Stefanos Tsitsipas has let down his fans with attempt to U-turn on feminist Twitter spat

Stefanos Tsitsipas' recent anti-feminist Twitter spat lets down his host of young female fans

Stefanos Tsitsipas’ recent anti-feminist Twitter spat lets down his host of young female fans (Image: Getty)

is known for his somewhat unorthodox use of Twitter as a tennis player, often using it to tweet deep quotes and memes that fans and followers quickly learn have originally been written elsewhere. But his latest rant has let down his largely young female fanbase, as the world No 4 shared an anti-feminist message and eventually made a U-turn after being criticised, though it was found that both his positive and negative tweets about feminism were plagiarised much like his usual content.

Tsitsipas drew huge criticism when he retweeted an anti-feminist message claiming that “modern feminism teaches women to hate men” and repeated the claims in a tweet of his own, writing: “Modern feminism has swerved from gender equality into a cult of outrage that seeks to disparage men. How is that fair?”

You are reading: Stefanos Tsitsipas has let down his fans with attempt to U-turn on feminist Twitter spat

The nine-time title winner was – understandably – slammed for his claims with hundreds of quote-retweets pouring in from followers who were disappointed at the message he was sending to his almost 374,000 followers, accused him of succumbing to ‘incel’ culture and questioned what research and understanding he had based his claims on. But he continued to show his lack of awareness on the true issues at hand as he later claimed he didn’t believe the patriarchy existed.

When sports broadcaster and self-confessed “modern feminist” Catherine Whitaker questioned exactly what he had based his assessment on, his education of the “female experience of life/the world” and his thoughts on the patriarchy, the Greek replied: “I have based this on some of own personal experiences and encounters. I have educated myself on that subject by asking female friends and acquaintances. I don’t believe in patriarchy. Equality and unity is the solution to everything.”

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Fans quickly found the original source of Stefanos Tsitsipas' later tweets on feminism

Fans quickly found the original source of Stefanos Tsitsipas’ later tweets on feminism (Image: Twitter / We Are Restless)

Tsitsipas received even more pushback from fans who were quick to point out that he had the privilege of not believing in the patriarchy, because it was something he naturally benefitted from, while his poor excuse for his previous anti-feminist messaging appeared to be that he had spoken to some friends that are female. And as the criticism snowballed, the 24-year-old suddenly performed a U-turn on his views and started explaining the real meaning of feminism, except it fell on the ears of those who had been trying to tell him the same thing all along.

“Feminism empowers people, which is one of the key reasons young people should get involved. It’s a prevalent misperception that feminism is exclusively beneficial to women, and that only women may be feminists. Feminism actually seeks gender equality, not superiority for women,” he wrote in the first of a series of three tweets, but his followers quickly found that his words had actually been taken from the We Are Restless blog, while his earlier anti-feminist message was taken from a 2017 article on The Telescope, a college newspaper website.

Beyond the initial misuse of his large platform to spread dangerous and untrue anti-feminist messages, Tsitsipas’ attempt at a U-turn is in itself a huge let down to his largely young female following on Twitter. As some have since pointed out, the young women who support him have often defended him against insults from other players for his behaviour that doesn’t fall into some of the stereotypical lad culture seen from some on the tennis tour – with a case in point being when his Team World rivals at the Laver Cup claimed he had “daddy issues”.

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Stefanos Tsitsipas has often been defended by his young female fanbase (Image: Getty)

Instead of apologising for his previous views and being open to educating himself, the world No 4 has instead reposted someone else’s words and left many questioning what he truly believes if he could Tweet two plagiarised, opposing viewpoints in the space of one day. Did his beliefs really change that quickly, or did he read something else on the Internet after clicking few the first results of a Google search for “feminism” and decide he would unequivocally agree and repost the words without truly taking them in?

Tennis Twitter is a largely diverse and open-minded community who have remained vocal on issues involving sexism, homophobia and mental health in the sport, and the response to Tsitsipas’ tweets by his own fans has demonstrated that those in the community are much more than superfans who will agree with anything their idol says, as one called for him to “just delete twitter, donate to female charities, and stop this weird online performance you have going on by focusing on your tennis.”

The community of tennis fans and specifically Tsitsipas fans deserve better than to see someone they spend time supporting and watching to spout back copy-pasted claims about feminism towards them, and the 24-year-old should start reading his own replies instead of what he thinks will be viral memes and thoughts that he can post to appear funny and #relatable. His bizarre attempts at mansplaining feminism and claiming the patriarchy doesn’t exist doesn’t make Tsitsipas a bad person, but it proves that he doesn’t have a true understanding of the serious topics he is trying to tackle on social media in front of hundreds of thousands of followers.

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