Steph Curry Wrote An Essay on The Gender Gap + Women's Equality and It Is EVERYTHING
Not only is Steph Curry a champion on the basketball court, but he boasts the courage of his political convictions, freely calling out President Trump and powerful sports CEOs alike. In an essay for The Players’ Tribune titled “This Is Personal,” published on Women’s Equality Day, Curry turns his attention to the gender pay gap.
“I want our girls to grow up knowing that there are no boundaries that can be placed on their futures, period,” Curry writes of his daughters, Riley and Ryan, with wife Ayesha Curry. “I want them to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rule book for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big and strive for careers where they’ll be treated fairly. And of course: paid equally.”
In invoking his girls, Curry treads on tricky territory—the eye-roll-inducing “as a father of daughters” line some politicians have come to love just as much as the empty “thoughts and prayers.” It shouldn’t take fathering daughters or marrying a woman (or, for that matter, having a sister) to be an empathetic man who opposes and works to fight sexism. Knowing what is right and just should not be based on a man’s personal connections. But Curry is the rare guy to pull this narrative off, in part because he acknowledges the cliché, saying that his wife and daughters aren’t the only reason he believes in women’s equality and closing the pay gap. “For my whole life, really, I feel like I’ve been receiving this education on what it means to be a woman in America,” he explains, thanks to his “incredible and fiercely principled” mom, Sonya. But he is also open about the way having daughters has amplified what sexism means to him.
“With Ayesha and I suddenly seeing things through the eyes of these daughters of ours . . . you know, I’d be lying if I didn’t admit that the idea of women’s equality has become a little more personal for me lately, and a little more real,” the Golden State Warriors star writes. “I think it’s important that we all come together to figure out how we can make that possible, as soon as possible. Not just as ‘fathers of daughters’ . . . . And not just on Women’s Equality Day. Every day.”
As much as we wrinkle our noses at the “as a father of daughters” lip service, Curry’s take is a reality for at least some men: having daughters can be a game changer and a paradigm shifter. Considering the world their daughters will grow up in can spark a new sense of action and engagement around the pay gap and women’s equality. Ideally, it wouldn’t be the only inspiration for men, but if it happens to be one, then perhaps we should all welcome it. As men are still paid more and occupy more positions of power than women, it is incumbent upon them to be allies and to use their voices to advocate for women. In some cases, it may make all the difference.
Women can and should advocate for themselves. But men also need to use their privilege to give women opportunities to shine. Consider San Antonio Spurs assistant coach Becky Hammon: She was the first full-time female assistant coach in the NBA and was famously hired and championed by legendary Spurs head coach Gregg Popovich. Earlier this year, she was reportedly considered for the head coaching post with the Milwaukee Bucks—and while she didn’t get the job, she was recently promoted by the Spurs. Hammon is undoubtedly qualified and prime for these posts, but without the support of a man in power, she likely never would have gotten the chance to show it.
That type of support is key to what Curry is determined to do. He goes on to say that he recently hosted a basketball camp for girls—and will continue to do so in the future: “One thing we’ve always maintained about our camp is that we want it to be world class. And in 2018? Here’s the truth: You’re not world class if you’re not actively about inclusion.”