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Serena Williams: Poverty, Discrimination, and Sexism are Harder to Break than Grand Slam Records

Writing about Black Women and pay gap

Courtesy: Wikimedia Commons

Serena Williams just sent some aces flying down the court. Metaphorically, for a change. In her essay in Fortune magazine on Black Women and pay gap, Williams has touched upon the topic of discrimination on the basis of gender and colour. She has nailed it and how.

Equal Pay Day

July 31st was Black Women’s Equal Pay Day and that was the context in which Williams penned her piece. Equal Pay Day falls on that day of the year where women earn as much as their male counterparts did the previous year. Confusing? Not much, if you think of it because the first premise is an open secret. That women earn less than men. So if a male doing a job earned Rs. 40,000 last year, then Equal Pay Day would fall on the day in this year by which a woman manages to earn the same amount. The further into the year this is, the wider the pay gap in your profession/country/sex…For black women, this day was eight months into the year. That is a huge injustice and disappointing.

Black Women and Pay Gap

Thanks to the all pervasive racism, black women 17% less than their white female counterparts, Williams said. And this is the heaven of progressiveness, America, that we are talking about. Hello, Trump nation, where are you with your gender equality? Looks like you have failed miserably. You are a racist, sexist bunch of bigots. In denial? Well, it’s going to be hard to be so because Wiliams just spat on your faces. In a composed way.

She said that ‘Growing up, I was told I couldn’t accomplish my dreams because I was a woman and, more so, because of the color of my skin…I have been treated unfairly, I’ve been disrespected by my male colleagues and—in the most painful times—I’ve been the subject of racist remarks on and off the tennis court. Luckily, I am blessed with an inner drive and a support system of family and friends that encourage me to move forward. But these injustices still hurt.’ And that’s one of the most successful tennis players of all time talking. What a shame! Oh wait, you don’t know what that is.

Grand Slam records are easier

Serena Williams said that poverty, discrimination and sexism were much harder to crack than records for Grand Slam titles. She would know, she has been there, done that. That’s a slap right there. You are welcome to show your left cheek as well. She also said that to end this discrimination, the only way was to have everyone on board, ‘Men, women, of all colors, races and creeds to realize this is an injustice. And an injustice to one is an injustice to all,’ she said. That’s going to be tough because for most people, injustice becomes that only when it happens to themselves. Over here, we are okay to garbage being dumped on the road as long as our own houses don’t stink. We also have people who clean up after us whom we treat like shit. Don’t you remember Mahagun Moderne and its domestic help Zora Bibi?

Be fearless

Her piece ends with this note brimming with hope and sunshine. ‘Black women: Be fearless. Speak out for equal pay. Every time you do, you’re making it a little easier for a woman behind you. Most of all, know that you’re worth it. It can take a long time to realize that. It took me a long time to realize it. But we are all worth it. I’ve long said, “You have to believe in yourself when no one else does.’

Cinema, medicine, daily wages, technology, in every sphere that women work, our country has has a pay gap too. Whether or not the society wants you to believe it, discrimination exists based on caste, religion and beliefs. Looks like Serena Williams wrote the letter for all of us too.

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