Nobody ever remembers who came in second. Except at the 2018 U.S. Open tennis tournament in New York. Serena Williams has been an intimidating serving/volleying/groundstroking force for 20 years. September 1 2017 her daughter Olympia was born. Mother Serena willed herself back into shape, tennis shape, professional tennis shape, champion shape. That discipline and focus put her in the finals of the U.S. Open 2018. She was beaten by Naomi Osaka. Not without drama.
Below is a clip of what has been labeled Serena’s meltdown.
In the above video you see she is: frustrated, angry, not winning, fighting, searching. At about the three minute mark of the video she is yelling at the umpire, pointing at the umpire when she declares –
“I have a daughter and stand for what is right …”.
It was hot September 8, 2018 but Serena did not meltdown. She stood up. She stood up for what emanates from her blood, radiates from her eyes and vibrates from her bones: As a black woman, a professional, an inspiration, a success, a leader, a wife and a joyful mother.
As she smashes her racquet and puts the umpire in his place for the double standard treatment of men and women she is doing the work of all women and on behalf of all women. She is displaying for all those in attendance and watching on TV that all women have to deal with the three lives of a woman. Deal all the time. No matter how much or little money they have. Regardless of fame or success or power. The three lives are: Maternal, Professional, Romantic. These lives are always vying for the limelight of the energy of a woman. This urge generated from within each woman to shine her light on one life without ignoring the others causes an unseen friction in a woman.
Add to that ‘juggle and joust’ some intense pressure. For example the pressure of a grand slam final slipping out of your grip. Under that pressure things pop out. Words. Direct words. Directed at the umpire. Serena wasn’t talking tennis. She was screaming woman. Instinctual woman. Loving and fearful mother. Reflective yet decisive professional. Vain and timid romantic.
There are no time outs in this competition to be the life that sits in the first seat of her emotional rollercoaster of the moment. This is a stress that is not shared. Men and women are not not the same page.
It’s foreign, to the male experience of the three lives, this concept of the friction that female lives impose. Many a man is mystified by a woman’s ‘sudden’ change of priorities or emotional outbursts. Very often whether they are aware of it or not, like Carlos Ramos the tennis umpire that day, men manoeuvre the situation to take control. Men are: professional, paternal and are (naturally) romantic. The male’s lives don’t cause as much internal turmoil in a man as a woman’s do in their’s. That neither makes him insensitive or her a martyr. It highlights a beautiful difference. A mental/emotional/instinctual watershed.
It takes courage to stand for something. We can all stand in community of understanding the reality of the Female Frixion and listen to the instinct that it cultivates.