Today on Archetypes, you gotta fight! For your right! To podcast!
That’s right, all you patriarchs out there with your AirPods shoved so deep into your ear canals listening to non-Archetypes podcasts that you can’t even hear what the actual women in your lives are saying to you: it’s time to turn the volume down and do the work. Meghan’s breaking down the stereotype of “activist” with some of the bombest ass chicks out there: Broad City’s Ilana Glazer, the notoriously still-going Jameela Jamil, and Iranian-American actress Shohreh Aghdashloo.
I guess I have been archetyping the archetype of “activist” differently than Meghan has, as when I think about Glazer’s wackadoo political logrolling, my mind immediately goes to her bold awareness-raising campaign of calling vaginas “nature’s pocket” because of their ability to contain a little bag of weed, though I guess there was that time that Hillary Clinton was on Broad City. Weed is sorta legal in New York now, though, so yaaaaas! to her.
Ilana’s segment was really only notable for Meghan telling her that her work “hides the vegetables” by making feminism palatable through comedy, seconds before mentioning that she’s lucky because her “little ones” Lilibet Jr. and Archie actually “love vegetables.”
The oomph of the episode came from the mouth of Jameela Jamil, who played the insufferable name-dropping Tahani on The Good Place (who, funnily enough, introduced Harry and Meghan in the diegesis of that show). IRL, Jamil is probably less known for her advocacy and more well-known for her storied run-ins with killer bees and calling writer Tracie Egan Morrissey a “stalker” for publicly suggesting she had Munchausen’s syndrome as a result of her frequent telling of nearly unbelievable stories of pain, sickness, and hardship.
Jamil has a podcast with a cause called I Weigh, which she explains stemmed from her Instagram Explore page constantly pushing photos of female celebrities with user-generated numbers representing each woman’s weight superimposed over the images. This is not a phenomenon my algorithm ever served up to me, but maybe my browsing habits are impeccable. I Weigh is meant to open up discussion about body image, humanity, and the like.
“Injustice makes me feel physically sick because it doesn’t make sense. It’s not fair,” Jamil tells Meghan.
Jamil and Meghan broach the hatred that Jamil has received over being outspoken as an activist, though, to my understanding, most of the hatred she’s received has been about things like her cuckoo tweets and her lack of qualifications for being a judge on a reality competition show about ballroom culture. Even so, nobody should have to deal with suicidal ideation as a result of online hatred, and I feel for her. I know the world hates women, but I do wonder if such grotesque reactions stem from something other than people admonishing “activism,” like the fact that Jamil tends to center herself in most every conversation about the greater good.
Jamil says she’s created a positive community with I Weigh, but she tells Meghan, “I’m not here to live up to anyone’s standards, I’m not here to be believed, I’m not here to be understood, and I’m not here to be liked, and that is vital in my rebellion.” Fair enough.
When Jamil’s done, Meghan brings on Aghdashloo to explain the parallels between her experience protesting as a 26-year-old during the 1978 Iranian Revolution and the teenage girls sentenced to death in Iran this year for protesting the death of Mahsa Amini in September. Meghan again invokes her “friend and mentor Gloria Steinem” in these discussions for the dillionth time, which might lead me to some activism myself, perhaps in the form of boycotting this show.
Gotta keep up the good fight! Never tire, never surrender, and never stop eating your vegetables!