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You may have heard the latest news. Venus Williams is a sex addict. That’s what the internets are claiming today. But let me explain. Venus recently spoke to, a foreign magazine Affari Italiani, about her new Italian boo. She didn’t say too much; I’m assuming for the sake of privacy, but she mentioned that she can’t keep her hands off of him. The full quote was broken up but the magazine, and now other online publications are reporting that Venus said, she’s “like an octopus” when it comes to him. She then described her new beau: “He’s a 29-year-old businessman and he comes from Rome – but I’m not going to say more.” You can read the full article here. The whole things is only about five sentences long.

If you had a chance to read it, you may have noticed that  no where in that blurb do we see that Venus referred to herself as a sex addict. It would appear that the “sex addict” phrase came from another publication, the Austrian Times, in an attempt to sensationalize the story.  It would be one thing if this were the only publication that stretched the truth this way; but unfortunately, other outlets are running with this title.

Now, I don’t know Venus personally, but doesn’t this sex addict statement seem like a bit much coming from her? I mean this is the same Venus Williams who claimed, right along with her sister, that she was committed to her faith as a Jehovah’s Witness and was abstaining from sex. The same Venus, who is the same interview with Affari Italiani, wouldn’t mention homeboy’s full name. I’ve followed Venus and Serena’s career. It’s not like her to share the intimate details of her relationships.  But now she’s a sex addict. Hmm… ok.

I wasn’t there for the interview but the whole thing seems like a phenomenon we know all too well. The hypersexualization of black women. From the oogling of Sarah “Saartjie” Baartman (aka Hottentot Venus) to the recent image of Michelle Obama’s face photoshopped onto a breast-baring body, it seems as if the media, and particularly the European media, is still on a mission to assign “Jezebel-like” characteristics to black women and now black women of prominence. No one is safe. Now even Venus can’t seem to control her impulses. The Austrian Times may or may not realize this; but sex addiction is a very real disease, one that is not to be taken lightly, or even falsely attributed to public figures, particularly black women. We, black women…most of us anyway, are normal people, with normal sexual desires and appetites. The Jezebel stereotypes are completely unfair and certainly played out at this point.

Why do you think the media is so hell bent on assigning hypersexualized characteristics to black women?

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