Last weekend Bethenny Frankel, an extremely successful self-made business woman, was asked to speak at some sort of “womens’ empowerment” function. I’m sure that she will not be quick to share her advice in the future, because all of last week, she was dragged through the mud by idiots. The instigator of all the hoopla is some random woman named Mary Pryor. She attended the event and was offended.
There are sure a lot of people being offended lately. Day after day here at Tamara Tattles there are more and more people offended by something I said, or something somebody else said, or their comments being moderated, their perceptions of my opinions on reality TV shows….and a plethora of other topics. They experience at lot of FEELINGS they feel compelled to share with me. It’s tiresome.
Before I address the Bethenny situation, let’s first define what it means to be offended. When a person says they are offended, what they are saying is that someone has hurt their big fat feelings and now they are mad. Being offended by something is basically a precursor to whining. What is even more loathsome is being offended by proxy. People who are offended by proxy rush in with all their feels to explain that something was done or said that may hurt the feelers of some other person or some group of people to which they do not belong. Inherent in “offense by proxy” is the belief that this poor beleaguered person group of people should be whining about something, but are too dumb, or disenfranchised, or downtrodden that they cannot be offended without their help. That is in itself, or at least it could be, offensive to the party they are speaking for. There are throngs of people, particularly on the Internet that never miss an opportunity to be offended. More often than not, they are whining by proxy for someone they don’t know.
All it takes is one person with a Twitter account these days to declare that something has become a “firestorm.” A firestorm is a fire where strong columns of air fuel a fire thus causing widespread destruction. Pryor’s intent was to set the fire, and then write a column to provide the air. If you add in a few folks who never miss an opportunity to be offended to fan the flames, then apparently all journalistic responsibility also goes up in said flames. And in this case, the arsonist gets a whole lot of attention. This is often the conscious or subconscious goal of the perpetually offended.
Now let’s take a look at exactly what happened based on my research of the situation. Bethenny Frankel gave a speech. Everyone applauded. And no one was offended. And then the Q & A portion ensued.
Pryor published the following in her article on HuffPo (don’t get me started on that site in general) :
I was stunned when Frankel implied that women should have sex with men in exchange for capital.
Where was your offense here? Were you stunned because you agreed? Why did the whining not start here?
I was offended when she expressed some kind of kinship with black women because she’s “loud.”
What are acceptable areas for people to express kinship? Is it your position that there are not loud black women? That Bethenny is not loud? That women from New York are not often referred to as loud? Are you not currently “getting loud” with your whining? Bethenny is often loud. You will be shown to have been loud at the convention and online. Sounds like a great starting point for you to develop a kinship with Bethenny to me.
And I was taken aback when she advised those of us in the room to get business advice to hire a white man as the face of our companies.
So you have already said there were white women, black women and Hispanic women in the room. Were you taken aback for all of them? Or just you?
Here is the issue, and the reason I chose not to engage in this entire situation. Bethenny Frankel has categorically denied saying any of these things. Not that it matters to the professionally offended folks. So maybe Bethenny really did show up to a womens’ empowerment group and tell the women to suck dick for money, imply that all black women are loud and tell everyone to make a white man the face of their business. I considered that for a hot second, and then I considered an alternative possibility. Maybe Pryor is just as dumb as a sack of weave. I’m gonna go with that theory.
So I poked around and tried to find more than just Pryor being offended. I mean calling all the black women in the convention hall “loud” would surely have offended some of them, right? Where is this firestorm of outrage on social media? Let me check some other sources. I’d like to do that, but Pryor’s article is the only claim of any firestorm. She posts proof of this firestorm with sixteen tweets. Twelve of those tweets were hers where she whines to the organizers about her hurt feeeeeeeeelings. Because that is what successful business women do, they are thin skinned whiners who are easily offended. Oh wait. Now they are not. They are usually bitches like Bethenny who work the system instead of letting it work her. They don’t have time to work for free for HuffPo by writing an article about their feelings. They are too busy grinding and hustling and making shit happen in their lives
Those other four tweets that make up the “firestorm” are two women and one man. First, Marah, who says the conference was great until the Q&A where Bethenny wanted to erase black women as faces of entrepreneurship. Wow, that sounds really racist. This is a great comment for the perpetually offended to take to the bank and try to cash. Unfortunately, it will bounce. But wait, Marah is not done. Marah APOLOGIZES to Pryor on behalf of Bethenny. Because the easily offended by proxy are arrogant folks who enjoy speaking for others. Nothing says strong business woman like accusing another woman of being racist and apologizing on her behalf. Facts being damned and all.
