Serena Williams' GQ Cover Faces Backlash For "Woman" In Quotations

Chime In: Serena Williams’ GQ Cover Faces Backlash Because “Woman” Is In Quotations

- By Bossip Staff

Twitter Speaks Their Mind

On Monday, Serena Williams was announced as GQ‘s Woman of the Year and some people aren’t too hype about the cover that was unveiled.

Instead of putting “Woman of the Year” in plain text, “Man of the Year” is printed with “Man” crossed out and replaced with “Woman” in quotations.

The quoted “Woman” was handwritten by designer and Williams collaborator Virgil Abloh.

Abloh, the man behind Off-White and Louis Vuitton, designed Serena’s US Open tutu dress and he often uses quotation marks on his Off-White designs.

However, some people on Twitter didn’t grasp this context and they believed the quotations used for Serena were insensitive to ridicule she’s received in the past. Serena has constantly been labeled a man or unhuman-like for her athletic skills and body type.


Some folks even understood the Virgil reference but still were offended.

One Twitter user even pointed out that Gal Godot was named Woman of the Year by GQ last year, but her “Woman” wasn’t in quotation marks.

Serena is the magazine’s sole Woman of the Year, which doesn’t make matters any better. The Men of the Year include Michael B. Jordan, Henry Golding, and Jonah Hill. 

Serena has yet to speak publically on the cover, but she’s been candid in the past about ridicule she’s faced about her gender.

Last year, in a reddit post, Williams said:

“I’ve been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that I use drugs (No, I have always had far too much integrity to behave dishonestly in order to gain an advantage). 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. (No, I just work hard and I was born with this badass body and proud of it).”

She addressed the issue some more back in May when she told Harper’s Bazaar, “People would say I was born a guy, all because of my arms, or because I’m strong. I was different to Venus: She was thin and tall and beautiful, and I am strong and muscular — and beautiful, but, you know, it was just totally different.”

What do you think of the GQ cover?

Too much or is it just another designer’s signature stamp?

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