ONE SERENA FOR ALL : Sumona Chetia

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“I just want to tell you guys she played well and this is her first grand slam. I know you guys were rooting, and I was rooting too, but let’s make this the best moment we can. We’ll get through it. Let’s give everyone the credit where credit’s due. Let’s not boo anymore. We’re going to get through this and let’s be positive. So congratulations, Naomi. No more booing.”

These were the words of Serena Williams, one of the most celebrated tennis stars of all time, who lost the U.S. Open 2018 to 20-year-old Japanese phenom Naomi Osaka. When the crowd was booing off Osaka’s victory, Serena in the spirit of true sportsmanship offered those lines for her fellow competitor.

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The final women’s match of the U.S. Open took a back seat due to many unpleasant allegations of controversial code violations against Williams but what stood out was the post-match act of kindness and support shown by Williams towards her competitor Osaka. Let’s not dive into the technicalities of the umpire’s decisions or was it a fair game or was it a case of sexism. Let’s focus only on the beautiful gesture of one woman standing by another woman. 

Women don’t need to fight against the world if women as a whole are one with each other. We rant about feminism as a fight against men. But is it really about that? I don’t believe in a war against men. I believe in equality. I support emancipation. And I embrace a woman empowering another woman.

All the little girls and women across the world who witnessed the speech made by Serena Williams must have shed a tear or two basking in the glory of sisterhood. In a world where cut-throat competition takes the front seat, a woman speaking for the woman she lost to is exemplary.

“Mean Girls” is the label for women. However, not all women live up to this stereotype but sadly, almost every woman has a story to tell about another woman who hurt or backstab them. Do we have to be this mean to one another?  I don’t think so. Living by the stereotype and lowering ourselves socially is the last thing we as a woman should be doing.

I remember an instance of a friend’s kleptomaniac roommate. The girl used to steal clothes and accessories from my friend’s wardrobe and wear them to her workplace (on a daily basis). My friend had no idea until she viewed a WhatsApp story featuring that girl in my friend’s watch. On being interrogated, the girl denied but on being investigated further the cat was out of the bag. But she accused my friend of being hurtful and inconsiderate. She said this exact line, “You are a girl. How can you treat another girl like this?” Figuring out her kleptomaniac condition my friend was trying to be considerate and give the girl a chance to reflect on her actions. However, the other person had no conscience whatsoever.

Why such hate? The victim is still trying to look out for the one at fault because she is a woman with a condition. And that’s what a good woman does. Some relationships can never be salvaged but a sincere apology from that girl could have made both parties feel better and provide closure to the situation.

We should be complimenting, encouraging and empowering to one another. The words sound too good to be true but once applied in real life they work like magic.

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Let’s take one step at a time. A girl group is the most beautiful kind of friendship, so let’s make an effort to be more understanding and kind towards other women. Maybe we can also try and skip the judgmental looks we give or comments we pass the next time a woman walks into a room. Also, we can cut off our catty gossip sessions wherein we belittle other women.

And lastly, let’s get done with the unnecessary drama, emotional turmoil and tensions we create among ourselves. A woman needs to be uplifted. So instead of dragging her down owing to our jealousy and prejudices, let’s treat her better. Little changes make a big difference!

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