It's not news that there is still a divide in the equality of men and women today; whether you choose to believe it or not is your choice, but it is still there. There are certain standards that women, especially women in the spotlight, are held to. Women are essentially not allowed to mess up and are expected to stay quiet when they are discriminated against. While men can essentially do whatever they want and it's seen as amusing or just "men being men." If you keep up with the news or social media at all, you would know two major things happened this last week: Mac Miller died and Serena Williams lost the US Open. Two very different events, but with similar news coverage and public response.
When news broke of Miller's death, a certain TMZ article placed the blame of his death on the breakup between him and Ariana Grande. This caused Miller's fans to attack Grande on her social media. Grande was forced to turn off her Instagram comments because it got so bad at one point. Grande, who has been blamed for circumstances out of her control before, posted on Twitter a little while after the news broke of her and Miller's break up that their relationship was "toxic" and she wasn't his "babysitter," and it wasn't her fault that Miller couldn't keep himself from getting into trouble with law.
Women are seen as men's caretakers while they're in a relationship and it is the woman's fault if the man does something that is not right. NEWSFLASH: Men are responsible for their own actions. The woman is never to blame if a man decides to do something illegal or just plain wrong. We as human beings have no one to blame but ourselves if we do something wrong. People blaming Ariana Grande for Mac Miller's death is misogyny at it's finest and shows exactly what is wrong with society today. Men need to be held accountable for their own actions.
On the other side of things, some articles kept referring to Mac Miller as Ariana Grande's ex in headlines. Fans of Miller's kept saying that he is more than just Ariana Grande's ex, and while I agree with this sentiment in the context of his death, they were also saying it a couple months ago when his album "Swimming" came out, and it made me mad. Women are always referred to as the "ex" of some man in headlines, no matter their level of popularity, and it is extremely frustrating. We're now getting into a time when men are being referred to in this same way, and NOW it's suddenly a problem because it's happening to men. These are the double standards we're dealing with.
Serena Williams is no newcomer to discrimination in her line of work. Just recently she's been banned from wearing a signature catsuit during her French Open matches and has been asked to take more anti-doping tests than other tennis players. She's constantly criticized for her appearance and held to a higher standard just because she's a black woman in a sport that is predominately played by rich white people. Williams has proved herself time and time again to be one of the best tennis players, female or male, in the world, and for some people, that still isn't enough.
"You owe me an apology!" Serena was fired up with the official in the final set of the US Open final. https://t.co/r6RSbrirnV— ESPN (@ESPN) 1536444801.0
This last week was the US Open and it was Serena Williams vs. newcomer Naomi Osaka in the final. The umpire, Carlos Ramos, believed Serena was receiving coaching from the sidelines in the middle of the match, which wasn't true, and gave her a penalty. Williams believed her character was being questioned because Ramos was essentially accusing her of cheating during a match, so she disputed it with him. Ramos wouldn't budge and gave Williams two more penalties for acting against him. This cost her one game of the match and cut her chances of winning the US Open.
I guess sometimes it’s a meltdown and other times it’s just arguing a strike 🤷🏻♂️ https://t.co/I3ZyxBMzGT— Josh Billinson (@Josh Billinson) 1536450215.0
Serena hasn't expressed remorse for the way she reacted to the umpire's call, insisting the way she reacted was the way male athletes behave every day. No one ever talks about the way males act out though because it's such a normalized thing in sports, and because she's a woman people are making a huge deal of this. She just simply wanted the umpire to apologize to her for making a call that wasn't accurate. The media's choice to cover this event by making it seem like Williams was having a "blowout" and a "gross outburst," has been disturbing and frustrating, to say the least. One newspaper cartoonist in Australia even went as far as depicting Williams in a disturbing Jim Crow era like drawing where she looks like a kid throwing a fit because she didn't win, which wasn't the case at all. She just wanted a fair chance like Osaka had and stood up for herself out of frustration with the situation.
These events seem to have brought awareness of how women are written about and viewed in the eyes of the media. In a perfect world, the media would have focused on consoling Ariana Grande after news broke of her ex-boyfriend's death and called out the umpire for his blatant sexism against Serena Williams, but instead, the public decided to place blame on Grande for not taking care of Miller and called Williams' protest of the umpire's call the "mother of all meltdowns." We need to keep calling out news outlets, and people in general when they say/write things in a sexist way. Men and women should be held to the same standards at any professional level, and we as humans need to start holding ourselves and the people around us accountable for our actions.