August 8, 2012 by McDowski
I was watching an episode of Shark Tank, and I saw something that is really one of my pet peeves. And it wasn’t the first time I have seen it.
Daymond John (founder and CEO of FUBU and one of the titular ‘sharks’ of the show) made an offer to a couple of female jewellery designers. They came in asking for $80k for 51% stake, which Daymond countered with an offer of 70% for the same investment. At this point, Barbara Corcoran (a real estate millionaire) interjected with an annoying comment: “You would never make that an offer to a male designer… Say what you want, it’s the truth.”
I really, really hate that. I hate this ‘pat yourself on the back’ attitude that certain women have where they convince themselves that if someone disagrees with them on anything, it must because “I’m a woman.” As if the idea that anyone could have a contrarian point of view is so entirely alien, that the only possible conclusion to draw is that the individual is a sexist pig. And this isn’t the first time she has done this. She frequently comes up with such comments, particularly when the candidate is a young businesswoman. Ms. Corcoran apparently thinks that the best way to snare an investment with a fellow businesswoman is to speak to her ‘oppressed’ side. In an earlier episode, she had tried a similar tactic, trying to convince a female candidate that she should go with her rather than one of the other (male) sharks because “we all know women work harder than men [sic].”
You know what, Ms. Corcoran? It is you who is the sexist pig. Convince candidates to go with you based on the merits of your offer and your business accumen. If they go with another shark, respect the fact that they had a more convincing offer. Don’t try to hide behind the mask of gender martyrdom.
The world is not, in fact, out to get you. Strange but true.