Duchess Meghan talks to Candace Bushnell & others about identity & being

The penultimate Archetypes episode of Season 1 is “Beyond the Archetype: Human, Being” with Michaela Jaé Rodriguez and Candace Bushnell. The Duchess of Sussex speaks about existing, being as a human with Michaela, Candace, Amanda Gorman (the poet) and Dr. Shefali Tsabary, a clinical psychologist and author. The emphasis also seems to be a conversation on identity and how people – especially girls and women – understand their identity beyond the stereotypes and labels society places on them.

I love the part where Meghan talked to current teenage girls from her old high school about labels, stereotypes and archetypes. I love that the youths were like “what’s a bimbo, I’ve only heard that on TikTok.” Meghan felt so old!! It also strikes me that Meghan’s interest is wonderfully focused on the importance of adolescence and the teen years, that phase of life is where we define ourselves and try on different personalities and experiment. It’s like a subtweet of Kate’s Early Years bullsh-t, where she clearly doesn’t give a f–k about kids older than five.

Meghan’s conversation with Bushnell was fascinating, I had no idea about Candace’s family and how her father raised her as a feminist, basically. Candace is also from a much different generation than Meghan – Candace is 62 years old, so she was told no, you can’t do this, you can’t be a writer, you’re not allowed access to this and that. And this was in the 1980s and 1990s. I like Candace a lot – she’s not Carrie Bradshaw, you know? Candace has more depth and wisdom than most people give her credit for, and that’s what this is about too. Candace is feminine, sexual, empowered, so culturally she’s treated like she’s some niche artist.

Anyway, I didn’t finish listening to this, but I love what I’ve heard so far. This is a good episode!

Photos courtesy of Avalon Red, JPI Studios/Avalon.

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39 Responses to “Duchess Meghan talks to Candace Bushnell & others about identity & being”

  1. Maxine Branch says:

    Listened to the whole episode and found it to very enlightening as well as informative. Enjoyed how the young ladies at Meghan’s highschool felt about many of the old tropes and what they view as future barriers for women. Also loved the Michaela segment, it was especially poignant considering the recent killings in Colorado. Meghan has an amazing ability to navigate a conversation while having her guest share their truths and leaving feeling empowered. The historical view re Sex and The City from the author was very interesting. Startled when she stated she was not very well compensated for her contribution. Looking forward to next week’s episode and sorry they are coming to an end.

    • CheChe says:

      I enjoy pausing the episodes to reflect on what is shared. Meghan’s guest give us a lot of “food for thought” and a chance to walk down the lanes of our memories. I taught in a Catholic school in California and the LA diocese did a lot for economically disadvantaged students on a shoestring budget. I remember many of the students having to attend parent /teacher conferences because the parents didn’t speak English. One parent said the school felt like a family. Meghan’s Archetypes does a great job of giving women a space to reflect on growth and pain.

    • Snoozer says:

      Unfortunately, sometimes young women think things have changed more than they actually have as certain barriers don’t pop up or become apparent until you’re older. That has been my experience and observation.

      But I’m always hopeful that we can keep improving things.

      As for CB… SJP really dumbed that character based on her down and made her very silly. She should have been much grittier, much harder edged, much more nuanced, more of a fighter. Instead we got a silly, narcissistic, flibbertigibbet who shrieked like a little girl constantly.

      • Sue E Generis says:

        Yes, this is what I was surprised to discover. One, that she didn’t make money on SATC while everyone else did and that the book was substantially different from the show. SJP really did destroy that character. Everyone else had these fantastic story arcs but she was the only one that didn’t change.

      • Carrot says:

        @Snoozer, put me in the group with people who thought the world changed more than it really did.

        Hearing Michaela say she was enough put some healing on my heart.

      • Nova Mason says:

        I dont know what a flibbertigibbet is, but it is now part of my vernacular!! And – agree, young women usually haven’t had to face some of the challenges of the workforce, parenting and health issues that only come with have a few (100) miles behind you in life. But, I do hope that they continue to fight for change in their own way and I bet they will make a difference in what they will *accept* that society and its outdated norms will throw at them!

