Serena Williams Does Not Need Your Gender Qualifiers, Thankyouverymuch

Source: Getty Images
Source: Getty Images

Serena Williams slayed opponent Elena Vesnina in a Wimbledon semi-final Thursday, and then slayed a reporter who implied her legacy would be limited by her gender. 

In a press conference following the match, one verbally careless member of the media asked Williams how she felt about going down in sports history as "one of the greatest female athletes of all time," the Cut reported. 

The tennis star pointed out her sex doesn't have anything to do with her prowess on the court.

"I prefer the words 'one of the greatest athletes of all time,'" Williams responded. Period, end of sentence. No gendered qualifications here, thanks.

In addition to being on of the greatest tennis talents on Earth, Williams is also one of the planet's best paid. Unfortunately, the fact that she's a woman means she falls into the pay gap, of which she is a vocal opponent. During the press conference, she talked about that too. 

"I would like to see people, the public, the press and other athletes in general just realize that and respect women for who they are and what we are and what we do," she said. "Basically my whole life I've been doing this. I haven't had a life. I don't think I would deserve to be paid less because of my sex, or anyone else for that matter, in any job."

Serena Williams eviscerates Elena Vesnina in Thursday's Wimbledon semi-final.
Source: 
Shaun Botterill/Getty Images

Williams extended her argument to include prize money, answering a male journalist's about equal pay in that department. 

"Yeah, I think we deserve equal prize money," she said. "I mean, if you happen to write a short article, you think you don't deserve equal pay as your beautiful colleague behind you?"

The press conference may have been a win for feminism, but the match itself had an unfortunate body-shaming undertone — Twitter called out Williams for her "distracting" nipples, because sporting whilst female seems always to mean navigating a sexist minefield

Read more:
Don't Worry — Serena Williams Doesn't Feel Ready to Have Kids Yet, Either
Serena Williams Is Fed Up With Your Sexist Questions and Backhanded Compliments, Men
Emma Watson and Serena Williams Star in Inspiring "Together Women Can" Campaign

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Claire Lampen

Claire is a staff writer at Mic who covers women's issues and reproductive rights. She is based in New York and can be reached at claire@mic.com.

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