Another Grand Slam for Serena Williams

When the news broke earlier this week that pro-tennis champion, Serena Williams, is expecting her first child, the media was just as ecstatic as her fans. Many people are astounded and impressed in realizing that Williams won the Australian Open during the beginning of her pregnancy as well as the fact that she was just named the number one player in the world. Talk about girl power!

Serena Williams already said she will return to tennis next year and continue her successful career of 23 grand slam titles. She represents just how far women have come in how motherhood and careers are looked at in society. This is part of how society and the idea domesticity has been redefined in modern times. In Claudia Nelson’s Keywords essay on Domesticity she says, “ The recognition on achieving and maintaining what is domestic, whether defined as intimacy, familiarity, or housewifery, is often neither easy nor pleasant.” This is an accurate observation which we saw in books such as Little House on the Prairie, Little Women, and even The Bluest Eye, where there is a specific expectation that women will take care of the home and children. Ma would cook all the meals and stay back at the house with the children in Little House on the Prairie, much like Marmee and even Meg in Little Women. This was also the case with Mrs. Breedlove, in The Bluest Eye, taking care of the home of the white family as well as their children. Women dealt with the constant societal pressure as well as criticism from their husbands, their families, and their neighbors to fulfill domestic expectations and not much else.

It is amazing to see that in today’s world we have a better understanding of the power of motherhood and the capabilities that women have as mothers. Furthermore, it is embraced and celebrated that women are working mothers, instead of confining them to the outdated idea of a singular role for women in the home.  

Yet, while our society has made some progress regarding women and motherhood, we still have a long way to go. Williams faced hateful and racist comments directed at her and her unborn baby by a professional male tennis player this past week. She responded in a composed and collected manner, which is representative of her character, but the fact that she has to defend herself and her child from those types of comments is extremely alarming. Serena Williams is proof that being a woman with a career as well as a mother is not only possible, but incredibly empowering.

 

8 thoughts on “Another Grand Slam for Serena Williams”

  1. I am continually inspired by the many influential women in society, like Serena, who have (either intentionally or unintentionally) used their platform to dismantle the stereotype of motherhood. Women are pushing the boundaries of many important topics today, but I find this one particularly interesting because bringing new life into the world is pretty much the most important job there is, but for some reason it is commonly associated with weakness. It is women like Serena, Beyonce, and so many more, who are showing mass audiences that woman can be mothers all the while they are just as athletic, just as wealthy, and just as powerful as men in society. Non famous woman, of course, do this every day. However, I am thankful for the women who have a platform and use it for spreading such an important message to represents women everywhere.

  2. I think that she is a great role model for showcasing how strong women can be and I agree that it is sad that she even has to stand up for herself. As a female with interests of going into the medical field, I have had to explain myself and even been told that “you should choose a speciality that fits the type of lifestyle I want to live” by a man on panel that also happened to have a pregnant radiologist. She was pestered with questions about how hard it was to juggle being a mother, a wife and a doctor. No one else on the panel was asked how their job affected their personal life. I just think it sucks how people treat women so differently when they exhibit the same levels of strength that men do.

  3. I really liked many of the ideas that you brought up in your blog post. Although I agree with you that many more women are starting to have both careers and motherhood, I still think that many of the careers that women choose are based on being able to be flexible with their schedule in order to still be a mother. I know that I personally chose a career that will someday allow me to not only do what I love, but to also be flexible when I start having a family.

  4. Great post! I think it is great that the views on women and domesticity are changing, where women are seen as basically having a super power! Although we definitely have a long way to go I think the progress towards societies views on motherhood and athletes has been made too.

  5. I love this story as I am a huge sports nerd. I completely agree with your comment on how our society still has a long way to go regarding women and motherhood. I think that it was horrible for Ilie Nastase to make comments on what color Serena’s unborn child will be, but nonetheless, it is expected from him as he is known for his nasty remarks. Nastase has since apologized for his comment and stated that Williams is “one of the greatest players of all time.” I think his apology was genuine and a step in the right direction.

  6. I loved this article! I think Serena Williams is an inspiration. She demonstrates such strength in her field and is at the top of her game and is now taking on a role as a mother. She shows us that we can do a lot more that what the stereotypical gender roles says we can. She is and, I expect, will continue to excel at tennis and further herself in her personal life as a mother. Her future child will see that women can be strong and be a mother; not just one or the other.

  7. Serena is truly the perfect definition of girl power. I love how Serena is showing girls that they can do anything they set their mind to. Like you said, she has every right to be a mother and a hardworking, successful athlete. Serena is a great role model for girls around the world, for she prides herself on her belief that “strong is beautiful.”

  8. Hi Sarah!

    I really enjoyed reading your post! I think it’s really interesting and exciting to make the comparison of how a woman’s or mother’s role has changed between the time period of the book “Little Women,” for example, and now. Serena Williams is an amazing example of the roles that women and mother’s are able to take on now. I think it’s really interesting, and ultimately sad, that there were so many hate comments surrounding Serena just due to the fact that she is a working mother. I always think that our society has made more progress then we actually have. Hopefully, with examples such as Serena and many others, we can work to extinguish these hateful views.

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