5, 2022, in the UK and Commonwealth to mark the 70th anniversary of the accession of Queen Elizabeth II on 6 February 1952. (Photo by Toby Melville - WPA Pool/Getty Images)
Meghan leaving the National Service of Thanksgiving at St Paul's Cathedral during the Queen's Platinum Jubilee celebrations. (Getty Images)

In the newest episode of her podcast Archetypes, Meghan Markle has argued that the sexual history of women "can be very much used against" them.

"As you're getting older, you're exploring and starting to understand your sensuality," Meghan said, "your sexuality often times, it can be very much used against you".

Meghan added, "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."

However, the Duchess of Sussex argued, "for a woman, I don't care if she's is perhaps the most successful woman in finance in her mid-50s, I promise you someone will still go, 'yeah but she was such a s**t in college.'"

THE HAGUE, NETHERLANDS - APRIL 16: (EMBARGOED FOR PUBLICATION IN UK NEWSPAPERS UNTIL 24 HOURS AFTER CREATE DATE AND TIME) Meghan Markle Duchess of Sussex makes a speech on stage during the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games 2020 at Zuiderpark on April 16, 2022 in The Hague, Netherlands. (Photo by Max Mumby/Indigo/Getty Images)
Meghan Markle makes a speech on stage during the Opening Ceremony of the Invictus Games in The Hague, Netherlands. (Getty Images)

"It will stick with her," Meghan said, adding: "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".

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Her comments came during a conversation with guest Michaela Jaé Rodriguez — an actor and activist known for her performances on FX's Pose and Apple TV's Loot.

Rodriguez responded to Meghan's comments by agreeing that women's sexual histories stick to them like "glue" and added that "I feel like a lot of women on all different spectrums of all different lives, we have so many similarities and I can say that's one of the similarities that I share."

LOS ANGELES, CALIFORNIA - OCTOBER 19: Michaela Jaé Rodriguez attends ELLE's 27th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration, presented by Ralph Lauren and Lexus, at Academy Museum of Motion Pictures on October 19, 2021 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Rachel Murray/Getty Images for ELLE)
Michaela Jaé Rodriguez attends ELLE's 27th Annual Women In Hollywood Celebration, Los Angeles, California. (Getty Images)

While Rodriguez noted it had not impacted her life in a professional setting, she told the duchess that outside of work she had experienced shaming, saying: "it's kind of disgraceful".

She went on to explain that after posting a picture of herself on Instagram, "it wasn't topless, but there was a mesh shirt", and that posting it had made her feel "liberated [...] artistic".

NEW YORK, NEW YORK - JUNE 30:  MJ Rodriquez, Indya Moore and Dominique Jackson attend Pride March - WorldPride NYC 2019 on June 30, 2019 in New York City. (Photo by Theo Wargo/Getty Images)
Michaela Jaé Rodriquez attends New York City Pride with her Pose co-stars. (Getty Images)

"We should be able to feel comfortable with our bodies", Rodriguez added. However, she said, "when I would look at some of the comments of what would men would say, they would go into my personal [life] and I'm like that's none of your business".

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Meghan replied, "it's always a projection [...] it says so much more about the other person than it does about you".

Meghan's romantic life has been subject to intense scrutiny since her relationship with Prince Harry was first made public in November 2016 and he was forced to condemn the treatment his then-girlfriend was receiving in the tabloid press.

Harry noted in his statement, "the outright sexism and racism" Meghan had been subjected to online, as well as "smear on the front page of national newspapers" and claimed that the press had offered "substantial bribes" to her ex-boyfriend.

WINDSOR, ENGLAND - SEPTEMBER 10: Prince Harry, Duke of Sussex, and Meghan, Duchess of Sussex on the long Walk at Windsor Castle arrive to view flowers and tributes to HM Queen Elizabeth on September 10, 2022 in Windsor, England. Crowds have gathered and tributes left at the gates of Windsor Castle to Queen Elizabeth II, who died at Balmoral Castle on 8 September, 2022. (Photo by Chris Jackson/Getty Images)
Harry and Meghan view floral tributes left in honour of Queen Elizabeth in Windsor after her death. (Getty Images)

Her previous marriage to Trevor Engelson has also been the subject of much scrutiny, largely painting the duchess in a negative light using gendered and sexist tropes.

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From claims made by Andrew Morton in his book Meghan: a Hollywood Princess include that "constantly nagged" Engelson and ended their marriage "out of the blue".

Morton claims the duchess "sent her wedding and engagement rings back to Trevor by registered post" which made Engelson feel like "something stuck to the bottom of her shoe".

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