The second woman , Ellen, whose tweet must have been include in the “firestorm” accidentally, simply tweeted the question that Bethenny was asked that offended Pryor’s delicate sensibilities. “Convo w/ @bethenny: should u do whatever it takes 2 succeed like hiring a white male spokesperson as a minority entrepreneur? #PEIntensive16
The third person in the four person firestorm was a white guy named Adam who RT’s another white guy who was not at the conference who is selling T-Shirts about mediocre white guys being over confident. I am not making this shit up
So to recap, the firestorm, based on Pryor’s own reporting consisted of 12 tweets by her, 2 tweets by a female apologist, one tweet by an Asian lady repeating the question posed to Bethenny in the Q & A, and a white guy selling t-shirts. A poor showing indeed for the perpetually offended. It’s almost like NOTHING HAPPENED.
But first, let’s check out Adam, the white guy helping his other guy friend sell t-shirts essentially mocking white male privilege. Which is really to me, the funniest part of this story. Because Adam, the white guy was at the womens’ empowerment conference trying to pick up chicks or something. And so of course after reading Pryor’s ridiculous piece, the white guy is going to explain to us what went down, while all the while explaining he has no right to do this. First he is going to explain that he would never presume to speak on behalf of anyone, and then gives his account. Because we have no other people in this firestorm of four speaking out for now, let’s give him a listen
He never mentions the dick sucking for dollars allegations (Pryor remains the only one to say that happened), nor does he mention that Bethenny said she felt a kinship with black women because she’s loud (Pryor is the only one saying that happened) But he does address the question that Bethenny was asked and answered at the conference during the Q & A.
Adam, the white guy who was there, wrote an open letter to Bethenny on LinkedIn:
You recently answered a question posed to you by Dr Sanna Gaspard at a conference for women entrepreneurs in New York. She said that other people had mentioned to her that it might help to bring along a man to investor meetings to be the face of the company … and what did you think about that idea.
So based on two sources and a third below, what happened was, someone in the audience asked Bethenny if she should bring in a male TO INVESTOR MEETINGS TO SEEK FUNDING. Not to replace the lady on the Skinny Girl logo (why has she not gotten shit for the black female logo yet?) not to change Mrs. Fields Cookies to Mr. Fields Cookies but to represent the company as one good ole boy to another to OBTAIN INVESTORS. Adam goes on to cite statistics that indicate that minority women are more likely to be struck by lightning that obtain financial investments from the investment community, particularly in the area of technology (Gaspard’s business area) because it is all a bunch of white guys like Adam. Adam goes on to say that the politically correct terminology to placate people with thin skin is to call the male you bring to your investors meetings “a sponsor” who “helps the disenfranchised get funding.” Oh okay.
According to commenter,Elizabeth Gresham, on Pryor’s post :
Could someone please fact check this article? I was at this event and a couple things in this piece didn’t even happen. Bethenny never said we should sleep with men to get ahead. And NO ONE took the microphone from Mary’s hands. Instead, someone else was getting ready to speak, and Mary charged across the room to take the microphone away from her. Mary then made several comments before sitting down of her own accord once she was done speaking.
And let’s not forget that Bethenny’s comment is being completely taken out of context here. While I disagree with her, a female founder in the audience kept asking her over & over if she should get a white male cofounder & Bethenny kept saying do whatever it takes to grow your business and after the woman kept asking her, she told her she as a founder thought a white male cofounder was what it would take, then do it. She then said diversity includes all viewpoints (which is does–or should) and that white male is a viewpoint.
Mary, you are fighting the good fight and these facts on black founders need to be shared. But when you exaggerate a situation to where what you’re saying isn’t even true (no one silenced you–you interrupted someone else & took the mic from her) it discredits your message and the cause. Your message is strong enough of its own and the cause is just. No need to exaggerate or twist the facts.
So Bethenny told someone who asked repeatedly if she should take a man to her investors meetings to help with the gender bias issues women encounter there, Bethenny said to do whatever she needed to do to grow her business. If taking a man to the meetings is what you think you need to do, then do that!
And that boys and girls offended Pryor who responds:
Thanks for your comment but I want to take this opportunity to run some items back to you if you don’t mind.The mic was taken away from myself and Naomi while Bethenny was overtalking during our comment. She didn’t even give myself and another young lady a chance to dialogue with her about how concerning her advice was to that founder.
So some lady asked Bethenny for advice, you jumped up and took the microphone to tell Bethenny that you didn’t agree with her advice to the lady who asked Bethenny the question? Girl! have several seats. They lady asking Bethenny questions was someone with M.S. and Ph.D Degrees from Carnegie Mellon in Biomechanical Engineering. She is the founder and CEO of a Rubitection, which is developing a medical device to effectively prevent and manage pressure ulcers (bedsores). She doesn’t need your offense by proxy and your arrogant assumption that she does is insulting to her business accomplishment’s. Why would Bethenny want to “dialogue with you” about her advice to someone else? Why do you feel OWED that opportunity?
