FanDuel - WFBC

January 21, 2011

Kim Clijsters Gives TV Commentator a Tennis Lesson: After a match at the Australian Open, Kim Clijsters taught TV commentator and former pro Todd Woodbridge why men should never ask if a woman is pregnant. Particularly if she's going to be talking to you later on live television at center court.

posted by rcade to tennis at 11:41 AM - 29 comments

I've always liked Clijsters, and now I like her more. What a totally fresh (in several senses of the word) way to handle that. You know she was just relishing the chance to ambush Woodbridge, and she did it in a way that got her point across and then buried his misstep with good humor. Yay for Kim.

posted by Uncle Toby at 11:58 AM on January 21

Cool link, but URL is borked.

posted by googly at 12:23 PM on January 21

Yeah, it loaded the second time I tried.

posted by yerfatma at 12:27 PM on January 21

I borked the link for psychological reasons.

posted by rcade at 12:42 PM on January 21

There's an adage (which I believe came from "Dilbert" author Scott Adams) which says, "A man should never comment on a woman being pregnant until he actually sees a baby sticking out of her." Hopefully, Todd learned his lesson.

And kudos to both of them for handling this well. I could see this being handled much worse if this involved an American woman and an American commentator, with either the woman being more offended or the commentator getting in trouble for what was supposed to be a private text message. She resolved the issue well, and he took it well. Good for them.

posted by TheQatarian at 12:49 PM on January 21

I could see this being handled much worse if this involved an American woman and an American commentator

Oh, grow up.

Anyway, that was a very funny clip. Woodbridge looks so shocked that Stubbs showed her that text message.

posted by bperk at 02:31 PM on January 21

I liked when he said, after being called out, "Well my television career is over!" Good stuff.

posted by insomnyuk at 03:00 PM on January 21

Oh, grow up.

It was just an observation. I simply appreciated that they laughed this off. Too many people around here (American media, not SpoFi) can't.

posted by TheQatarian at 03:38 PM on January 21

I have a whole different take on this. Let me see if I understand this correctly. A man texts a female friend. That female shares the text with another female, who subsequently uses it as a tool for the extremely public surprise embarrassment of the man, who has no idea that the text had been shared.

Stubbs didn't forward the text, which would be somewhat more removed and impersonal. Instead, she showed Clijsters the text in the locker room.

Woodbridge's text did not seem to be evil or vindictive, just routinely chatty and impishly inquisitive. Men have asked far worse questions about women than that in both public and private. He did not deserve to have his confidence breached and his private thoughts made public in the way that they were. I thought he was extremely gracious about the whole thing.

Bottom line: Stubbs and Clijsters are idiots, each in their own way. Laughing and lighthearted about the whole thing or not, doesn't matter to me. They're still stooges.

She resolved the issue well, and he took it well.

It's not an issue. Woodbridge didn't make the remarks in public or on the record. It is his private communication. There is nothing to resolve.

Men are routinely and stereotypically faulted for not "opening up" and expressing their feelings more. With incidents like this, is it any wonder?

Rather than having a rule that men should never ask a woman if she's pregnant, maybe the rule ought to be that a man shouldn't communicate anything to a woman that couldn't be repeated secondhand in front of a stadium full of people. Over the frickin' public address system!

posted by beaverboard at 04:34 PM on January 21

a man shouldn't communicate anything to a woman that couldn't be repeated secondhand in front of a stadium full of people

That's a smart idea.

posted by Hugh Janus at 05:13 PM on January 21

In my experience, anything you say to a woman may just as well have been said to a stadium full of people.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 05:24 PM on January 21

He did not deserve to have his confidence breached and his private thoughts made public in the way that they were. I thought he was extremely gracious about the whole thing.

What makes you think that he had a relationship with Stubbs such that their communications would be private? He was fishing for information from her, so he must have known that she had a good relationship with Clijsters. You can't say anything you want to someone and then just assume that the person won't repeat it because it will be embarrassing to you. Stubbs thought it was funny, so she shared it. I don't know how you can fault Clijsters. She didn't owe Woodbridge anything. He said she looked grumpy and she laughed it off. He got caught talking shit about someone and it blew up. The message should be -- don't talk shit.

posted by bperk at 06:52 PM on January 21

See and I think the issue here is Woodbridge was talking to one woman about the size of another woman's breasts. In most workplaces that could be considered a form of sexual harassment, regardless of the context.

posted by MW12 at 07:06 PM on January 21

What is funny is people's reaction to this. Clijsters is friends with Woodbridge and actually baby sat his kids when she was dating Lleyton Hewitt. She was basically doing a "gotcha" and was getting a good laugh out of this, not a "handled it well". She was shown the text by her friend, sent by another friend and thought it was funny, and ran with it. It should be noted that she actually is "trying" to get pregnant right now, and has publically spoken about it--saying that when she does become pregnant again, she will not be playing tennis. She was plain and simply having fun at the expense of a friend, and it worked.

posted by jagsnumberone at 07:33 PM on January 21

... Stubbs and Clijsters are idiots, each in their own way.

