UKIP Treasurer Panned for 'Sexist' Comments on Women and Poker

Stuart Wheeler
Stuart Wheeler (Photo credit: UK Sunday Times)

Treasurer of the UK Independence Party Stuart Wheeler is in hot water over comments he made disparaging women's abilities in poker, chess and bridge.

Wheeler was speaking at a debate on gender-based hiring and promotion quotas when he made the comments that were called “disingenuous” and “sexist” by an opposing speaker.

“I would just like to challenge the idea that it is necessary to have a lot of women or a particular number on a board,” said Wheeler.

"Business is very, very competitive and you should take the performance of women in another competitive area, which is sport where [men] have no strength advantage.

“Chess, bridge, poker – women come absolutely nowhere. I think that just has to be borne in mind.”

At the debate Clare Gerarda, the chairman of the Royal College of General Practitioners, was quick to fire back.

Vanessa Selbst
Try telling Vanessa Selbst women can't compete in poker.

"My mother, at 83, is the biggest bridge champion and continues to be year on year. I think that is such a disingenuous, sexist comment."

Wheeler's thoughts are only more offensive when you consider he was offering the opinion as evidence of why women aren't promoted to positions on corporate boards as often as men.

Women Do Compete, Just Look at Poker

Women are massively under-represented in the poker world, but you don't have to look far to find examples of female success.

Names like Vanessa Selbst, Annette Obrestad and Jen Harman are among the first that come to mind, but it's a long and quickly growing list.

And despite being under-represented in major poker tournaments, big wins by women are only becoming more common.

At the World Series of Poker this year Loni Harwood and Dana Castaneda both won open bracelet events.

At the same time Danielle Andersen's role in the new poker documentary BET RAISE FOLD gave us an up-close look at how making a living playing poker has nothing do with gender.

This summer at the WSOP spoke to a few of the most successful female poker pros to learn more about how gender roles are changing in the poker world.

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