Leave Serena Alone

I can’t say that I’m the biggest follower of tennis but I’ve been a fan of the Williams sisters since they boldly entered the world of professional tennis.  I’ve watched them grow up and handle (nearly) all of the passive-aggressive treatment and bad-mouthing from other players with grace and cool tempers.  Personally, I don’t think I’d have been able to last as long as they have without having at least the thought of bitch-slapping some folks for their rude and hateful comments.Once again, folks can’t stop themselves from ensuring that Serena Williams faces yet more criticism — this time it’s about a picture (really done as an avatar wearing sexy underwear) that she posted on Twitter and removed rather promptly.  It is being said that she’s bringing more trouble and attention to herself while proving herself to be hypocritical.  Why?   Because she shouldn’t be parading around in sexy clothing considering that she recently complained about a man stalking her.

Um….what’s the problem?  What does one thing have to do with the other?

I’m not asking that question naively; wearing skimpy or even outlandishly different clothing (or lack thereof) is bound to have an effect on anyone who is looking.  However, are we really going back to an age where if a woman is harassed then it’s her fault because of what she is wearing?  All the blame goes to the women and the men doing the stalking have no responsibility?

OK, so she posed in sexy undies.  I can’t say that I’d be in public posing in my drawz but, considering we’re not yet past the age of video hos, sex tapes to gain reality show contracts, and stage performers who strut around wearing nothing but pasties and dental floss, as far as displays go, Serena’s displays rank well above the others in terms of sass and class.

Whether folks like it or not, Ms. Williams is not ashamed of her body and folks should get used to seeing her powerful black booty  body on the court.  When her counterparts pose in far less, are they criticised in the same way?  NO.  Leave the dame alone and get over it already!

The Women’s Tennis Association announced that they’re launching a “Strong Is Beautiful” campaign; who better than Serena, with her powerful moves and fearless attitude, to show just how beautiful strength can be?  Whether you like her taste in clothing, on or off the court, there is no denying that simply by changing the face of tennis — and sticking with it, that she has a strength many don’t have and never will.

http://www.wtatennis.com/news/20110512/wta-launches-strong-is-beautiful-campaign_2256076_2358555


Comments

  1. Anonymous says:

    I already know what the hell this is all about it. Americas favorite fucking thing, race. Why is it that a good girl like Serena, star tennis player gets slack for wearing sexy clothing, but a white chick caught sucking dick on a low rent porn film gets praises and her own reality series? Why doesnt she get the same back lashing they are giving to Serena. I am so tired of this shit. I must admit that media and many ignorant ass white people exhaust me with their racism. Leave those girls the fuck alone. Is this really an issue when there is so much other shit going on in the fucking world. Rotting racist bitches.

  2. The blog entry said it best with a conclusion easy enough to draw from the comments that followed.

    However, the comments of the first response are a different matter. An opportunity to express a very valid point seems muddled in the vitriol pulsating from the words of that reply. A reminder that broad brushes applied anywhere seldom do justice to honest debate.

  3. Anonymous says:

    Ry, you must NOT be black OR female. I am both and I have to tell you that the double standard gets old and tiresome after awhile. Maybe the first commentor has just had it up to "there" and then some!

    Why do they give Serena such a hard time? I think it's that beautiful, powerful black body she REFUSES to be ashamed of that bothers these folks. I hate to hearken all the way back to slavery but it honestly reminds me of the way slaves had unwanted sexual advances foisted upon them and yet THEY end up with the reputation of wanton and lusty! It's a shame folks can't handle all that sexy choclate she's wrapped up in. They want us to be ashamed of our voluptuous bodies and hide them, so they can imitate and celebrate those same features on themselves. Everyone knows that Beyonce is "bootylicious" but when white women say to their plastic surgeons I want a bigger behind it's like who-J.Lo! Why? Because she the safe "other." They scorned us (black women) for our full lips and round hips for CENTURIES and then make those same traits "de rigueur" for attractiveness in themselves. You really expect me to believe they suddenly notice these features are atttractive when they see them on someone like Angelina Jolie? Um Hell NO! They just don't want to be caught admiring the features of black women openly-because that might validate us as desirable and attractive too.
    My Mother always said "imitation is the sincerest form of flattery" So for what they never say with words, their actions speak volumes.

    Serena has GOT IT FLAT GOIN' ON! Why the hell should she NOT flaunt it?