      • Anna says:

        This is a great and sad remark. I also felt young and independent in my 20ties. Everything changed when I had my daughter. I think a lot about how we are still dependent on a partner when we decide to have children. I can focus and work when I know she is safe with her dad and Incan eg go on a business trip. If my husband suddenly changed 180 degrees and told me that he has his own work and has no intention to be a present father… well, child comes first. I can work because I have a good partner. That is it. The list goes on.

      • EllenOlenska says:

        I remember vividly stating that we didn’t need a women’s group at college because we were already having equal opportunities and that times had changed. In 1983.

        I have lived to rue those words thousands of times, and working in a male dominated field had to bite through my tongue not to put down younger women’s hopefulness around what a game changer they felt “me too” would make. (And if you dig back in some of my older comments on this site you will see I wasn’t always successful) . Five years ago I mentored women in an MBA program. They too assured me that times had changed. But when the case presentations they had been diligently working on all semester came around I asked my mentee group, “you three did all the work on this presentation, why did you let the guy who did nothing make the presentation of your work? In this audience were tons of hiring decision makers at companies you want to work at and you just handed him your opportunity.” It didn’t even occur to them. He did buy them snacks you see…and told good jokes.

        As time goes on I see most of our progress is tiny baby steps, easily taken away on someone else whim. And then compound what I feel with what I can only imagine WOC feel. I hope that the young girls Megan spoke with are correct. I truly want to be wrong.

      • Emmi says:

        @EllenOlenska: I just sagged in my chair reading this because yes, that’s my experience as well. It only became painfully clear in my 30s. And when the women around me started having babies about 4 years ago. Who stayed home? Who – before even having kids – didn’t think their jobs were super important because they would have to pause anyway? Who doesn’t ask for the money they deserve? It drives me insane. I didn’t see it coming, I really didn’t. And now when we try to explain this to the men our age, they don’t understand. Because we never said anything before.

      • EllenOlenska says:

        @Emmi…it gets worse…starting in your late forties, if you stay in the corporate game…look around and try to find the women….I went to a relatively famous business school, of my class only three of us are still in the game. There’s no one to pull us up either because the few women older than us have been hanging on by their fingernails for years. If you eliminate the traditional female arenas ( marketing, communication, HR, diversity, admin support) there’s no one there. Which is why I often struggle when younger women judge us in the context of todays “ rules”. The “ rules” weren’t there when we came up…and some of the younger women haven’t yet learned that the “ rules” are frequently only window dressing…ask someone to uphold those “ rules” and you may win for a minute…or a few months…but you’re next on the chop list when they can find a way to not make it look deliberate. There is progress…it’s just rarely linear…and no one gets to judge from the sidelines.

  2. Brassy Rebel says:

    Prediction: Kate will now start taking a big interest in “the teen years”!

    You want sexism that can top anything Candace Bushnell faced in the eighties and nineties? I graduated from college in 1971. Whenever I went to apply for a job (and yes, it was still Help Wanted Female or Male), I was given a clerical test (which I was very bad at) while my male classmates were immediately placed in management trainee positions. From there, they quickly moved up the ladder while I didn’t even get a job, having failed abysmally at the one thing the company thought I was good at. Those were NOT the good old days! Eventually, I ended up in law school and finally snagged a job with the state.

    • Zazzoo says:

      A boomer friend of mine was saying how in her grad school years the men just talked over the women like they weren’t even there. Its good to occasionally be reminded how far we’ve come, even with some major legal setbacks.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        And my male classmates in law school all had wives who were working full time, supporting them both, while also cooking their meals and doing their laundry. I guess they looked at it as an investment that would pay off once their husbands graduated. I often wonder how many of those marriages lasted long enough for the women to see return on investment. ¯⁠\⁠_⁠(⁠ツ⁠)⁠_⁠/⁠¯

      • Kristin says:

        @Brassy Rebel: If your male classmates were anything like my ex-boyfriend, then I’m betting very few of those women ever saw a return on their investment. I was one of those women. Only I was a full time law student too. I took care of all the cooking, cleaning, taking care of our new puppy, along with typing and proofing my ex’s law papers and briefs (because he couldn’t write for shit) and I basically GOT his ass into Geogetown’s LLM program. I carried him physically and emotionally through all of it, while my own mental health suffered (and physical-I suffer from severe endometriosis). I too thought all of this was an investment into OUR future. I was too blind to see that I was just doing all the hard work that his eventual wife would benefit from. Sure enough, not even a year after graduation he ended our 6-year relationship in a 5 minute phone call. As women, we so often feel like we have to take care of everyone else before ourselves, especially men, who never seem to feel the same obligation.

