Watch: Duchess of Sussex says strong women are branded ‘difficult’ as codeword for ‘b****’
The Duchess of Sussex has said she has “zero interest” in reclaiming the “B-word” as she avoided saying it out loud in full in a podcast devoted to exploring the term.
Meghan, in her latest Archetypes episode called To ‘B’ or not to ‘B’?, discussed the origin of the word “bitch” and its “cousin ‘difficult'” and how the terms are often used to derogatively brand strong-minded women.
The former actress confessed she “hates the word so much” and listening to it gives her “hives”, and she opted not to say it, using instead the “B-word”, and spelling out B-I-T-C-H just once, during the hour-long recording.
“What these people are implying when they use that very charged word is that this woman ‘Oh she’s difficult’, which is really just a euphemism, or is probably not even a euphemism, it’s really a code word for the B-word,” Meghan said.
Writer and comedian Robin Thede, who has embraced the term, told Meghan: “I love that women have used this phrase bad bitch as a positive thing…. It’s like, you know, you look amazing”.
But Meghan added after hearing sketches using the word liberally: “I mean for a person who hates the word so much. This is giving me hives.
“Nevertheless, I will say it’s all really interesting to me what Robin is talking about because, as you may have guessed, I have zero interest in reclaiming this term.
“But these women I respect, whose work I love, a lot of them are entirely comfortable with that. They want to do that to take the power out of it.”
As Meghan referred to zoologist Lucy Cooke’s book Bitch: A Revolutionary Guide To Sex, Evolution And The Female Animal, she remarked as she read out the title: “I’m not going to actually say the first word. It’s going to call it the B word.”
She also revealed that a friend told her the goal was not for “everyone to like you”, but for them to respect you.
“As a woman, my friend said to me, there’s a certain point when you come to terms with the fact that not everyone’s gonna like you,” the duchess said.
“The goal can’t be for everyone to like you. But the goal can be for them to respect you.”
Meghan described herself as a “word nerd” and said her favourite television series as a child was the American quiz show Jeopardy!
She said she even received condolences from her friends when former host Alex Trebek died in 2020 even though she did not know him.
The duchess said: “My obsession with this show was so deep, you guys, when Alex Trebek passed away, I started to receive texts of condolence.
“I didn’t know him but everyone who knew me knew how meaningful Jeopardy! and its host were as a daily part of my life.”