This spring, Bethenny Frankel was a guest speaker at a conference for women entrepreneurs. Several attendees claimed that Bethenny told the women of color in the audience that they should get a white male spokesperson for their business. Bethenny denies saying this, however the company that held the conference apologized on her behalf without getting into the specifics of what was said. We know that Bethenny has complained about store employees speaking Spanish, and we know that she’s a Trump supporter (although she hasn’t weighed on his p-ssy grabbing comments), so it’s entirely believable that she would say that. That’s what came to mind when I read her latest comments about how she doesn’t see gender.
On being the only woman in a boardroom: “I truly don’t see gender. I don’t think about it. Being in a boardroom with all men and one woman doesn’t really faze [sic] me. And I think women going into business should put the question of gender out of their minds. Good ideas are heard, passion and drive and hard work are rare, no matter who you are.”
On making sacrifices for business: “Women need to have a real understanding of how much work it takes to start a business before they dive in….Having a daughter means that if there’s a school play or if my daughter is sick, then I’m home with her. The last time my daughter was sick, I stayed home and canceled everything, and the one meeting I had was here at the house. But I’ve earned that right and flexibility because of where I am now. In the beginning, that wouldn’t have been possible.”
This reminds me of a clueless white person saying “I don’t see color.” Don’t get me wrong, I’m a clueless white person but I know that I see color and I’m trying to become more aware of that and be more open to learning instead of denying it entirely. Gender bias definitely exists, the wage gap exists, and women fight against it every day. Does she not see the problem when she’s in a boardroom and she’s the only woman? It’s like Bethenny is saying sexism doesn’t exist because she doesn’t think if affects her and she refuses to acknowledge her own bias. Also, while Bethenny may say she doesn’t see gender, she did tell women of color to get a white male spokesperson for their businesses, which would suggest she sees and notices both color and gender in her business dealings. I guess she’s talking about not putting limitations on herself by refusing to see gender, but that doesn’t seem to apply to other people.
Also, this is how she denied that incident, by saying that women have to be better than men. So if she doesn’t see gender, how does that work exactly?
Someone wanting fame vs working hard. My brand is "practical solutions for women," my mantra"be better than the men" https://t.co/jwxSUAuNhR
— Bethenny Frankel (@Bethenny) April 15, 2016
I don't care what color or sex you are. The key to success is not bottom feeding just good old hard work,passion & drive.
— Bethenny Frankel (@Bethenny) April 14, 2016
Photos credit: Pacific Coast News and FameFlynet