Her story is about to hit the big screen, but tennis icon Billie Jean King is telling another story in today’s news. King did not hold back in talking about the many white women who voted for Donald Trump. She said, they “really don’t like themselves.” In the last presidential election, 53% of white women voted for Donald Trump instead of Hillary Clinton.
You probably remember King for leading the fight for equal pay for women in tennis. The tennis star best known for defeating Bobby Riggs in the famous “Battle of the Sexes” match in 1973, said that she believes there is more misogyny now than when faced Riggs. That ’73 match is the subject of a new movie in which Emma Stone plays King and Steve Carell plays Bobby Riggs.
“I think there’s a lot of misogyny – I think it’s higher now than it was,” King said in an interview Tuesday evening at an awards ceremony in Manhattan. King was being honored by the Wendy Hilliard Gymnastics Foundation, which provides gymnastics programs to underserved communities.
“I’m really upset with women, actually,” King said. “I’m upset with the white women that voted for Mr. Trump. I think they really don’t like themselves … I think a lot of women don’t like themselves.” She added: “Girls are brought up to be perfect and boys are brought up to be brave. Well, a girl can never be perfect. So we never can win.”
The film about the “Battle of the Sexes” deals not only with the match that drew almost 90 million TV viewers, it also chronicles King’s secret relationship with Marilyn Barnett. At the time, King was married to Larry King. When Barnett ultimately outed the tennis star, she lost thousands of dollars in endorsements.
Since that time, King has become a vocal activist for LGBT rights. She has intensely criticized Trump’s proposed ban on transgender people serving in the military. She hopes that this movie will inspire activism in a whole new generation.
“I really want the millennials and the Gen Z to see this movie, because every generation has to fight for freedom and equality,” she said. “Every single generation. It never ends and you always keep starting over with every generation … And if this helps one person be more comfortable in their own skin, if it helps a parent to understand better about their own child or a relative or a friend and if that helps give some comfort or be more comfortable as well, then that’s what I want from this.”
What do you think about King’s words about white, female, Trump voters not liking themselves?
Credit: Seattle Times