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RHONY's Bethenny Frankel Doubles Down on Transphobia After Call Out

Bethenny Frankel

After she was called out on social media and in the news for her transphobic statements, Real Housewives of New York alum Bethenny Frankel is doubling down, and saying that nothing she said was transphobic.

Frankel’s original comments, which she made on the September 23 episode of her podcast, Just B with Bethenny Frankel, are clearly, unquestionably, and factually, transphobic.

At first she dabbled in transphobic rhetoric, complaining about the difficulty of pronouns and the inconvenience of thinking about your own.

“We have to go into the fact that I did a Zoom for my daughter’s school and [we had] the pronouns conversation with each other, each parent, each child,”  she said. “And my daughter says in school, too, that everybody has to say their pronouns.”

“And my daughter didn’t even know what hers were,” Frankel continued. “[She said], ‘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.’ So she said she didn’t know.”

Most children start using pronouns to refer to themselves and others at between about 30-35 months old, and then again learn them in first grade, so it’s a bit surprising that Frankel’s daughter, age 11, has yet to learn the concept. 

But that was just a preview of the real transphobia. That came when she described her daughter’s experience at a recent summer camp.

“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,” Frankel transphobically said. “They’re 9, 10 years old, so the parents obviously weren’t that happy.”

First of all, the person Frankel is talking about is a girl, not a “male anatomy but identify as a woman” (a very transphobic phrase). Second of all, why are all the girls showing each other their genitals? That sounds more like a transphobe made up a story to complain about a 10-year-old trans girl than something that happened in real life.

Frankel continued, using the tired old transphobic trope of trans women as predators, by saying that “this girl with a penis was making out with a lot of different girls at the camp.”

She continued from there, saying “it’s an interesting conversation” and that being trans might be a phase because “maybe they’re going through something, maybe they want attention, maybe they’re going through a bad breakup.” Do nine and ten-year-olds have bad breakups?

Now, Frankel is busy defending herself online.

“Listen to the podcast. Then comment,” Frankel tweeted at a fan who said her initial comments were wrong. “I was absolutely not wrong. And I’m going to discuss this again this week. Thankfully I have a platform to clarify what the media loves to distort.”

Another fan agreed with Frankel, and said that there was nothing transphobic in her statement. “Zero point zero, but that doesn’t sell magazines & newspapers,” Frankel tweeted in response. “People have been afraid to have real conversations. If you didn’t read your script before speaking, people get so excited. Come at me… I’m here… and the conversation will continue.”

It seems that Frankel might be under the impression that “transphobia” simply means using a slur or physically attacking a trans person. Or, it might be that she’s doubling down to save face, and she actually does know just how wrong she is.

In one tweet, she told a fan, “I didn’t do one thing wrong… I don’t have a transphobic bone on my body so take it elsewhere. Watch Handmaid’s Tale.” Does she think Handmaid’s Tale is about transphobia?

Whatever Frankel thinks, she’s said that she’s going to “clarify” and “continue” the conversation this week on her podcast. Hopefully, but doubtfully, that will include an apology to the (possibly fictional) 10-year-old trans girl she painted as a sex fiend.

RELATED | 15 Celebs Who Use Multiple Sets of Pronouns

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