The moderator’s comment directly after the mic was taken from us was “let me break up this fight”. There was no fight. We were speaking up for women of color and that speech/comment in the room was inappropriate.
So you caused a disruption on behalf of “women of color” at an event by acting a fool and getting loud to the point where the moderator had to physically take the mike away from you. #Classy.
I wouldn’t want to exaggerate anything that happened in that space but given that is recant is supported by women whom were also present and given a few other details that you are missing out I think it’s fair to say that we will have to disagree.
Wow, that is a very long nonsensical sentence. It is no wonder the conversation with Bethenny and the other CEO went right over your noggin.
So several “news outlets” including The New York Daily News and The Talk basically slandered the fuck out of Bethenny. The Talk in particular should be held accountable for their vicious skewering. Some of the online outlets have now masked their stories on Bethenny to take you so other stories. While Page Six, who has never been a Bethenny Frankel friendly site, is now running a piece about how OFFENDED other housewives are that Bethenny chooses to do promotion for RHONY without them.
Okay, comments are open for your whining.
EDITED TO ADD: I have now listened to a bootleg copy of the audio of an event. The last person to ask the question was the person Adam the white guy refers to. She says that she has many obstacles to getting funding for her company, she is female, she is young, she is pretty, and you know that other thing… hem haw… (you can hear over clanging dinnerware people saying, just say it… It was not anything Bethenny said to cause the room to murmer it was because the woman kept saying “other things I can’t control” and refused to say it was because she was black. Note she had no problem saying she was female, young and attractive but she could not say she was black) and Bethenny says, “and you’re black, you can say the word.” She says that everyone keeps telling her she needs a white guy to talk to investors and Bethenny what she thinks about that even though she is not black. Bethenny doesn’t hear her and she repeats that Bethenny is not black. Bethenny says, “no, I am not but some people think that I am though.” People laugh. The woman goes on to ask basically how she dealt with the male dominated arena. And Bethenny says she really doesn’t buy into all that. That is like the women who say they can’t find a man because they have kids. Essentially she says it is buying into to stereotypes. She says she says it narrows the pool of where people should be looking. She’s not looking for a 32 year old band member who doesn’t want kids. She says you should not even be listening to that. You have to work smarter and find places where you can get what you are looking for. She says IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT HAVING A WHITE GUY WORK FOR YOU, THAT FINDING A BLOND GUY WHOSE WHITE IS THE SOLUTION TO YOUR PROBLEMS THEN DO THAT. (randomness about Michael Strahan and Wendy Williams that sounded bitter to me about her failed talk show go here) BUT IF YOU REALLY BELIEVE THAT AND YOU FIND SOME BLOND GUY STRAIGHT GUY AND HE’S GREAT, THEN DO THAT. But you have to find the truth. You can’t just find all these excuses (the woman presented FOUR, female, young, pretty and black) for why you can’t get done what needs to be done.
As Bethenny is answering the question, there is a disruption. She says there is a group of “African American girls over there that have something to say.” So she stops talking. There is a lot of laughter in the audience after she says that. Bethenny shouts “We are going to have an UPRISING HER TODAY!” Audience laughs some more.
Then a voice who could be Pryor or her friend who both disrupted Bethenny’s conversation with the woman who was announced at the last question of the day announced, “We’re gonna tag team!” Mind you now, questions are OVER but two black women have vaulted to the mike to put in their two cents “tag team style.” The moderator lets them speak. They come for Bethenny for telling the official questioner that if that is how she really feels is how to get her investors than that is what she should do. Because Bethenny can’t have an opinion.
Whoever grabbed the mike said to the questioner, “First, you should never be afraid of saying that you’re black.” Then she says that this whole idea of needing a man to go to investors with her is ridiculous. So far she has agreed with Bethenny on every count. Bethenny is being very respectful to two people who have hijacked her conversation with another women. Bethenny says that she has a business run by ALL WOMEN. She also says that now she wants to hire a straight male guy because she needs a different perspective. (She doesn’t say this but the rumors are she is going to start a SkinnyGuy sort of line. Even if she isn’t it’s okay to hire men in your company!) She points out that she works at Bravo that is all gay men so she hears that voice a lot. The woman speaking is very complimentary of Bethenny and is pissed at the women who didn’t want to say she was black. She keeps trying to talk to that commenter in a mean way and the moderator takes the mike back. They were attacking the QUESTIONER with the floor, not Bethenny. Bethenny takes one more question that you can’t really here because the person with the recorder is talking with her friend saying about the “tag team” of Pryor and whoever that “She really gets where they were coming from, but that they didn’t need to be so COMBATIVE about it.”
And that’s the true tea.
Updated HERE IS THE UNCENSORED VERSION OF WHAT HAPPENED As much as I hate that site who entitled their post ” Bethenny Frankel Insults Black Women & Advises Women To Sleep With Men For Gain. You need to hear this for yourself.