      • Isabella says:

        Brassy, my mom warned me not to put anybody else through college and she was so wise. She’d seen too many women get dumped at the end of 4 years. And the women were left without great skills because they didn’t have college degrees.

        That was in the 70s, so I feel your pain!

      • Zazzoo says:

        There’s a reason Betty Broderick gets fan mail.

    • Petra (Brazen Archetyped Phenomenal Woman) says:

      @Brassy Rebel, your journey in the 70s made mine journey in the 90s easier. Thank you for not letting them beat you down.

      • Brassy Rebel says:

        We all pay it forward, hopefully. Still much work to do. You’re very welcome! ❤️❤️❤️

    • Saucy&Sassy says:

      Brassy Rebel, My sister, 3 years older than me, got a two year degree for computer programming in 1972. She was never able to get a job in that field because she was a woman. Never. I know what it’s like to enter the workplace in the 70’s and I’m glad that some things have changed. Unfortunately, there’s still a long way to go. If each generation keeps pushing back, real change will happen.

    • EllenOlenska says:

      And brassy rebel could also probably tell you that women couldn’t get credit cards in their own names when she graduated…regardless of how much they made.

    • Lara (the other) says:

      This reminds me of the most important tips I ever god from my Patents. My mothers, that I should take care of my education an be able to support myself and my fathers never to make coffee, empty the dishwasher, or write protocolls more often than the men in the room and don’t stopp talking if a man interupts you, only talk louder.
      Cost me several relationships, but was worth it.

      On a positiv note, my impression is, that the younger men (born after 1980) are, on average, more willing to treat women as equal.

  3. Kingston says:

    This episode has a bitter-sweet, je ne sais quoi feeling about it….and I think above all, that has to do wth the knowledge that the series is ending.

    Like literally MILLIONS of other listeners from across the WORLD, I reaaaaalllly looked forward to Archetypes-Tuesdays. So now what!?! After next wk….what are folks like me [including M’s closet-admirers from across the pond] gonna do!?! Lol.

    Especially given tht I’ve already listened more than 6 times to each episode (except the Paris Hylton one which I’ve only listened to 2wice.) LOL

    Anyhooooo…..M&H have sooooo many other products coming out over the next few wks……..its gonna be like manna from heaven.

  4. Petra (Brazen Archetyped Phenomenal Woman) says:

    This episode once again reminds me of Meghan’s brilliance. I applaud the intersectionality of representation. Meghan goes to Immaculate Heart (back to her origin story) to talk with graduating students. Abigail, Grace, and Diana standing in their truth shows the hard-earned victories of feminist movements. Candace Bushnell, Michaela Jae, and others made the road a little less bumpy for these young women. I’m happy to see young women embracing the word feminism. They are dismantling the Archetypes that are used to hold women back.

    • Agreatreckoning says:

      Not just her brilliance-her ability to be at ease with people she doesn’t know. My husband has that thing-I don’t. If it wasn’t stated in the podcast, I would have thought that Meghan & MJ have known each other for a long time. I’ll have to go back to listen to the part with Amanda Gorman (was interrupted a few times). Loved her interactions with the girls from Immaculate Heart and their responses to the wedding assignment.

      One of the most beautiful/heartfelt moments, to me, was when MJ talked about going to her parents at 14 to share with them who she is. Being scared and crying. I might be paraphrasing but when MJ said said, ‘they put a cloak around me to make sure I felt warm’, my innards felt the love her parents gave/showed her. Excellent episode.

  5. Noki says:

    When will the next episodes come out, what’s the usual time frame between podcasts seasons?

