Serena gets no love for U.S. Open tantrum
Serena Williams is angry. She has been disrespected, robbed of a victory foretold, made to look human in front of a crowd that views her as divine. Serena Williams is not used to being treated like a commoner on the court where she has reigned supreme for many years.
Serena Williams is going to use this moment of personal anguish and channel it into “an important cause,” the same type of “important cause” that other women have championed over the years. It is a cause borne of grievance, and annoyance, and bitterness.
Serena Williams is going to make all of us see that tennis is sexist, like all of the institutions in this great patriarchal universe.
And while many people, including legions of women, think that Serena’s mission is a good and noble one, I disagree. To me, what happened on the court at the U.S. Open this weekend was disgraceful, and I’m not talking about a judge’s failure to show the appropriate level of deference to Williams. I’m talking about the bald and blatant attempt to once again turn a legitimate punishment into just another example of how women are victims of discrimination.
Here are the facts, in a nutshell. Carlos Ramos was the judge at courtside. He called Serena out for “coaching,” and gave her a code violation. Not liking the implication that she had cheated, she demanded an apology. He didn’t apologize. She had a little meltdown talking about how she doesn’t cheat because she has a baby daughter (to which I say, I have two Labrador retrievers and what is your point?).
Later in the match, Serena slammed her racket on the ground, still likely ticked off at the chauvinist judge. She got a second code violation. Then, she told the judge from whom she’d demanded an apology that he was a “thief.” That was the third code violation, which ultimately resulted in Serena losing a game. She went on to lose the championship and was fined $17,000.
And this caused the actual winner of the U.S. Open, Naomi Osaka, to cry. Which made me marvel at the hypocrisy of a woman who screams about sexism and says, “I’m gonna continue to fight for women,” but has no problem ruining what should have been the crowning moment of glory for another woman with her own obvious narcissism.
Trying to justify one’s own inability to deal with adversity by pointing the finger at discrimination is an effective tactic, but it diminishes and demeans the women who employ it, and the women who are the alleged beneficiaries.
It’s not just the world of tennis that is infected by these gender games. As I discussed in this column last week, a candidate for public office in Montgomery County named Katie Muth complained that she didn’t
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In this Sept. 8 photo, Naomi Osaka, of Japan, is hugged by Serena Williams after Osaka defeated Williams in the women’s final of the U.S. Open tennis tournament, in New York.