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3-min read

Why Did GQ Use Quotations on its Cover To Describe Serena Williams' Gender, Eh?

An editorial decision taken by a fashion magazine hasn't gone down well with Serena Williams' fans.


Updated:November 13, 2018, 1:23 PM IST
Why Did GQ Use Quotations on its Cover To Describe Serena Williams' Gender, Eh?
Image credits: Getty / @GQMagazine

Serena Williams just made it to GQ's yearly cover but not everyone is liking it.

For the second year in a row, the outlet has chosen a woman to grace its 'Men of the Year' edition. Gal Gadot was its face last year. But GQ's editorial choice to use quotation marks for the word "woman" on Williams' cover has irked several online.

On Monday, the magazine announced that Michael B. Jordan, Henry Golding and Jonah Hill were its Men of the Year. Tennis superstar Serena Williams its fourth.

As soon as the covers surfaced on the microblogging site, hordes of Twitter users came out to ask one question: why is the woman written in quotes?

Writer E. Alex Jung put Gal Gadot and Williams' covers side-by-side and called out the difference in their treatment.

Although, it's worth noting that the handwritten edit on Williams' cover is done by Virgil Abloh - artistic director at Louis Vuitton who has previously collaborated with the tennis star and has even designed Williams' famous US Open tutu dress. In his designs, Abloh routinely uses quotation marks as a signature.

This was pointed out by several users.

This, however, didn't help the cause as many still found quotation around woman weird and totally uncalled for.

Perhaps what caused the outrage and put off netizens was how Williams has been criticised in the past for not being "womanly". "It’s definitely off-putting especially for an athlete who has been critiqued for not being womanly/not a real woman in all sorts of racist and problematic ways," wrote one user.

Last year, Williams penned an emotional letter on Reddit in which she gave an insight on what she has been dealing with since the age of 15.

I've been called man because I appeared outwardly strong. It has been said that 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).

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