Steph Curry, The Father-Of-Daughters Effect, And Me

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By Krishna C. Nadella. Well, it had to happen at some point. You don’t write a blog series called #ThisIsHowYouDad without having people ask about other fathers.

Case in point: NBA point guard Stephen Curry. He recently penned an op-ed about his experience as a father of daughters, admitting that “the idea of women’s equality has become a little more personal for me, lately, and a little more real.”

His op-ed was referenced in a recent Washington Post article citing research showing that men whose first child was a daughter were more likely to support gender equality than those whose first child was a son.

I, too, am the proud father of two daughters. They are my second and third children, born after my son, but I believe that my perspectives on women’s equality would not be different if one of them had been my first child.

When I hear men speak about their daughters in the context of gender equity work, I get concerned. Most of these men have mothers and wives, and it shouldn’t have taken the birth of daughters to awaken them to the idea of women’s equality.

Now don’t get me wrong: when it comes to pressing for progress, I recall the words of my college physics professor who stated, “Progress grows with aches and moans.”

"My taking primary caregiver leave doesn’t solve the problem of inequality, but it’s a start."

Curry himself acknowledges that having daughters shouldn’t be the basis for our approach to this work, and reminds us that inequality sends the wrong message to all women “about who they are, and how they’re valued, and what they can or cannot become.”

In fact he is actually quite fortunate to have been surrounded by strong female role models his entire life. He calls his mother, Sonya, “an incredible and fiercely principled woman who had the courage and vision to open her own school, the Christian Montessori School of Lake Norman.”

And of his wife, he writes, “I’ve been lucky to be married to another incredible and fiercely principled woman, in Ayesha—who is both a successful business owner and the most amazing mother to our three kids.”

Reflecting on the lessons he learned prior to the arrival of his daughters, Curry says, “For my whole life, really, I feel like I’ve been receiving this education on what it means to be a woman in America.”

I am in absolute admiration of the strong, powerful women that make up Curry’s family. They are trailblazers whose personal accomplishments are matched only by their professional ones. Curry’s daughters, Riley and Canon, are fortunate to be surrounded by such strong women as well. They will not have to look very far for role models growing up, whether male or female.

This got me to thinking about my own daughters, Kareena and little Kavya. They, too, will be privileged to be surrounded by strong women, starting with their mother.

But in order for them to live in a world where equality is the norm and not the exception, I need to do my part as their father and not just talk the talk but walk the walk, supporting them and my wife in the same way Curry supported Ayesha.

My taking primary caregiver leave is just one of the ways I can do this: it doesn’t solve the problem, but it’s a start. It’s my way of becoming a male ally and serves as the starting point for a conversation I look forward to one day having with my son and daughters.

Women’s equality has become “a little more real” for Steph Curry, just as it has for me. But then again, it always was fundamental for both of us.
  • Why do you think having a daughter, particularly a first daughter, affects men’s perspectives on gender equality?
  • Are you the father of a daughter? Did it affect your perspective?
  • Do you think it's important for men to examine their motivations for engaging in gender equity work?
d8d59e661677028e92baea31d92e3972-originaKrishna C. Nadella is a senior sales manager at Bloomberg LP.

Posted by MARC Catalyst on Oct 11, 2018 12:23 PM America/New_York

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Paternity leave and fatherhood
Masculinity and gender
Actions to take