    -Mia

  4. Anonymous says:

    You know what Ry? Its my opinion. You always bring your condescending ass on here with a smart ass response for peoples answers. Especially the owner of the blog. No one ask for your critique on other peoples opinions. I am guessing you are white, because like alot of white people, not all, you never own up to the fact that your behavior ignites much of any person of color vitriol. Why dont you guys get together and find out the real reason why you have such issue with people of color. How about you do that? Why is it an issue that these two sisters wear sexy outfits? Is it because America can't handle black shapely asses? We always have white pasty boney asses thrown in our faces, especially black women. We are told we have too much ass, too much thigh, lips are too big, etc. Its time you see that we arent ashamed of our bodies. So I am always happy to see what a real womans body on tv is suppose to look like, because we arent represented in a positive light. I feel those two sisters are positive. I am proud of them. I hope they keep wearing their outfits. If America has a problem with it, who gives a damn. Many of you gloss over issues that effect us. It may seem like nothing to you, but you are probably not a person of color. I take offense as a black person to the way they slam those two sisters in the media all the fucking time. How long have white people been painting every fucking thing with their white washed brushes? You fail to understand the depth of where I am coming from because my response because of my language, honestly I dont give a damn.I would rather look at it as passion rather than vitriol. Its going to be up to white people to see why people of color respond the way we do, sometimes.
    any of you are completely oblivious to what we deal with.Its so exhausting dealing with the bullshit sometimes, you will never know. You dont have to deal with what we deal with and so why would you try and explore where we are coming from? Nothing effects white people the way it effects people of color because you are the cause of so many fucking problems.

  5. The anger represented in your words blurs your ability to see that I actually agree with the point being made.

    Unfortunatley, your words are a sad reminder that racism comes in many colours.

  6. Anonymous says:

    I knew you were white. Only a white person could come back and say that bullshit.white people think Blacks are racist when we call white people on their bullshit. That is what I was doing. Most of what I was saying was directed at racist white people. I really dont care what you think otherwise. You will never get it and many like you.

  7. Anonymous says:

    My words are a sad reminder that racism comes in many colors? Who the fuck do you think you are? I am reminded of racism whenever I read about Americans giving hell to two women at the top of their game, but can't even get the full credit they deserve because other Americans fuck with them over what they are wearing when they know that their clothing isn't the problem. You need to shut the fuck up Ry-bread, I'm sorry I meant white bread.

  8. The Brooklyn Dame says:

    Hmmm….interesting comments here!

    Ry, whether you want to admit it or not, as a person who is not of colour (I noticed your spelling…are you British by birth as well?), you will never know what it is like to walk in the shoes of someone who is.

    The beauty of white skin privilege is that you don't even have to be aware of how other people perceive you or judge you because, ultimately, it will never have the impact on your life that being judged does on people of colour.

    Your comment about how racism comes in many colours is rather interesting — prejudice comes in many forms and colours but real racism does not. Racism involves not just judging someone else based on colour or cultural differences but it also involves having institutionalised power to act on those judgements.

    What you perceive as vitriol is often, as Mia mentioned, people of colour saying "enough already because I've had it up to *Here*"; many people of colour have learned that no matter what they say, do, accomplish, etc, they will always be looked at as 'other', 'different' and 'lesser than'. In an ideal world it would be nice to have really calm and civil discussions about race…but, then again, in an ideal world, race wouldn't matter at all. Unfortunately, in the world we live in, it does…and many of us don't have the luxury of turning the other cheek and/or ignoring what we deal with every day.

    Realise that the world you live in isn't working for everyone — and it's exhausting that it continues to be this way.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Whoever this Ry person is has no CLUE what the average black person goes through on a daily basis. As a white person, I was some what in denial myself until I saw a show on Oprah about it several years back. I recently found a clip of that show and I really hope Ry will check it out. Sounds like he needs to be enlightened a little. Here it is:

    http://www.oprah.com/oprahshow/Black-for-a-Day-Video

  10. The Brooklyn Dame says:

    Thank you for that clip, 'Anonymous'! It sheds some light on people's perceptions and the impact of all of that judgement and racism. What is sad — and what I'm noticing more lately (eg, the recent discussion article in the New York Times titled "Is Anti-White Bias A Problem?") is that not only are more White people denying that any racial bias exists in the 'Age of Obama' but, in their minds, complaints by Black folks and other people of colour is just 'bitching' because THEY are the only people being discriminated against. It doesn't help any discussion when one side negates and completely denies the pain of the other — and/or opens the conversation with 'Get over it'.

    Discrimination is always a problem — no matter who is the target…but when it becomes systemic and sustainable for centuries, then we will know we're truly all on equal footing! 🙂

    On another note, dialogue like this is fascinating; feel free to share your thoughts and experiences (and sign up as a follower so we can exchange thoughts regularly).

    Peace

  11. The critical part of any discussion/debate is to listen to what others are actually saying and what it is you yourself are imparting with your own words, and not to unfairly inject your own predisposed positions into the words of others. Otherwise, you fail to hear a different point of view other than your own and your world view remains narrow and limited. Of course, if it is the amen choir you choose to join, your will have met your goal (FYI that’s sarcastic, not condescending). I make a point of that, as earlier threads attempted to use that kind of characterization to minimize the arguments made. Of course, when one cannot support a position with passion, intellect and sound reasoning, name calling is always a viable alternative (FYI that’s condescending).