I am surprised that anyone could watch that video and not realize from the body language that Clijsters and Woodbridge are good friends. You don't have to be the Lie to Me guy to see this.

posted by rcade at 11:01 PM on January 21

Look at the body language, they are friends. Arms over each others shoulders, touching, who could think she was doing anything other than "busting" him for something he texted another friend. They were laughing and no real malice was ever meant. She even came back after signing the camera and hugged him. His job is more secure today than the day this happened. It makes them both human and having fun publically may be strange on TV but why would anyone think this is serious?

posted by gfinsf at 08:10 AM on January 22

The relationship between Clijsters and Woodbridge is relevant only in that she wasn't offended. But to borrow phrasing from rcade, I am surprised that anyone could watch that video and not see the similarity between this here exchange and the lap dance incident from the lacrosse game the other day. What may be perfectly reasonable behavior between friends (and/or consenting adults) is not necessarily reasonable to be shared with a family audience. Certainly not when that conversation references the size of a woman's breasts.

posted by MW12 at 08:48 AM on January 22

I think you're trying too hard to find fault. First it was just like sexual harassment, now we must think of the children.

I have kids. They've heard the word "boobs" before. Didn't turn them into delinquents. Videogames did.

posted by rcade at 09:13 AM on January 22

Videogames did.

It was the Madden games, wasn't it?

posted by kcfan4life at 09:48 AM on January 22

I'm not looking for fault. I am certain none was intended. But that doesn't make a public reference to the size of a woman's "boobs" in front of a family audience ok.

On review, however, I rescind my reference to sexual harassment, as I mistakenly considered the feelings of a third party observer to fall within that category - and now know by legal definition it does not. I looked it up, and admit my mistake. But I'm still entitled to believe that my four year old shouldn't be hearing light hearted banter about a woman's breast size from a potential role model when I take her to a tennis tournament.

posted by MW12 at 09:54 AM on January 22

I'm still entitled to believe that my four year old shouldn't be hearing light hearted banter about a woman's breast size from a potential role model when I take her to a tennis tournament.

You're entitled to believe anything you want. But the idea I have to modify my life because you reproduced is annoying. Am I ok to believe that I shouldn't be hearing some whiny four year-old crying about "When is this over" after I dropped some decent diñero to attend a sporting event? Also, the qualifier "light-hearted" seems out of place in that sentence. Would you be ok with hardcore talk about breast size?

posted by yerfatma at 10:12 AM on January 22

Light-hearted was clearly a reference to the manner in which the conversation took place. As in an acknowledgment that the two people discussing the topic didn't consider it a big deal.

Not sure where the idea that you should modify your life because of my belief system came into play.

Rather than insulting me, how bout explaining why you think talk about a woman's breast size at a sporting event - by the person you are paying to see - is acceptable behavior.

posted by MW12 at 10:46 AM on January 22

Talking about the size of a woman's boobs in the context and tone they were discussing it was not in any way remotely sexual. Kids talk about boobs and butts and genitals all the time. They aren't being sexual. It's normal. It won't hurt them. Pretending certain parts of adult bodies are shameful things that cannot ever be mentioned or thought about however, that will hurt them.

posted by fabulon7 at 10:56 AM on January 22

Bottom line: Stubbs and Clijsters are idiots, each in their own way. Laughing and lighthearted about the whole thing or not, doesn't matter to me. They're still stooges.

That's the least-compelling "bottom line" line I've read in ages.

posted by Uncle Toby at 03:45 PM on January 22

how bout explaining why you think talk about a woman's breast size at a sporting event - by the person you are paying to see - is acceptable behavior.

There is nothing inappropriate about breasts or pregnancy. Someone made a joke about being pregnant. Pregnant women's breasts grow larger. It doesn't get much more innocuous than that. I don't see how a 4-year old would have difficulty with that. The standard for what is appropriate isn't set by the biggest prudes in the place or those who are afraid of any mention of a body part. It is based on what most people think. And, based on the response to this, it's clear that most people found nothing inappropriate about it.

posted by bperk at 11:04 PM on January 22

it's clear that most people found nothing inappropriate about it

And absolutely zero people in Rod Laver Arena or the rest of Australia.

posted by owlhouse at 12:42 AM on January 23

ow bout explaining why you think talk about a woman's breast size at a sporting event - by the person you are paying to see - is acceptable behavior.

Oh lighten up, Francis.

posted by WeedyMcSmokey at 01:35 AM on January 23

I asked my youngest son about this and he said people should chill the fuck out. I never should have let him watch tennis.

posted by rcade at 09:53 AM on January 23

Tennis is a savage sport.

(with fond memories of chicobangs bellowing, "Beat her like the strumpet she is!" at a US Open match)

posted by lil_brown_bat at 06:34 PM on January 23

You're not logged in. Please log in or register.