Monday, 10 September 2018

Sea of Serenity



Though I've not heard anyone defending Serena Williams's outburst when the topic has come up for conversation 'in real life' - and it's the women I know who've been criticising her - I know there's another view out there, as it's all over the BBC and my social media feed. 

I was first alerted to it by clicking on Katty Kay's Twitter feed yesterday morning and finding tweet after tweet in praise of/in defence of Serena Williams and her less-than-serene behaviour. Yes, the face of the BBC in the USA was in full activist mode and wasn't, even for a second, bothering to think about alternative views on the matter. Some 24 hours later she finally tweeted something nice about Naomi Osaka, the woman who'd actually won the US Open. It looked very much to me as if she'd suddenly realised she ought to. Such behaviour is entirely expected.

Hearing that Woman's Hour was going to cover the story today I thought I'd check it out and see if turned out the way I expected it too. Of course, it should - as a one-off topic - have featured both sides of the argument (i.e. defenders and critics of Serena) but, being Woman's Hour, it contented itself instead with inviting someone from the Guardian and no one else. Jane Garvey and the Guardian woman then proceeded to partner up for a doubles match and reinforce each others points about how right it was that Serena had kicked off big time at the umpire and how awful some of the criticism of her has been and how women are generally hard-done-by. Yes, it was the usual stuff about sexism, racism and men behaving badly. 'Impartiality' certainly didn't enter into their conversation, or (evidently) the programme makers' minds.

Anyhow, here's a joke I'm sure even that very earnest woman from the Guardian might find funny (though perhaps not):
My wife just stopped and said, "You weren't even listening, were you?" I thought, "That's a pretty weird way to start a conversation."
Maybe Carlos Ramos should have told that one to Serena. And if Serena didn't laugh at that, maybe he could have tried this one on her instead:
If you lose one sense your other senses are enhanced. This is why people with no sense of humour have a heightened sense of self-importance.

17 comments:

  1. "Womens Hour" became "Feminist Hour" quite some years ago Craig!
    In any "sporting" sense Serena's behaviour was out of control.

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    1. Oh sorry meant to add R4 PM still pushing the feminist angle but with added "people of colour" element. We are supposed to believe this bullying multi multi millionaire is a victim of all sorts of prejudice. Farcical.

      I think really, like many successful professional tennis players, she's driven, narrowly focussed and spoilt and hard to warm to.

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  2. Is it good or is it bad when people do exactly what you expect them to do? Unsurprisingly, the PC harridans on Woman’s Hour this morning were defending Serena’s Lack of serenity. One gist of their argument was the rather tenuous suggestion that Carlos Ramos has kind of form in this matter because he penalised Venus in 2016 for on court coaching. Isn’t that usually referred to as doing his job? Jane Garvey didn’t seem to think so. What wasn’t mentioned was that Serena does have some rather serious form in aggressive bullying behaviour towards officials. No doubt in Garveyland that too would have been a case of society’s lack of tolerance towards “angry women”.

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  3. I heard that Woman's Hour interview with a woman from The Guardian who writes about sport. Jane Garvey mistakenly said 'her victory', referring to Williams, before correcting herself and saying that slip shows how we are so used to her winning. Indeed. And someone upset the apple cart.
    The sports writer called Dominic Thiem (which is pronounced teem) Thai am. That's novel. I don't think she / they got Kyrgios right either. The g is silent.
    Then at a further point Jane Garvey said in passing, of Osaka, 'she's a black woman'. Heavens, I thought she was Japanese. Then she had a Haitian father. So she is of Japanese and Haitian parentage. How did that get translated by the mighty BBC into black woman?
    There was a row last week about the umpire Mohamed Lahyani getting out of his chair to give Kyrgios a pep talk when he was losing: 'I want to help you,' Lahyani repeated. 'I've seen your matches: You're great for tennis. Nick, I know this is not you', according to The Daily Mail. After that he did pep up and win. What about fairness to his opponent?
    And before he gets translated into black man or some BBC approved category, Kyrgios is Australian and has a Malaysian mother and Greek father.

    That incident could be one reason for the complaints now about inconsistency of treatment between men and women. That should be addressed outside the tennis court, not on it. Williams bringing up the 'I have a daughter' line is no excuse and reminds me of those gobby parents who always resort to 'my kids' as a self-justifying refuge from accepting responsibility. The whole debacle was very unfair to Osaka and its significance for Japan as well made it even worse.

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  4. Serena Williams behaves like a petulant teenager when beaten at tennis.

    In other breaking news: scientific evidence proves water is wet.

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  5. Could Serena Worship be registered as a religion?...then anyone criticising Serena, would be sent immediately to prison. Until then, can I say her black taffeta-lacy petticoat skirt thing looked asolutely absurd.

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    1. I've heard it was a riposte to the French banning a black catsuit she wore. It could be described as a different sort of absurd.

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    2. The BBC have taken it to a whole new level!

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-45479954

      For the record I also thought English male cricketers in pink pyjamas looked absurd. My attirophobia is non-binary and non-racist.

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    3. 'Cartoonist denies...' That's him on the back foot for starters. Must be guilty.

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  6. Jane Garvey. Considered speech. Faux empathy.
    Patchouli oil and yoghurt made fleah.
    Ex husband looks and sounds like a potato. Beware.

    Courtesy: The Hitchhiker's guide.

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  7. A cartoon of Williams spitting the dummy has caused 'outrage' apparently:

    https://www.heraldsun.com.au/news/victoria/herald-sun-backs-mark-knights-cartoon-on-serena-williams/news-story/30c877e3937a510d64609d89ac521d9f

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    1. Yes, this story has arrived on the BBC News website Home page:

      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-australia-45479954

      ... 'Serena Williams: Cartoonist denies US Open depiction is racist' ...

      Personally, I smiled when I saw the cartoon. I don't think it's racist. That is the cartoonists' art - to accentuate the features of their subject. The message is that of a baby bawling. Compare the BBC's outrage over this story with the anti Trump inflatable which represented POTUS as a baby with his dummy/pacifier. No equivalent outrage from the BBC about that, was there?

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    2. I think he took it from a photo of Williams mid-bawl that was prominent on the BBC's tennis page yesterday - now you have to scroll down to Audio and Video https://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/tennis

      For shame, BBC. I'm outraged. The racism! The sexism!

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    3. I noticed the tweet where someone is complaining that the cartoon ‘overexaggerated body parts to depict Serena as hyper masculine’.

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    4. "Black women are not supposed to push back and when they do, they're deemed to be domineering. Aggressive. Threatening. Loud."

      Which of course, William’s wasn’t!


      https://www.bbc.co.uk/news/world-us-canada-45476500

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  8. Williams makes me unhappy to imagine she and I share the same DNA structure. Therefore I console myself by seeing her as some other species.

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  9. The Umpire Strikes Back? https://www.thetimes.co.uk/edition/sport/umpires-may-boycott-serena-williams-matches-after-outburst-at-us-open-final-fwgv97swz?CMP=Sprkr-_-Editorial-_-thetimes-_-Unspecified-_-TWITTER

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