    • Sue E Generis says:

      I hope she just kept recording. While these were probably wrapped months ago, maybe she was recording a new season during this time and it’ll be ready to go shortly.

  6. Plums says:

    OOP, this is the first Tuesday since the series started where I forgot about it and didn’t listen before getting up and getting ready for work. Pre-holiday brain, probably. But it sounds like a good one! Will listen tonight.

  7. dee(2) says:

    I’m so excited she is interviewing MJ, I love her! It also always cracks me up when Meghan visits places, and it stays totally secret, but the BM acts like they have all these secret scoops on them. Also, you know that an article will be up in hours about where you can find that Human Kind log.

  8. girl_ninja says:

    OMG. I don’t know why I had a hiccup in my brain when I saw this post. I read Candace Busnell but thought Emily Giffin! I thought “Why would Meghan EVER speak to that racist KKKate Deranger fan?!?!? Then my mind sorted it all out and I realized this is Sex & the City author not that racist lady.

    Anyway 😊 I’m about to start this weeks episode. Whew.

  9. Jazz Hands says:

    I’m glad Meghan said this — letting the online bullies and derangers know she’s onto them.

    Meghan: Oh, yes. It’s always a projection.
    Michaela Jae: Exactly.
    Meghan: It’s always a projection. Oh, it always says so much more about the other person than it does about you.

  10. QuiteContrary says:

    No wonder Meghan was viewed warily by the RF.

    Of course, there’s her race. But there’s also this: She has more emotional intelligence and intellectual capacity than the rest of them combined (excepting Harry here). She’s brilliant.

  11. CheChe says:

    These podcasts have been so refreshing to hear. Too often our conversations are about the gossip or minutia of the day. Every Tuesday I got to hear from some interesting women. Spotify has a real keeper in Archetypes.

  12. TangerineTree says:

    I spent yesterday re-listening to all the previous episodes while I worked – M and her team have delivered a top notch product. Today’s episode was great; however, I am surprised Candace made little money from SATC, and I’m glad she said she’s angry about it. They really froze her out. In the past I have worked in places where they were always, always promising yet never delivered the fair salary, adequate benefits, etc. And to see that a form of that unfair treatment happened to her, too – damn. I love the Archetype series bringing us so many stories from women. I will miss it.

  13. Jaded says:

    “How am I supposed to be?” That really hit me hard. It took me a lonnngggg time to learn how I was supposed to be because my parents were dictatorial, stubborn and completely lacking in knowing how to engender self-esteem and confidence in their 2 daughters. Instead of giving them praise and encouraging them to be their own persons, we were only told how badly we were screwing up, and differing opinions were not tolerated. My older sister died of alcoholism and EDs at 41. I managed to shake off the damage done to me though — it was tough and my parents continued to be disappointed with me instead of being happy for my hard-won gains. Bless Meghan and others like her for bringing young women into the light.

  14. Isabella says:

    I went to one of Candace’s author readings back in the day. She was smart and funny–and had really cute clothes. As one would expect. Down to earth and approachable.

  15. Robin Samuels says:

    I am so proud of Rachael Meghan Markle, the Duchess of Sussex. She is truly gifted. To have endured that level of evil and have the strength to bend over, pick up each rock (Archetype), and throw it back across the pond. She’s worth every dime Spotify negotiated.
    The book Sex and the City is incredible. I could not watch the series; it wasn’t realistic, and it wasn’t NYC in the 90s. Not receiving fair compensation for SATC is not surprising, and women struggled for recognition in the corporate workplace.
    I was most impressed by MJ. I saw her in RENT and POSE. Meghan was stunned that MJ was so sure about her true identity at such a young age. The bullying worked for her because she knew she was fulfilling her role.
    What can you say about Amanda Gorman, except that she’s a genius with few words? Wherever there are women, there will always be a way.
    Like most, I will miss the Tuesday morning global meet. Positive conversation with a bowl of fresh fruit and a cup of coffee. If we’re lucky, she is working on Season Two now. Candyland journalists will hyperventilate, but I don’t think we’ve seen the end of this.

  16. jferber says:

    Meghan ALWAYS looks 10 years younger than Kate. And she NEVER takes a bad picture. Truly gorgeous.

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