Whew, there is a whole lot to unpack in Bethenny Frankel’s latest podcast episode…
The reality star ended up in hot water last week after a discussion about pronouns and transgender kids on her show Just B. She faced a lot of criticism for her comments, but decided to “double down” on her controversial takes in the face of her supposed “cancellation.”
The trouble began when she brought up a recent experience at the school attended by her daughter, Bryn Hoppy. She shared:
“We have to go into the fact that I did a Zoom for my daughter’s school and the pronouns conversation with each teacher, each parent, each child. And my daughter says in school, too, that everybody has to say their pronouns.”
The Skinnygirl founder continued:
“And my daughter didn’t even know what hers were, and I can’t even blame , I know what I am or what I think I am, but I have never said it out loud — it hasn’t come up for me — and so she said she didn’t know exactly how to say it, someone said it before her.”
So, it sounds like the 11-year-old is learning something new and useful in school. Good for her! (BTW, most of us learn about pronouns in elementary school, even if they aren’t attached to a lesson about gender identity.)
Bethenny’s stories only got more troubling from there. She went on to share some “gossip” from parents who sent their kids to elite summer camps (which Bryn did not attend). She dished on what she called the “craziest year in camp history,” saying:
“One issue that occurred was it’s an all-girls camp. and a person with a penis, who identifies as being a girl, went to the camp and was in the bunk with the girls. And the girls saw her — because it’s her, because it’s a male anatomy but identifying as a woman — so the other girls saw a penis. They’re like 9, 10 years old… So, the parents obviously weren’t that happy.”
Not content to leave it at that, the entrepreneur added that “this girl with a penis was making out with a lot of the different girls at the camp.”
Umm, why in the world does Bethenny think it’s okay to air out the business of a young transgender kid that she has absolutely no relation to?! About an occurrence at a camp her child didn’t even attend? It’s absolutely inappropriate to discuss the genitals of kids that AREN’T YOURS on a podcast, let alone a vulnerable trans girl who, it sounds, has already been the target of other adults’ anger.
Reflecting on all this, the RHONY alum stated:
“My daughter understands all of this, it’s amazing, they have different language, different understandings, but she also hasn’t seen a penis. So, in a camp, she’d see girl parts so I think these conversations are also fluid.”
….Huh? Bethenny keeps talking about this like seeing other kids’ genitals is a major part of the camp experience!
Musing further on this “fluid” conversation, the 50-year-old advocated for sending trans children to camps “where there were kids in the same situation” (because segregation is always a good idea!), criticized the idea of inclusive bathrooms and spaces on the basis that a kid’s gender identity might be a “phase” (“Maybe a mother isn’t ready for her child to see a penis in a bunk and understand that child identifies as a girl”), and even questioned whether trans athletes competing in sports was “fair.” Basically, she hit transphobic bingo.
Of course, these comments faced serious backlash online. After Page Six covered the incident, she wrote on Twitter:
“@PageSix says I’m transphobic so it must be true…or listen to @justbpodcast & decide for yourself. Gotta sell papers.#donthatetheplayerhatethegame “
When one follower expressed disappointment in the lack of apology, the TV personality retorted:
“Not apologizing….so don’t hold your breath. I didn’t do a single thing wrong. People need to be able to have discussions without fearing the cancelation citations you get excited to give. Wrong celeb. Find someone afraid to troll.”
Yet when the follower tried to explain that it wasn’t about cancellation, but education, Bethenny dismissed:
“You will have to listen to the podcast. I said zero incorrectly. Everyone can have a perspective and be open to a discussion that is ‘fluid.’ That’s what happened.”
Another user accused her of doing “damage” to the LGBTQ+ community, she defensively replied:
“I didn’t do one thing wrong. Conversations are healthy. Try it. Doubling down. I’m not a celeb who panics in fear of cancelation Bc I didn’t say something precisely how you needed to hear it. I don’t have a transphobic bone on my body so take it elsewhere. Watch handmaids tale.”
We don’t think Bethenny monologuing on her own podcast counts as a “conversation.” And what’s Handmaid’s Tale got to do with it?!
She continued to “double down” in her other Twitter replies, too, promising that she would address the situation in the next Just B episode:
Woof. This is a lot. As much as Bethenny keeps championing “conversation,” she doesn’t seem very open to having one with the community most affected by her comments. Instead, it sounds like she’s just trying to rack up more attention for her podcast. An apology would be nice — but that would require understanding why her comments were wrong. Maybe she could try having an actual conversation with transgender advocates on her show, rather than simply insisting that she’s right about everything.
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