Tennis icon Serena Williams is getting called for a big-time fault after saying in a magazine article that giving birth will make her a "real woman."
"I am about to be a real woman now." Serena Williams prepares for her greatest challenge yet: motherhood… https://t.co/MsNsXZM8Nc— The Root (@The Root) 1502203866.0
“I have so much respect for so many women [for giving birth],” the pregnant Williams said in a Stellar feature article in which she revealed she's nervous about having a baby. “I am about to be a real woman now, you know? It’s going to be something incredibly impressive to go through.”
Well, that set off a few folks.
"What a ridiculous comment!" one Twitter user noted. "I am not 'less of a woman' because I don't have children."
"So, in your view, I'm not a real woman because I CHOSE not to have children? #ChooseYourWordsCarefully," another user chastened.
One commenter slammed Williams: "You just set women back 50 years. Thanks."
And folks kept serving them up: “Didn't know I had to have a baby to be a 'real woman' ... thanks for letting me know @serenawilliams.”
"What do u mean Serena? You are about to be a real woman?" another reacted. "As long as u are born a woman, child or no child you remain a real woman."
“Really unfortunate statement from her," another observed. "All women are real, not just the ones who give birth."
Williams, who is eight months pregnant, also was quoted in the Stellar article as saying that giving birth "will give me more strength, if that’s possible, and a lot more confidence. I feel like I will be ready for anything.”
The 35-year-old — who's engaged to Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian — won the Australian Open in January in straight sets while eight weeks pregnant, Stellar noted.
Given the reaction to her "real woman" remark, it might be surprising to some that in the same piece Williams said, "I definitely am a feminist. I like to stick up for women and women’s rights. So many things happen and I just think, ‘Wow, why don’t we have a chance?’ If that makes me a feminist, I am proud to be one."
Williams' Twitter page on Tuesday was devoid of any statement about her choice of words.
And somewhere John McEnroe — who recently said Williams would be ranked "like 700 in the world" if she played in the men’s circuit — is probably glad he didn't utter them.