The Serena Dilemma: Saint or sinner

Observations of a Middle-aged Dragon with a tattoo:

The Serena Dilemma: Saint or sinner.

Is she a doyen of female rights or simply a precocious bad-mannered brat?

This is the question. There’s no denying she is a wonderful female athlete, philanthropist, strong woman and a stylish dresser.

But she also can be entitled, self-important and arrogant. This time I wonder if the blow-up wasn’t more about her own frustration at not playing her best, rather than anything to do with women’s rights.

Was it women’s rights or a frustrated smoke screen pieced together hastily after she started losing – not only the match but her cool. A good story to try and seem like Serena’s bad behavior was for a worthwhile cause, championing for the end to institutional sexism. The right for a woman athlete who has a sports bra on to change her shirt at the change of ends in a tennis match!

No one will ever fully know, as it is only Serena who really knows herself. Was she being true to herself and honest with the world and the realm of women’s rights – or simply unable to cope with being blown off the court.

Let’s face it she’s done this before at the US Open. Remember the reprehensible 2009 Serena Williams outburst in the semi-final against Kim Clijsters. That time the umpire was a woman (no-where to pull the gender card) as was the lineswoman who called Serena for a foot-fault and Serena was accused of saying she’d kill her. 

As for the cartoon fracas: as I’ve said many times before people need to be able to laugh at themselves and GET over it. Political Correctness as a form of censorship is one of the most pernicious and dangerous aspects to our present society.

It was rightly asked later this week; WHY was that particular cartoon singled out as racist: Here’s how other cartoonists have drawn Serena….. these aren’t particularly flattering either and no one sent their creators death threats?? 

When people wrote and posted obscene things about the cartoon that Mark Knight drew, I was brought back to the shootings on 7 January 2015 in which twelve people were killed at the offices of the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo. Here Islamic radicals shot up the offices of the magazine for posting what they saw as disrespectul cartoons about Islam and the prophet Mahomed. 

I bet the same people crying foul this week, were also appalled at the actions of the Muslim radicals back then (and rightly so). The attacks this week on Mark Knight, while nowhere as violent, were still born from the same lack of an ability to laugh at ourselves (remembering: cartoons aren’t actual pictures they are caricatures!). Also from a lack of understanding of what freedom of speech and freedom of expression really means, that is the ability to have acceptance for all opinions. We are the West – we champion free speech and this is the price we pay – diversification – acceptance of all views. 

Pause for a minute:

Let’s Remember: “Je suis Charlie” (French pronunciation: [ʒə sɥʃaʁli], French for “I am Charlie”) is a slogan and logo created by French art director Joachim Roncin and adopted by supporters of freedom of speech and freedom of the press after twelve people were killed at the offices of French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo.

Me thinks everyone is protesting too much; maybe for the wrong reasons. At the end of the day this is an amazing sportsperson regardless of sex, yet, it was also an example of entitlement, disrespect, bad manners, and abhorrent behavior. 

As the dust settled; players, umpires, sports commentators and some of the public were questioning whether in future do Serena’s games have to umpired to a different set of rules, not those everyone else plays by. Surely; no-one is bigger than the game.

As for the anaemic argument that men were never drawn that way, 

I beg to differ see the examples here of John McEnroe. 

Plus Nadal, Federer and Djokovic would never have gone off at an umpire so viciously and persistently. 

And down the other end – holding it altogether with grace and courage was Naomi Osaka:

*For anyone who doesn’t know this is Naomi Osaka. She is 20 years old and on the night of Saturday September 8th 2018 she became the US Open champion. She received no coaching, broke zero rackets, and treated the umpire and her opponent with respect throughout. Unfortunately nobody is talking about her…. *Source Jonathan Bennett