Despite criticism over Brett Kavanaugh’s visible anger and emotional testimony during his hearing on 27 September and many people saying he was unfit to serve in America’s highest court, he was officially confirmed recently.
And now, Reddit founder (and Serena Williams’ husband) Alexis Ohanian, is calling out a clear and infuriating double standard—one that perfectly captures the differing way our society treats white men versus black women.
In case you weren’t aware of what happened during the final match of the 2018 US Open, Serena received a penalty for “verbal abuse” after she yelled at the umpire, calling him a “thief.” She ultimately lost the match, and many called the umpire’s ruling sexist, pointing out that male tennis stars have gotten away with much worse behaviour.
After Kavanaugh was confirmed, Deborah Barros, a candidate for the Alabama State Senate, tweeted, “Funny how a black female tennis player is held to a higher standard to keep her emotions in check than a Supreme Court nominee.”
Alexis replied: “It’s not funny, it’s bullshit.”
In two follow-up tweets, he laid out everything wrong with Kavanaugh’s statement at the hearing. He then tweeted that, as a future Supreme Court justice, Kavanaugh should have been able to “keep it together.”
Beta Brett:°+ Played the “father card”— Alexis Ohanian Sr. ?? (@alexisohanian) October 7, 2018
+ Cried & screamed
+ Insulted everyone’s intelligence with lies about the definitions of phrases anyone with Google could debunk
+ Argued hysterically with sitting Senators, even going so far as to threaten them
If you’re going to be a Supreme Court Justice -- a job that requires maintaining sober judgement -- it shouldn't matter what questions you have to answer in your job interview, you keep it together.— Alexis Ohanian Sr. ?? (@alexisohanian) October 7, 2018
I look forward to the cartoon @damonheraldsun puts on the front page about it.
Kavanaugh was visibly angry as he testified before the Senate Judiciary Committee. Those pictures of him floating around on Twitter aren’t photoshopped.
He yelled and scowled, and when Senator Amy Klobuchar asked him if he had ever drank so much he couldn’t remember what happened the next day, he shouted, “I don’t know. Have you?” Kavanaugh even acknowledged that his behaviour was not great in an op-ed for the Wall Street Journal, writing that he “might have been too emotional at times.”
As Alexis pointed out, Serena (a black, female athlete) was punished for her emotional outburst, while Kavanaugh (a white, male judge) was ultimately promoted despite similar behaviour.
And he’s not the only one to point out this racist and sexist double standard.
I will never get over the fact that they pilloried Serena Williams for a less emotional response than the one that put Brett Kavanaugh on the Supreme Court.— Franklin Leonard (@franklinleonard) October 8, 2018
The clearest example of how white supremacist patriarchy works this year thus far:— Brittany Packnett (@MsPackyetti) October 5, 2018
Society holding Serena Williams to a higher emotional standard in a tennis game than they do accused abuser Brett #Kavanaugh in a lifetime job interview to determine the fate of the country. pic.twitter.com/yeNZwTCBBg
The fact that we can even make this comparison is disheartening, but that people aren’t just sweeping it under the carpet is also great. Here’s hoping that that means things will change in the future.
Sign up to W24's newsletters so you don't miss out on any of our hot stories and giveaways.