Serena Williams Is GQ's 'Woman Of The Year' and Here's Why That's Controversial

Twitter is maaaaaad.

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Getty ImagesJulian Finney

The world isn't great right now, but GQ Magazine released its covers for the 2018 Men of The Year yesterday, and the three men are my boyfriend Michael B Jordan, and my other boyfriend Henry Golding and Jonah Hill. Meanwhile, this year's Woman of the Year is none other than my best friend and idol, Serena Williams. Dubbed "The Champion" by the magazine, she's rocking a black long-sleeved turtleneck leotard on one of the four covers of the magazine's December issue.

But yes, while she is most certainly Woman of The Year (more like Woman of the Century but maybe that's just me?), the real question came when the cover was released and the word "woman" was in quotation marks. To say social media exploded is to put it lightly. Williams, after all, is a black woman who has spoken out about the pain she feels when people describe her as "mannish." For many, quotation marks around the word "woman" led back to the multitude of misogynoir and transphobic comments lashed at the Williams sisters over the last twenty years.

Mick Rouse, a research manager for GQ, pointed out via Twitter that the word was handwritten by fashion designer Virgil Abloh, who Williams has collaborated with for a Nike collection and also designed those iconic tutus Williams wore at this year's U.S. Open. Abloh “has styled everything in quotation marks as of late,” Rouse pointed out, acknowledging that "it's not something lost on me."

But many people on Twitter wondered why it wasn't "Woman of the Year" instead.

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