Asked if she watches her losses on tape, Serena Williams once answered, “It’s very painful. It’s like cutting yourself to me.” And though she is fiercely confident, fiercely successful, and loathe to give notice to any media mongering, I can’t imagine what it must be like, then, to see a fellow athlete – a fellow woman – degrade and ‘make fun’ by mocking her fiercely awesome bod.
This ‘scandal’ sparked a bit of a media frenzy. There were cries accusing Wozniacki of racism. Now, as the dust settles (this happened Tuesday), some media are also reporting that Serena and Caroline are friends, that this imitation has happened before, that everything’s cool.
I just couldn’t not write about it. Ya know?
Racism aside (though not dismissed! – I write this as a woman), Wozniacki’s behavior struck me as completely disgusting and offensive. Offensive because, to me, a woman’s body should be off limits for ridicule. A woman’s body – effing Serena William’s body! – should not be portrayed or manipulated in a way that invites mass sneer, even in the form of ‘play.’
I’m a feminist. But I also swear like a soldier and may or may not engage in non-PC humor. I cringe, but accept many forms of humor because I believe discussion is better than silence.
But if I had a friend who used her time in the spotlight to make fun – however ‘lightly’ or ‘good-hearted’ – of my body…holy shit. Can you imagine?
I obviously can’t speak for Serena and don’t know what she’s feeling (or numbing from feeling), but I do know that woman on woman sneering is hugely detrimental. I do know what it is to have an energy-faking friend: someone who you think you should like, who you should want to hang out with, but leaves you feeling drained and a little icky inside.
That ickiness is flagging something inside. It’s flagging an uncomfortable emotion and feeding the gremlins inside that insist ‘there really is something wrong with me, huh?’
No, there’s nothing wrong with you. There’s nothing wrong with Serena. She doesn’t need me to tell her. And maybe the people in the stands and the viewers and readers on the web don’t think that there’s anything wrong with what Wozniacki did, but she’s an energy-faker. She made me feel icky and I know how to put words to that ickiness. So for anyone feeling icky about it and not exactly understanding why, may I invite you to my two eff-ing important cents: when someone invites snickering and voyueristic gawking at a woman’s body, it makes ME feel less than. It makes ME feel like there might be something wrong with my body and it makes other people think it’s okay to to put on the same kind of shaming shenanigans. And that’s not okay with ME.
Thank you for listening. I may or may not get off my soap box right now. What say you?
your heart, it’s time to share more of my writing. If you hadn’t already
heard, I published a book! TheLoose
Lip Brigade is available on Amazon. BUT if
you purchase it here at Feed Me Daily, there is No Shipping Fee and
you get Homemade Awesom Badge Bookmark.