On July 19, my letter to the editor was published in the New York Times. I was responding to the piece that Ben Rothenberg wrote on body image and women’s tennis, “Tennis’s Top Women Balance Body Image With Ambition.” Shortly after its publication, the article was attacked by feminists and sociologists as being racist and sexist, especially towards Serena Williams. My response as a letter to the editor of the New York Times was an attempt to show both sides of this controversy, what goes on in the press conference and what scholars were responding to. Rather than being disturbed that top female athletes have body issues and they expressed their feelings about their bodies, academic writers figuratively shot the messenger. That is simply a weak tactic for any scholar. Furthermore, in being upset with Rothenberg, these scholars are really saying that female athletes should not talk about these issues, which is a decidedly anti-feminist critique for any scholar.
Rothenberg’s article can be found here:
The letters to the editor regarding Rothenberg’s article can be found here: