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Serena Williams Stirs Outrage With 'Real Woman' Comment

On the tennis court, a flub that wasn’t forced by an opponent is known as an unforced error. In an interview, a statement that’s open to interpretation can be viewed as putting your foot in your mouth. That’s what some users are claiming Serena Williams did recently when she offered up some candid commentary about her excitement on becoming a mother for the first time. Other users aren’t so sure. As AOL shares, that’s led to a spirited debate about what a ‘real’ woman is.

The tennis star’s incredible career on the court is on hold for the foreseeable future - not that the 23-time Grand Slam champion has anything else to prove. Williams is engaged to be married to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian, and the couple is expecting a child in September. She recently sat for an interview with Stellar magazine, and the topic turned to her pending motherhood. Williams is obviously excited, and she tried to place that into words.

"I have so much respect for so many women [for giving birth]," she said. "I am about to be a real woman now, you know? It's going to be something incredibly impressive to go through."

Seems like a simple enough statement, but her commentary opened up a massive can of worms. Her ‘real woman’ comment rubbed a ton of users the wrong way, and many weren’t shy about calling Williams out over it.

"So, in your view, I'm not a real woman because I CHOSE not to have children? #ChooseYourWordsCarefully," shared one user.

"Didn't know I had to have a baby to be a 'real woman' ... thanks for letting me know @serenawilliams," added another commenter.

“Really unfortunate statement from her. All women are real, not just the ones that give birth,” chimed in another user.

Other users brushed aside her remarks, and simply wished her well on becoming a mother.

“Parenthood is really real. She’ll be fine. Excited for her,” shared one user.

“Serena, you were always so very much a real woman. Carry on, lady,” added another commenter.

AOL notes that the backlash stems from the fact that “many women choose not to have children or are unable to give birth.” That’s a fair point, but we’ll consider it unlikely that Williams was viewing her remarks through that lens. As any couple knows, having a baby is a life-altering experience.

Having feelings along the lines of ‘now I’m a grownup’ are not all that uncommon, and that seems like the note she was trying to hit. Could she have worded it better? Absolutely, but parsing each and every one of someone’s words is a bit on the dramatic side.

If Williams specifically called out a certain segment of the population for being unable or unwilling to have children, then we could certainly understand some backlash heading her way. For an incredibly excited woman that’s expecting her first child to have the slightest slip of the tongue? Not so much, and some deep breaths work wonders in these situations.

Source: AOL
Photo: YouTube

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