Serena Williams breaks stereotypes at her peril

Serena isn’t just about to smash the record of the number of Grand Slams won by any tennis player, male or female.

She is also smashing many of the notions PC people hold so dear. First, she declared in a documentary that ‘I only date black men.’ How un-PC is that?

Surely it doesn’t take any particular nasal sensitivity to detect a whiff of racism there somewhere. Just picture say Caroline Wozniacki issuing a positive counterpart to Serena’s negative: “I wouldn’t date a black man.” Can you imagine the ensuing uproar?

We are all supposed to be colour-blind, are we not? A person is supposed to choose her dates on the basis of the other person’s sterling human qualities, such as intelligence, wit, kindness, general inclination towards political correctness and the liberal worldview.

At a weak moment, we may allow that appearance sometimes has something to do with the choice. But skin colour? Surely not. Nothing short of discriminatory, if you ask any person of the PC persuasion.

If Serena had fewer millions to her name, and could express herself with a wider vocabulary, she would have found a more PC way to say the same thing.

For example, she could have identified a Nubian god as her aesthetic ideal for a man. That way she would have avoided a black mark against her name and possibly diminished every PC person’s desire to scrutinise each subsequent word she utters.

To Serena’s credit she doesn’t always practise what she preaches. Thus the World Number 1 has allegedly dated the impeccably white Bulgarian Georg Dimitrov, who’s currently involved with World Number 3 Maria Sharapova. If I were Victoria Azarenka, the World Number 2, I’d be miffed about being skipped in this cavalier fashion, but perhaps her turn is yet to come.

Serena’s present beau, her French coach Patrick Muratoglu, is clearly white, though his Turkish name could partially offset that genetic imperfection. Also, under Patrick’s tutelage, and he’s one of the world’s top coaches, Serena has reclaimed her Number 1 spot, which could have endeared Patrick to her beyond a purely professional respect.

Anyway, Serena’s amorous record has partly redeemed her prior offence against PC morality – Serena may not be colour-blind in her pronouncements but at least she’s free of racial discrimination in her love life.

She was therefore seen as deserving the benefit of the doubt, a generosity that Serena has now flagrantly abused.

In an interview to Rolling Stone she made a few comments on a currently popular court case, and the PC world is up in arms.

The case involves a typical modern love story: girl meets boy (or two boys, as the case may be and in this instance is); girl gets blind drunk; boys take girl somewhere and have sex with her; girl wakes up the morning after naked and remembering nothing of the night before; girl’s memory is refreshed by the amateur film boys have placed in social media; girl screams rape; boys are convicted.

Dante and his Beatrice this ain’t, and neither is it Petrarch and his Laura, but tempora mutantur, as those chaps might have said. Serena’s problem was that she didn’t realise exactly how much the times have changed.

Asked to comment on the conviction, she told Rolling Stone, “I’m not blaming the girl, but … she’s 16, why was she that drunk where she doesn’t remember? It could have been much worse. She’s lucky.

“She shouldn’t have put herself in that position,” added Serena, and she should have known better than to make a perfectly sensible statement like that. For in the PC house sensibility goes right out of the window.

“Does this mean a rape victim has only herself to blame?!?” screamed the Internet. “Does wearing a short skirt mean it’s OK to rape a woman?!?” “Did she egg them on?” “So what if she went along? She’s still a rape victim!” And so on, ad nauseum.

Hold on, lads. Serena didn’t say any of that. All she said was that in our time of accelerated growth a 16-year-old girl should know better than to get so drunk with boys that she doesn’t know what she’s doing and to whom.

Do we disagree with that? Do we think it’s perfectly all right for a girl to act this way? Especially in a bar in Ohio, where 16 isn’t a legal drinking age? Do we not think women should act in a sensible way and practise essential urban precautions?

Because that’s all Serena actually said, and she was absolutely correct. The trouble is that she wasn’t politically correct, and it’s not long before issuing such statements will put the wretch in the dock next to the defendants.

For the time being, Twitter and no doubt Serena’s sponsors screamed bloody murder, and Serena issued a grovelling apology: “For someone to be raped, and at only 16, is such a horrible tragedy. I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article.” The second sentence is a complete non sequitur to the first, but that doesn’t matter.

It’s the thought that counts. Or rather absence of same, which is what the PC ethos demands. This is one match Serena can never win – one match that common sense is guaranteed to lose.



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