    This particular thread has veered so far from an exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions to pontificating, venting and grabbing for the nearest soap box that further contribution to it seems pointless.

    However, if only for the purposes of clarification; no where did I suggest, infer, or interject into any comments that I could personally empathize with the struggles of others unfamiliar to my own. You cannot find those words anywhere. Yet, others felt the need to address(create) this issue! Hmmmmm? If you cannot debate an issue with substanative reasoning, well I suppose it's just best to change the subject!

  12. Nowhere did I inject the issue of color/colour into my comments other than to state that racism comes in many colours in response to the vitriol found in the comments of others. It seemed that point resonated well as intended-point made. However, I would suggest that as an objective exercise re-read some of the earlier threads aloud and each time the word white appears substitute it for black. I am left to wonder if it sounds any different to the reader in that vein? Nowhere did I suggest that ours is a Pollyanna world where equal footing exists for all, in fact I agreed with the essential point of the blog entry. What I do suggest is that there is NO excuse to characterize any group of people with broad brushes anytime.
    Rather than addressing any salient points made, the reflexive response here has been to speak to something that was not at all said. Obviously, in an effort to be kind to others, strangers and friends alike, people are often remiss in challenging others even when they are so far off base it is offensive. Pejorative words that underly hatful comments are ignored in the interest of not creating a stir and people are seemingly given a pass. What I find more objectionable to the comments posted is the silence that follows those words.

    The earlier comments on this thread get no pass from me. No one has the right, privilege, or license to shroud racially tainted comments under the guise of victimization. Contrary to the Dame’s reference to the NYT article about an“Anti-White Bias..”, the issue here is really about ALL people. When you truly believe that we are ALL the children of God, then perhaps the tone and tenor of comments that follow will reflect just that.

  13. The Brooklyn Dame says:

    "The critical part of any discussion/debate is to listen to what others are actually saying and what it is you yourself are imparting with your own words, and not to unfairly inject your own predisposed positions into the words of others."

    Really? Based on most of your responses, I don't get the impression that there is much listening going on but, rather, JUST the imparting of your own words. How something is said carries as much weight as what is said, in my opinion.

    "I would suggest that as an objective exercise re-read some of the earlier threads aloud…"

    Really? It's a challenge to address ANY points whether they're valid or not when the tone comes across as condescending, sarcastic or 'I know more than you do — even when it's about you/your world'. It's interesting that you wish for others to re-read what you wrote to fully get what you're attempting to say. Are you willing to extend that same courtesy and objectivity to others (regardless of the language used) so that you can understand why people feel the way they do?

  14. The Brooklyn Dame says:

    Part II:

    "This particular thread has veered so far from an exchange of thoughts, ideas, and opinions to pontificating, venting and grabbing for the nearest soap box that further contribution to it seems pointless."

    Really? Let's go back to the original topic: Why is Serena being held to a different standard than other celebrity women?…Honest people know the answer to that question. The frustration, which turns into venting (and I think you're pontificating but, hey, that's just me and every other poster here) is a natural by-product of having seen this type of double standard and harsh judgement before and being told to suck it up because that's just the way it is. As for further contribution to the thread being pointless…well, um, why did you feel a need to get the last word? Just wonderin'.

    "Nowhere did I inject the issue of color/colour into my comments other than to state that racism comes in many colours in response to the vitriol found in the comments of others."

    Huh? Are you saying that you weren't strongly implying that the person who posted that comment is a racist based on the comments made?

    "It seemed that point resonated well as intended-point made."

    As I mentioned in my response, there is a HUGE difference between being prejudiced and being a racist.

    "Obviously, in an effort to be kind to others, strangers and friends alike, people are often remiss in challenging others even when they are so far off base it is offensive. Pejorative words that underly hatful comments are ignored in the interest of not creating a stir and people are seemingly given a pass."

    Really? Not sure what you mean about the effort to be kind to 'strangers and friends alike'…This is an open discussion — as evidenced by your repeated posts, no? I present my points and, clearly, you lob your points as you've repeatedly seen fit.

    You seem to think that a "pass" was given. There is no pass needed from me (were you expecting me to defend you? Please clarify as you are, obviously, quite capable of lobbing your own comments toward anyone in your path). As was the original topic of the post, some of us know that no matter what, we'll never get a pass. The hurtful thing is that while we'll get no pass we are, simultaneously, expected to consider the thoughts/feelings of everyone else because it's not fair to paint people with a broad brush when that's exactly what we're subjected to. Again, part of the 'beauty' of never having to put yourself in someone else's shoes unless you feel like it.

