If you’re a woman, you’re already familiar with the double standards applied to us when it comes to expressing emotions. If you’re a woman of color, you know it’s even more egregious.
Alexis Ohanian, Reddit co-founder and husband to Serena Williams, called out that double standard in a Twitter thread, while also proving yet again that he wins at being the most supportive husband ever. Ohanian first responded to a tweet from Deborah Barros that said, “Funny how a black female tennis player is held to a higher standard to keep her emotions in check than a Supreme Court nominee.”
His comment was short and to the point, “It’s not funny, it’s bullshit.” (Williams, of course, was very publicly criticized by some for showing frustration over a number of questionable calls during her U.S. Open finals match against Naomi Osaka last month.)
But he wasn’t quite finished making his point and proceeded to get specific about the behaviors exhibited by Brett Kavanaugh in his testimony surrounding the sexual assault allegations made against him by Christine Blasey Ford. “Played the ‘father card’,” Ohanian continued. “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.”
Kavanaugh did indeed cry, yell, and take a fairly menacing approach to being questioned on certain topics. So much so that he (or perhaps the GOP) felt something of a public mea culpa was necessary before the final vote in a Wall Street Journal op-ed.
“I was very emotional last Thursday, more so than I have ever been. I might have been too emotional at times,” he wrote. “I know that my tone was sharp, and I said a few things I should not have said. I hope everyone can understand that I was there as a son, husband and dad. I testified with five people foremost in my mind: my mom, my dad, my wife, and most of all my daughters.”
These are the kind of arguments that society-at-large considers valid for men—not so much for women. Good on Ohanian for calling it out!