Venus Williams might not consider herself a feminist — but it’s not for the reasons you might think.
In a new interview with Elle UK, Williams, 37, says she supports women — and equality between men and women — but doesn’t like to define herself by “labels.”
“I don’t like labels,” she told the magazine, as cited by numerous outlets. “Though I do think as women we have much more power and opportunities in our hands than ever before. We truly don’t know how powerful we are. There’s nothing like a powerful woman walking into a room; her presence is like nothing else.”
In fact, the tennis champion (and older sister to fellow tennis superstar Serena Williams) thinks things are only getting better when it comes to gender equality, particularly for women in sports.
And Williams feels that’s she’s played a part in that growth throughout her decades-long athletic career.
Earlier in her career, she says: “The conversation [around equality] was never there.”
And now? “There’s been so much growth for women in sports,” she says. “It’s very exciting. You have to be able to stand up for what you believe in and I think I’ve done a good job. I guess I don’t have too many regrets.”
Of course, the work is still beginning, Williams admits. But she believes the key to eventual equality is supporting one another, rather than viewing your peers as competition.
“There are always challenges that you have to overcome on a daily basis,” she says. “Unfortunately, people have the tendency to want to dominate one another, but fortunately, there are people who want to build other women up. It’s up to those people who want to build to hopefully eliminate all that negativity.”