It’s widely known that Serena Williams is a staunch feminist.
But the tennis star, who is heavily pregnant with Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian’s child, has angered several women on Twitter after saying that giving birth will make her a “real woman.”
In an interview with the Herald Sun, the 35-year-old commented: “I have so much respect for so many women [for giving birth].”
“I am about to be a real woman now, you know? It’s going to be something incredibly impressive to go through.”
Women quickly took to social media to point out that you can be a ‘real woman’ without having a baby.
— RoseFire (@native_amaris) August 8, 2017
Didn’t know I had to have a baby to be a “real woman”..thanks for letting me know @serenawilliams
— Kimberly Joyce (@KimSavinoJoyce) August 8, 2017
Others who are unable to have children due to certain medical conditions were even more furious at the comments.
One woman who lost her womb to cancer tweeted the following:
@serenawilliams Just saw your remark about being a real woman when you give birth, just like to ask as I lost my womb to cancer, what am I?
— Mia Cummins (@dhv938d) August 10, 2017
Williams also angered the transgender community who were appalled that such a prominent figure could say something so ‘thoughtless’.
People who had transitioned from male to female pointed out that “simply identifying as a woman” was enough to make you a real woman – not the sum of your body parts.
Oh Serena. Simply identifying as a woman is enough to make you a “real woman”. Giving birth isn’t the defining characteristic of womanhood. https://t.co/S3EXsDEEul
— Gemma Howard (@GemmaHoward93) August 8, 2017
There’s no word from Williams’ camp just yet but we suspect she may be regretting her choice of words.
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