Back

Bumble IPO: Is Whitney Wolfe's "role model" image for women insulting and white privilege or is it just me?https://techcrunch.com/2014/07/09/whitney-wolfe-vs-tinder/

LOVE supporting and celebrating women when due, but is it just me that gets insulted/feels unfair when Whitney Wolfe is constantly hailed in press (and by everyone) as a icon/role model for (and often as the "first" to X, Y, etc. among) businesswomen?Per ^ linked TechCrunch's Jordan Crook's article: 1. Often listed as Tinder "co-founder," when she interview for/joined as a Field Sales Rep contractor for an unrelated CC loyalty app, Cardify, in the same incubator (got job from knowing CMO's sister and then-gf), advocated by said CMO to be hired over to Tinder 7mos later as VP Marketing AFTER sister venture/parent company shutdown, SLEEPS WITH/dates said CMO, used co-founder title in press when she "wasn't"/"shouldn't be" (per attached quotes from article and never seen a co-founder who didn't have a C-level title) before said CMO caved to "help her career" and co-founder title was GIVEN to her.2. Cheats on said CMO or simultaneously dates her now-husband who's richer and more powerful/connected, dramatically quits in front of everyone at company party, then SUES said CMO for "sexual harassment, discrimination, and being forced out."3. Consequently discovered and HANDED dating app idea (that she pivots to because she didn't want anything to do w/ dating apps), company, funding, and shared "engineering team" by Russian Badoo dating app founder (who owned 80% of Bumble pre-Blackstone acquisition, meaning she owned 20% pre-sale), said shared/outsourced overseas Badoo engineering team/then-parent company built Bumble and does all of the engineering to this day, w/ Bumble team being entirely marketing and customer support (per bloomberg.com/news/features/2020-01-17/for-bumble-the-future-isn-t-female-it-s-female-marketing)Certainly a marketing/PR pro (as are a lot of PR girls) who's ambitious, pretty, (therefore?) connected, and achieved a lot (whether earned, via merit, or luck from her looks), but is it not a case of white privilege and being handed titles, companies, and everything, case-after-case? The League, a profitable competitor founded by a CS major/Stanford MBA also calls Bumble a "fake startup" (per techcrunch.com/2019/08/20/this-is-your-life-in-silicon-valley-league-founder-amanda-bradford/), is Whitney's founder title or recognition (mainly of "firsts" in this case, young woman to IPO) also insulting or unfair to you founders who've actually conceived an idea, been there from Day 0, and built a product/managed engineers, or I am just envious of someone who hasn't had to actually work for their founder titles and accompanying recognition?
It's not just you and thanks for the intel that Bumble is Russian owned. I get fished A LOT and now I see why.
@Mui27 Can you share what you mean by fished (didn’t even know that was a thing for women)?!While the 80% owner was born and raised in Russia, he moved to London in 2005 and exited/sold Bumble to Blackstone in Nov 2019 (hence expected IPO so the PE firm can make a return on their huge acquisition).
I think picking apart women's backgrounds and anointing them as "good" role models or not is unproductive. I'm sure she had many, many advantages (like most successful people), but it's not like she just sat for a few interviews and got famous. Like everyone, she probably didn't work as hard as some other people, but it's pretty much impossible to judge, what is the level of success she "deserves" when a lot of this is random anyhow, and we're only outsiders with limited information?I don't think we need to put down her work or the work of other women in PR. It seems like she's done a great job if we're worrying that she gets too much recognition.
@Georgetta218 TechCrunch article by Jordan Crook (now Managing Editor) literally says that though. All sources in the article are inside Tinder employees per credible journalism/fact-checking. She told every reporter she was a cofounder “to be taken more seriously” (her own words, because name one famous VP Marketing) before they caved and she got famous from said press and her lawsuit. Literally how she was discovered by Bumble majority owner (until sale).Female founder of The League isn’t famous, founders of Hinge, Raya etc aren’t famous (don’t even know who they are without Googling) because they aren’t in mainstream press or as often as she’s broadcasted.Love my PR friends, all are amazing pros as mentioned, just saying the only difference with her is she was ambitious to use cofounder title in press before the actual Day 0 cofounders who conceived the idea and built the product 7mos before she was hired caved, married up which helped get “no lewd nudes” bills passed etc. Being hailed by press as a founder icon when she’s never conceived an idea (or the two she’s credited as a founder for), never built a product, never managed engineers can certainly be insulting to those who know and have lived what the founder title/life entails. If she wasn’t in press/feeds everyday, getting credit for something she didn’t do/wasn’t or was handed (like riding on coattails) wouldn’t be as insulting.
I think it's completely valid to feel angry about unfairness. I'm not a founder, but I might feel the same way if I was one. I have a strong justice impulse that makes me disappointed to see people getting undue credit.The reason I felt uncomfortable was that this read like a skewering of a woman when I think we would all benefit if we ignored people we think don't "deserve" credit and publicized the stories of other women instead. I especially felt uncomfortable about the comments about Wolfe's success coming from being pretty and marrying up - I think those are very common sexist complaints directed at women, no? And I'm sure she and other women do benefit from their attractiveness and from their marriages, similar to how men benefit from patriarchal power structures - worth acknowledging but feels wrong as a jab.
It's not just you - I felt this way since hearing the "How I Built This" on Bumble.
@Jonnie23 Thanks for sharing! Maybe I’ll have the courage to listen to it one day (unless you can kindly summarize), as every mention of her feels disingenuous so maybe I’ll try to block her name as a keyword so I’m not reminded of how unfair the world is.
Thank you! It's about time that marketing/pr girls are flushed out.