In the latest episode of Archetypes, Meghan sits down with Sex And The City creator Candace Bushnell to discuss identity.
In the penultimate episode of her much-discussed podcast, Meghan Markle had a frank discussion with Sex And The City writer Candace Bushnell about identity, sexuality and women on TV.
Her Archetypes podcast, which has consistently created a discussion around tough and thoughtful topics that affect the everyday lives of women, focuses on Meghan’s discussions with a series of notable women, including Mariah Carey, Serena Williams and Jameela Jamil.
You may also like
Jameela Jamil launches a fiery defence of Meghan Markle in the latest episode of the duchess’s Archetypes podcast
This week, in an episode also featuring actor and activist Michaela Jaé Rodriguez, writer Candace Bushnell discussed the versatility of women and shared her experience of creating valuable female roles and the stigmas around female sexuality.
When Meghan asked Bushnell how growing up as a feminist influenced the type of world she wanted to write about, the Sex And The City author spoke about starting her writing career at the age of 19 and how her work was moulded by her own acting experience.
“The reality is that most parts for women are written by men,” she told the duchess. “I could not find a part that was a whole woman.”
Bushnell then went on to recall an early audition experience that had a major impact on her.
“I remember I went on an audition for a TV commercial, and I got into a line, and there was a long line of beautiful women. It was moving really quickly. I was like, ‘Gosh, what’s going on?’ And one of the women said, ‘Well, this is one of those auditions where they eliminate you if your eyelashes are too short.’ I had an epiphany, and I said, ‘I’m giving myself permission to never do this again.’ And I vowed that someday I would write parts for women that were real women as opposed to what some man thought they should be.”
Of course, if anyone knows about writing flawed, versatile female characters, it’s Candace Bushnell. Her characters are an impactful representation of how women wanted to see themselves on screen, showcasing the different types of person that a woman can be.
“It’s not just, I think, that people feel seen, I think that’s the way that people really are,” she told Meghan.
The pair spoke about the impact of the 90s on Bushnell’s writing, where she highlighted that perhaps her influence comes from much earlier than that.
“Why do we behave the way we do? One of my theories, because I grew up in the 60s where, again, women were told what [their] sexuality is supposed to be like, you know, you’re only supposed to want to have sex with one person and then you’re supposed to want to just have sex with that one person for the rest of your life. And the women I know… they weren’t like that.”
“So, my question is always: what is women’s real sexuality when you take away the ‘I am dependent on a man’ aspect,” she continued. “What if women had their own money and they had their own power. What does their sexuality look like? And it looks a lot like Samantha Jones.”
Speaking about the fan-favourite character, Bushnell spoke about the exploration surrounding the enjoyment around sex, women having their own independence and erasing the clichés about female sexuality.
You may also like
Archetypes podcast: Meghan Markle and Issa Rae unpick the trope of the ‘angry Black woman’ in latest episode
“That is really the impetus for writing Sex And The City. It was really to explore what women’s sexuality really looked like.”
“The reality of it versus this glossier pared-down version of what it’s supposed to be versus what it actually was,” Meghan agreed. “That’s probably why it struck a chord with so many people because you didn’t have these flat characters.”
When Meghan asked how the author how best to go about making fully formed characters the benchmark in media, Candace posed an interesting thought about the value of social media.
“I’d like to say that we also see it on social media,” she explained. “Everyone’s critical of social media, but it is one of the few places where women can directly make money without having to go through a gatekeeper.”
As for Bushnell’s next goal? Breaking down the stigmas surrounding older women.
“Now I’m a woman who’s over 60, so that’s really what I’m exploring,” she said. “But people are very reluctant to put women over a certain age on TV. That’s still a big big barrier. Even when you have meetings with women who are over 55 or 60, they don’t wanna touch you.”
But barriers and rejection are all part of the struggle in Bushnell’s mind. In the final moments of their conversation, listeners are left with an honest final thought from the two women.
“Sometimes I think that being successful is being able to deal with rejection and negativity and people saying ‘You can’t do this’, and still finding that strength to continue on,” Bushnell mused.
To which Meghan added: “And prove them wrong.”
“Exactly!” confirmed Bushnell.
At the centre of consistent media negativity and scrutiny, Meghan has become experienced in dealing with the grinding difficulties that come with being in the public eye and setting examples.
And Bushnell, who has spent her adult life crafting unique characters that go against the classic female archetype, is an example of someone who pushes through rejection and stays the course, all for the ultimate goal of being able to change the landscape of female fiction and sexual representation for the better.
Source: Read Full Article