The Duchess of Sussex is never one to shy away from an uncomfortable topic. In a new episode of her Archetypes podcast, Markle and her guests discussed getting called “the B-word,” and what people really mean when they use that word to describe a woman.
Markle Says Labelling A Woman ‘The B-Word’ Is A Way To Call Them ‘Difficult’
In the latest episode of Archetypes, Markle was joined by Mellody Hobson, co-CEO of Ariel Investments and chairwoman of Starbucks, and Victoria Jackson, makeup artist and medical advocate. The three women unpacked how the word “bitch” can be used to hold women back in the working world.
“I was talking to a good girlfriend of mine this past weekend and when I saw her, she said something I had never heard before: ‘Well, isn’t that a convenient villain’—an assertive woman in a position of power, being called the B-word? How very convenient,” Markle started.
“But that’s what happens when we label someone, a woman, especially, one of these words,” the duchess continued. “It becomes a way to take their power away. Keep them in their place. A lot of times it’s tied to the very women who have power and agency—as my friend was suggesting—who aren’t comfortable being silent, like, businesswomen and entrepreneurs.”
Markle went on to say that the use of “the B-word” is often used to imply that a woman is “difficult,” when in reality, she’s simply being assertive or persistent. “Labeling a woman as a ‘B-word’ or as ‘difficult’ is often a deflection,” Markle explained. “A way to hide some of her really awesome qualities, her persistence or strength or perseverance, her strong opinion, maybe even her resilience.”
The duchess also shared that she disliked the word “pushy.” No surprise there; her half-sister Samantha Markle published a memoir titled The Diary of Princess Pushy’s Sister last year where she branded Markle spoiled and narcissistic.
Markle, Hobson, and Jackson’s conversation about how “the B-word” can be used as a weapon against women in the workplace is an excellent reminder to keep being “pushy,” no matter what people say.