The media has been buzzing since Serena was reported to have made some comments and asked some questions about a very high profile [email protected] case.
I still maintain that Serena did not need to issue an apology but I also predicted that she would. Serena is a very high profile female athlete and she has an image to maintain. Her comments were not only manipulated and taken out of context, but they also “got away from her”. It was wise of her to clarify what she was saying.
Serena took to her blog to issue a statement which I felt was necessary. It was not necessary for her to apologize but it was certainly important for her to clarify what she was saying and make sure that it was clear that she was not trying to blame or offend anyone.
What the media has done is made it seem as though she is insensitive and wrongly blamed the 16 year old girl who was violated. Serena was not blaming the girl and was actually asking some important questions. The guilt of the [email protected] does not nullify the questions and that is why I stand behind Serena.
No one deserves to be [email protected], of course but even if a [email protected] takes place, the questions still remain; why was a 16 year old girl drinking? Why were a group of teenagers having a party with alcohol AND no parental supervision? Why was the “[email protected]” being video-taped and the girl not being assisted? W e still need answers.
Those who have attacked Serena should consider that when an older sister or another person who cares about a young woman offers her some advice, she is not blaming her. We can not find fault with someone who is kind enough to say, “this is how things like this can be avoided”. Yes, maybe the boys would have [email protected] her anyway, because that is just who they are [email protected], but it is still worth considering that the probability of such things happening can be reduced if we advise young women to be proactive about their own conduct. Saying things could have been different is not the same as saying she deserved it or that the boys’ actions were justified.
Serena’s statement is below:
“What happened in Steubenville was a real shock for me. I was deeply saddened. For someone to be [email protected], and at only sixteen, is such a horrible tragedy! For both families involved – that of the [email protected] victim and of the accused. I am currently reaching out to the girl’s family to let her know that I am deeply sorry for what was written in the Rolling Stone article. What was written – what I supposedly said – is insensitive and hurtful, and I by no means would say or insinuate that she was at all to blame.
I have fought all of my career for women’s equality, women’s equal rights, respect in their fields – anything I could do to support women I have done. My prayers and support always goes out to the rape victim. In this case, most especially, to an innocent sixteen year old child.”
Nomalanga helps Black women thrive in their lives and careers. She is a Social Commentator, an Editor at Your Black World , a former College Professor and the reigning Mrs Botswana. Visit Nomalanga’s Facebook page or Follow her on Twitter