Serena Williams angers fans by saying giving birth will make her a ‘real woman’

Tennis star Serena Williams is getting called out on social media after saying she thinks childbirth would make her a "real woman."

The 23-time Grand Slam champion, who is expected to welcome her child with fiancé and Reddit co-founder Alexis Ohanian in September, told Stellar magazine that she feels giving birth will change her.

RELATED: Click through photos of Serena Williams' pregnancy Instagrams

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Serena Williams' pregnancy Instagrams
@vanityfair
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@benstiller stiller Sorry, White. Average Joes for life! And that goes for both of us. Omaze.com/Joe
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My Mom
Hey everyone! Ok so signature collection is avail on @HSN tonight at 9pm tune in. This dress and more u have to tune in. So excited that I'm dancing!! 💃🏿💃🏿 @serenastatement
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Fun day out and about with @audemarspiguet
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About date night..
My Dearest Baby, You gave me the strength I didn’t know I had. You taught me the true meaning of serenity and peace. I can't wait to meet you. I can't wait for you to join the players box next year. But most importantly, I am so happy to share being number one in the world with you.... once again today. On @alexisohanian bday. 😉 from the world's oldest number one to the world's youngest number one. -Your Mommy
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"I have so much respect for so many women [for giving birth]," Williams told the magazine in a new cover story. "I am about to be a real woman now, you know? It's going to be something incredibly impressive to go through."

And online users were quick to criticize the 35-year-old's statement, considering that many women choose not to have children or are unable to give birth.

SEE ALSO: Pregnant Serena Williams shares heartfelt message to 'dearest baby' after return to No. 1 ranking

"So, in your view, I'm not a real woman because I CHOSE not to have children? #ChooseYourWordsCarefully," one user wrote.

"Didn't know I had to have a baby to be a 'real woman' ... thanks for letting me know @serenawilliams," another reacted.

Williams' Twitter page on Wednesday was devoid of any response to the backlash surrounding her choice of words in the cover story.

See more reactions to William's comments here:

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Serena Williams upset fans after saying giving birth will make her a ‘real woman’
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Serena Williams upset fans after saying giving birth will make her a ‘real woman’
@TheRoot Really unfortunate statement from her. All women are real, not just the ones who give birth.
Didn't know I had to have a baby to be a "real woman"..thanks for letting me know @serenawilliams
@TheRoot @serenawilliams So, in your view, I'm not a real woman because I CHOSE not to have children? 🤷🏽‍♀️… https://t.co/V9fgHZjjeu
@KarinaJeffers14 @TheRoot Ephesians 4:29 sis https://t.co/ZpFotKWpnc
@TheRoot Plenty of real women do not have children....
@TheRoot Parenthood is really real. She'll be fine. Excited for her.
@TheRoot Serena, you were always so very much a real woman. Carry on, lady.
@TheRoot you just set women back 50 years. thanks.
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