Huge backlash to Serena Williams GQ 'Woman of the Year' cover

Huge backlash to Serena Williams GQ 'Woman of the Year' cover

Darren Sullivan
November 14, 2018

GQ announced yesterday that Serena Williams was the "Woman Of The Year" and one of four honorees to be featured on the cover of GQ's 23rd-annual Men of the Year issue.

Australian cartoonist Mark Knight published a caricature of Williams having a tantrum while jumping on her racket in the Herald Sun newspaper, which went viral, causing further anger. Many users seemed unaware that the typography was handwritten by designer Virgil Abloh, who uses quotation marks in his work.

GQ began including women in the 2003, but is receiving flack this week for its use of quotes around the word "woman" on Williams' cover despite its efforts to explain it beforehand.

Williams collaborated with Abloh for a Nike collection, and he designed the tutus she wore at this year's U.S. Open.

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Mick Rouse, who per his Twitter bio is a GQ research manager, noted the word was handwritten by USA fashion designer Virgil Abloh.

Per GQ: "No matter how you cut it, Serena Williams had a remarkable year". "I was different to Venus: She was thin and tall and handsome, and I am strong and muscular - and attractive, but, you know, it was just totally different", Serena said.

Lastly, Serena Williams is Champion of the Year, who returned to compete in tennis tournaments after giving birth to her daughter. The star has previously had to deal with being called a man due her muscular body and even addressed the hurtful comments on Reddit, writing "I've been called man because I appeared outwardly strong ..." It has been said I don't belong in Women's sports - that I belong in Men's - because I look stronger than many other women do.

On hers, the word men is crossed out and replaced by the word "woman" - in a different font and in quotation marks.