    If you feel a need to not let anyone 'get a pass' from you, that's your privilege. Citing that we are all the children of God, when it's clear that not everyone believes it, is a point that's lost in this discussion. If people who insist on treating some of us as 'lesser' and worthy of contempt thought that we are all children of God then there would be no need for any of this conversation.

  15. I took your advice and re-read the comments of other posters, I would hope that you might do likewise…the offending comments are;

    "I must admit that media and many ignorant ass white people exhaust me with their racism"

    "because like alot of white people, not all, you never own up to the fact that your behavior ignites much of any person of color vitriol"

    "How long have white people been painting every fucking thing with their white washed brushes?"

    "Nothing effects white people the way it effects people of color because you are the cause of so many fucking problems"

    I wasn't implying anything, I was stating the comments are racist. That's a reality check, not a politically correct waiver given to someone similarly affected by racism. You are too smart not to acknowledge that. No, I certainly don't need you to defend me, however remaining silent to comments of that kind affirms an implied acquiescence, which quite frankly I don't believe is true in this case. I am stating, not implying, that all good people need to stand up to those who utter such comments, you included. That is as far as I am concerned simply tough love demanding the most of good people. And ALL of God's childrens said," Amen."

  16. The Brooklyn Dame says:

    "I must admit that media and many ignorant ass white people exhaust me with their racism".

    Um, the racism and ignorance IS exhausting! The author took care not to say ALL but many — and if you watched Faux News or even what is considered liberal media with it's more subtle forms of condescending racism, then you may be exhausted too.

    "because like alot of white people, not all, you never own up to the fact that your behavior ignites much of any person of color vitriol"

    Are you saying that you don't see why that author thinks that the behaviour of some white people can cause frustration and vitriol? When Black folks are angry and frustrating it's vitriolic but when White people spew hatred, what does that mean (other than that Black folks are to see all of us as God's children so that behaviour should be ignored)?

    "How long have white people been painting every fucking thing with their white washed brushes?"

    Um, let's be honest, many White people DO view Black people with one broad brush. The author said, many, not all.

    "Nothing effects white people the way it effects people of color because you are the cause of so many fucking problems"

    Um, Black people (ask Serena in this case) get crap ALL the time from people who think she doesn't deserve what she has earned. Must we go back into history at this point to discuss the repeated problems Black folks must contend with? Go ahead and cite what you did earlier: "victimisation" and see how credible that is when talking about a woman who is minding her own business and ruling at the top of her chosen field. When we do well it's not only BECAUSE of but IN SPITE OF all we face.

    "All good people need to stand up to those who utter such comments" ….Um, when I see Black people being defended by White folks — rather than being told to 'change their perceptions' or 'turn the other cheek' or 'that's just how things are' then I will know that those same "good people" mean it when they claim that we're "all God's children".

  17. Anonymous says:

    Ry, I am too tired tonight to deal with you, but you can best believe I have words with your uninsightful ass. The fact that you didnt see that I did not include all white people in my comments, shows that you dont listen, and really could care less. If you took offense to that. I feel that it must ring true for you. There is some truth about you in those comments are otherwise, you would not be so offended but trying to understand more. Why would you? You will never in your life experience anything close to any person of color when it comes to racism from some white people.NOtice I said some. Now who isnt listening? You should really go somewhere and shut up. You have nothing to contribute to this conversation that has any meaning. You are condescending in everything you say and feel. Ask yourself who may harbor some feelings of racism? Look at your friends, listen to what they say and then go somewhere and sit down and shut up. I noticed that you wanted to end the conversation when no one saw your pointless point of view.

  18. Anonymous says:

    You know what Ry, people like you who speak of being the children of God really grab me. If you really believed we were the children of God then you would be somewhere talking to your people, white people about their indifference to racism and discrimination. Most of it stems from you, not black people. I dont feel blacks can be racist, if you see blacks acting racist its called reactionary racism. Not the same thing some white people display with their feelings of superiority and just pure hatred, using us as scapegoates for your centuries old unfound hatred. You speak of having a discussion, you need to listen first. Your comments show you dont listen and dont care. You want your side heard and you are only seeing the words I write and not trying to understand where they are coming from. Its not my fault that I feel the way I do. Its sad in this day and age that this has to be discussed. It has to, because too many white people are still this way and the ones who claim not to be, gloss over it like you do. You are trying to attack me because I am reacting to the behaviors of many white people who still hate blacks and other minorities for whatever dumb ass reason white people have always hated black people. Why dont you go deal with them and talk to them and then once I see that they can look at blacks as human beings and not subhuman then maybe we can talk about something more pleasent like the war in Iraq. I am not done with you.