Photo Credit: Fred Lee /Getty
Hysterical, irrational, dramatic, nuts, delusional, unhinged and crazy were just some words to describe women showing a little emotion at work in the Nike ad last night starring the tennis mega star, Serena Williams.
The powerful ad aired during the 2019 Academy Awards ceremony. The ad showed how men and women are looked at differently for expressing how they truly feel. Serena Williams was the best person to star in this commercial due to what she had to go through in September during the US Open. She got into an argument with the Umpire Carlos Ramos and called him a “thief.” She was fined 17,000. The problem with this is we’ve all seen male tennis players say more disrespectful things and get away with it without any fines.
This fine sparked an international debate about the double standards that are clearly happening that nobody is talking about. The tennis legend Billie Jean stood by Serena Williams and tweeted:
“When a woman is emotional, she’s “hysterical” and she’s penalized for it. When a man does the same, he’s “outspoken” & and there are no repercussions. Thank you, @serenawilliams, for calling out this double standard. More voices are needed to do the same.”
(Photo Credit: Noam Galai/Getty)
Obviously, this just doesn’t happen in sports. In any workplace, women are penalized when they seem to be too aggressive or emotional, but men can do the same thing and it’ll be praised and called “passionate.”
Jennifer Gómez, post-doctoral fellow in psychology at Wayne State University chimed in on the Nike ad:
“For me, I’ve spent a lot of time over the years thinking about how I can change how I talk,” she says. “I’ve been accused of being attacking, intimidating, disrespectful, all these things — and at one point I said, ‘I’m not being those things so I’m not going to change.”
She then said “So much time is spent worrying adapting your speech and figuring out what to say and how you can say it differently and that is taking away from time and energy and effort for your job,” she says. “It’s a job for you to figure out ‘how can I say this in this meeting without people painting me in this emotion corner?’ and I think the trap with that is that it’s not in the woman’s control.”
Gomez believes bringing awareness to the situation is the first step and engaging with these situations right when they pop up so it can be handled right away.
“I myself have watched myself appraise a woman in a meeting, thinking ‘oh, she’s being so this, she’s being so that,’ and then I have to think, ‘Oh, if it were a white man who was doing this, would I think the same thing?’ and sometimes the answer is ‘no,’” she says. “So understand and be humble that we have all been socialized in these ways.”
These type of double standards been happening for a very long time. Serena Williams should be thanked for taking a stand and talking about these problems. Not being scared to speak out and fight for equal rights for all the women across the world.
Check out the powerful Nike ad below: