Meghan Markle is launching her new podcast, Archetypes, in a big way. The series features The Duchess of Sussex discussing “the labels and tropes that try to hold women back.” The first episode features Meghan and 23-time Grand Slam champion Serena Williams talking about “The Misconception of Ambition.”
The close friends explore the long-standing idea that women shouldn’t be ambitious, and if they are, they’re instantly called difficult, demanding and of course, a bitch. They specifically discuss how Serena is often criticized for challenging chair umpires or questioning calls on the court, while her male counterparts aren’t penalized as seriously as she is. The pair even listened to a montage of male tennis stars viciously berating officials, none of whom were ever called hysterical or overly emotional.
“I got a game taken away from me and I didn’t use a bad word at all,” Williams said. “I just feel like there’s obviously a double standard. First of all, it makes tennis more exciting to see these players have these emotions. Because tennis is very, black and white, not literally, but it’s just like it is hit, hit, hit. And there’re so many rules of things that they try to tell you not to do.”
“And tennis players are grown up and taught to just like be monotone and people are not monotone, which is why you see these attitudes,” she continued. “So if they want to have these attitudes, I’m all for it. Just don’t say I can’t either.”
Meghan and Serena talk openly about all the issues that come with being an ambitious woman, especially one who’s also a mom. The duo traded stories about emotionally upsetting moments with their children, noting how the public never knew what they were really going through, so they were judged for their feelings without anyone actually checking in on them.
“These human moments behind the scenes, the ones under the surface…they’re everything,” Meghan said. “Because when we don’t swim in the shallow end, and instead choose to dive into the deep end, that’s when we gain a more nuanced understanding of each other.”
Each episode ends with Meghan asking her guests to define themselves in three words. Serena chooses thoughtful, compassionate and funny.
“I define myself as I’m Serena. I’m powerful, and I have a voice, and I’m not afraid to use it,” the six-time US Open champion said. “And I really define myself as someone that’s super understanding. And even how I try to be as a mom, I try to be extremely understanding, extremely thoughtful and extremely compassionate. I try, I really try to do those things.”
New episodes of Archetypes with Meghan, The Duchess of Sussex premiere every Tuesday on Spotify.