Dear Men, Take A Cue From Serena Williams’ Husband
Serena Williams’ husband Alexis Ohanian penned a very emotional tribute to his wife, after she lost Wimbledon final on Saturday. The Reddit founder made the Internet realise that it was not a small feat to reach the Wimbledon finals just ten months after giving birth and suffering from near-fatal post-partum complications.
Days after our baby girl was born, I kissed my wife goodbye before surgery and neither of us knew if she would be coming back. We just wanted her to survive—10 months later, she's in the #Wimbledon final. Congratulations, @angie.kerber. @serenawilliams will be holding a trophy again soon—she's got the greatest one waiting at home for her. Our family knows she'll win many more trophies, too. She's just getting started. And I couldn't be more proud.
Knowing Serena and her command over her game, Ohanian wrote that he knew she would win many more trophies in the future.
“She’s got the greatest one waiting at home for her. Our family knows she’ll win many more trophies, too,” he wrote. “She’s just getting started. And I couldn’t be more proud.”
Behind every successful woman, is a husband who knows what she is capable of
Despite being a successful professional himself, Ohanian knows exactly what a phenomenon Williams is. He is fully aware of his wife’s talent. This in itself is rare in a world where men expect women to change their lifestyles once they embrace motherhood. It is always a wife who is expected to make sacrifices in her career post motherhood. While many men now support their wives resuming professional duties post childbirth, how many actually feel they must take up their passion or careers not because they earn fat paychecks, but because they are supremely talented?
- Alexis Ohanian has been very supportive of Serena Williams’ return to tennis court after the birth of their daughter.
- Such support from family, especially with a small child in the picture, doesn’t come that easily.
- How many husbands actually let their wives work after childbirth, especially if they are not earning big, but are very talented?
Clearly money mustn’t be an issue in the Ohanian-Williams household. But it is, in most households especially in India. More often than not women are only encouraged to resume their professional lives after childbirth if they earn a substantial salary or hold an influential position. It is convenient to be a liberal partner when you have to pay hefty EMIs every month. But what when the wife’s paycheck is almost negligent as compared to her husband’s? What when a couple or a family has no financial liabilities which feel like a lump in the pillow every night they lie down to sleep?
We all know how most conservative and well-to-do setups encourage wives to stay at home and rear kids because there is “no need” for them to work.
Their talent is either stuffed in steel boxes with certificates and medals and shoved in attics or is passed off as a hobby. Women endure this fate, accepting that their duty to motherhood and their household is much greater than that to themselves and their capabilities.
It is disheartening to think about all the talent that gets sacrificed at the altar of misogynist outlook in our society. We must appreciate Ohanian for standing up to the world as a role model. For reminding the world that his wife is far too talented to be restrained at home. And as a partner it is his responsibility to make sure that motherhood doesn’t hold her back. While she doesn’t need to work to earn a living, she owes it to herself, her fans, her sport, her family and foremost to her daughter to live her sporting life to the fullest.
The legend that is Serena Williams, will for sure expand. She will indeed win more trophies and break more records. But today we are taking our time to appreciate Ohanian. If only more men could take a cue from him. Numerous women would make this world a richer place with their capabilities. Not because it would help them pay the bills, but because they have it in them to make their mark in the world.
Photo Credit : ABC network
Yamini Pustake Bhalerao is a writer with the SheThePeople team, in the Opinions section. The views expressed are the author’s own.