Yesterday was one such day.
If you have been under a rock since 21:00 UTC yesterday, then you don’t yet know that a male judge at the US Open (tennis) managed to mark his territory by peeing all over the women’s final between Serena Williams and Naomi Osaka.
Never mind letting two great players slug it out! By Jove, he was not going to let any woman talk to him in any tone other than meek and deferential. So he ended up assessing Serena Williams penalties of a warning, a point and a game for offenses that somehow go unnoticed when the player committing them has a penis.
Worst refereeing I’ve ever seen …… the worst !!!— andyroddick (@andyroddick) September 8, 2018
Roddick should know: he’s apparently been cut the very same slack by this very same umpire that Serena was not.
It’s an ancient sexist trope, and you’ve seen it a million times: women are pushy, men are assertive. Women are sullen, men are taciturn. Women are bossy, men are decisive.
Serena, meanwhile, was able to take command of the situation with just the power of her persona. She did not need to hide behind any rules and arbitrary authority. When she commanded a stop to the booing in the stadium so that Osaka’s moment was not completely spoilt, the crowd obeyed her as if programmed to.
Osaka played a great match and this might not have been Serena’s day anyway. But to get slapped down by a sexist in the middle of her US Open final… that is an insult she should not have to bear. Not #thismama.