Serena Williams is under fire after an interview with the Herald Sun's Stellar in which she opened up about preparing for childbirth.
"I am about to be a real woman now, you know? It's going to be something incredibly impressive to go through," she said.
The 35-year-old tennis champion, who is due in September, was quickly criticized for her comment.
Many Twitter users spoke up, arguing that having a child doesn't make you a "real woman."
What a ridiculous comment! I am not "less of a woman" because I dont have children.— Dr Victoria Johnson (@vicjohnson10) August 5, 2017
Oh Serena. Simply identifying as a woman is enough to make you a "real woman". Giving birth isn't the defining characteristic of womanhood. https://t.co/S3EXsDEEul— Gemma Howard (@GemmaHoward93) August 8, 2017
Serena Williams said she feels like a "real woman" because she's about to give birth. Having children doesn't make you a "real woman"— Boujee Cousin Tae (@Loveijonte) August 7, 2017
Others questioned Williams' comment in light of women who are unable to have children.
I love Serena Williams but she said "I'm about to become a real woman" about childbirth implying that women who can't/choose not to have— keely baratheon (@donkeefer) August 6, 2017
Some Twitter users suggested that Williams "misspoke" during the interview.
I'm late on this Serena "real woman" controversy but yikes @ her comment. I believe she misspoke but still not a good look.— Gogo Kola (@onikapova) August 8, 2017
She probably picked the wrong words/meant no harm, but really, Serena? I GUESS I'LL NEVER BE A REAL WOMAN THEN https://t.co/sW9SpmzepH— Diana Pingu Connors (@Pinguicha) August 8, 2017
The 23-time grand slam winner also spoke about her fears of giving birth, saying that watching birthing videos hasn't helped.
"I actually think [watching birthing videos] makes it worse," she said. "Having a baby, nothing is guaranteed."
She added that she hopes becoming a mom will make her stronger when it comes to tennis, saying that not knowing the effect childbirth will have on her game is scary.
"That's the scariest thing. [But] I think [giving birth] will give me more strength, if that's possible, and a lot more confidence," she said. "I feel like I will be ready for anything."
The interview comes days after her star-studded 1950s-themed baby shower, complete with her sister Venus and famous friends Ciara, Kelly Rowland, La La Anthony, Eva Longoria and songwriter Angie Beyince.
Posing in front of a cherry red truck, the celebrity gals dressed in Doo Wop-inspired attire, complete with poodle skirts, bandanas, high ponytails and other charming 1950s attire
Williams and her fiance, Alexis Ohanian, have yet to find out the gender of their child, but Ohanian says Williams thinks it's a girl.
"We have our hunches. She put it really well," the 34-year-old internet entrepreneur told Entertainment Tonight. "She won the Australian Open while pregnant. She remarked that she feels it has to be a girl because everything that little baby went through and handled like a champ — only a woman could be strong enough to take on."