Why GQ covers Serena Williams triggering controversy


Serena Williams can not even land on the cover of the magazine without raising the debate about race and sex, as the latest GQ number proves. The magazine named the Women's Summer Tennis Championship in its annual "Men of the Year" debate – and while the issue included women and men since 2003, the coverage with Williams causes controversy because the word "men" is crossed out and the word "woman" is handwritten in quotes.

Some of the diaries around the "woman" were another example of the rampant sexism directed at Williams, who was often the embarrassment of the body and described as a man in his career. The GQ representative offered a different explanation.

Research leader of the magazine Mick Rouse explained that the cover has a font designer Off-White Virgil Abloh, who is famous for word-to-word designs. The fact is that his trademarks are displayed on Williams' suits 2018 US Open, with the words "Serena" and "logo" appearing in quotation marks. He used quotes in his models of jackets, sleeves and champagne bottles. In the role of Abloh in the cover page, it is explained why the last year's Women's Year, on which Gal Gadot appeared, did not contain the word "woman" in words.

But this explanation did not belittle the criticism of the coverage of the magazine. Worried fans of a superstar athlete claimed that, given the amount of discrimination she encountered in tennis in terms of her race and gender, GQ should know better than doing anything that could be understood as calling Williams' gender identity.

For example, Williams and her sister, Venus, tennis officials upset as "Williams Brother" rather than Williams' sister. And when three years ago the Twitter tricycle said that Williams looked like a man, Harry Potter author J. K. Rowling called him "idiot" in the viral tweet.

Although Williams did not publicly comment on the controversial content, she turned to misogynoir (or sexism for black women) in the past. A year ago, she wrote a letter to her mother in Reddit, a place her husband Alexis Ohanian began to discuss in which she faces charges of using steroids because she has a muscular appearance. She also wrote:

"I called [a] man, because I came out strongly. They said that I do not belong to women's sports – that I belong to men – because I look stronger than many other women. (No, I work hard and I'm born with this bad body and I'm proud of it). "

She called her detractors, which included journalists, commentators and sports enthusiasts, "too ignorant to understand the power of black".

Given the public and frequent sexual and racial attacks on Williams, it is understandable that the cover upset the fans, including those who knew Abloh's signature typography. But the reflection does not take away many of the achievements that led GQ to Williams' wife in 2018 – in particular, that she returned from complications in childbirth in 2017 to return to the top of her sport. The multi-purpose champion Williams faced challenges that were more serious than this questionable magazine.

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