Ayesha Curry and her husband Steph are having a banner year. Earlier this week, Curry announced she was opening a pop up restaurant, “International Smoke” in San Francisco. In March, she announced she had a forthcoming cooking show on the Food Network, “At Home with Ayesha”. And in September, she will release a cookbook, The Seasoned Life: Food, Family, Faith and the Joy of Eating Well.
Husband Steph led the Golden State Warriors to the NBA playoffs, where he just broke Reggie Miller’s record for three-pointers in consecutive playoff games. And recently, he was unanimously selected as the league’s MVP.
The Currys are winning! Right?
Unfortunately, everyone doesn’t think so. When Ayesha announced her latest power move on Instagram, a commenter on her page was less than enthused.
“*Yawn* Inspiring women to… be the best wives/cooks they can be eh? Or make a profit off their husband’s success?” wrote Instagram user who identifies as “Pachiie”. “Is that the most you can achieve with your fame? How about inspiring women of ethnic minorities to pursue higher education/get degrees? Or build their empires /become entrepreneurs independently of the men they are married with…. Women around the world should strive to be more than just “great” mothers/cooks.”
Pause. Who are these people that feel it’s appropriate to go on anyone’s page and tell them about themselves on their own platform? And like, how do you criticize someone for wasting potential, while you waste precious life on the page of someone you don’t even like? Riddle me that.
Mrs. Curry must have had similar feelings, because she responded to the comment (thus making it a news story): “My passion is cooking and food. I make people feel happy an comforted thorough creating delicious and exciting meals,” Curry began.” Not sure why you’re so bitter, but I am an entrepreneur in every send of the word.”
It was an appropriate and quick clapback from Curry, a mother of two juggling several professional projects and a husband in the playoffs. She doesn’t have a lot of time to dismantle the commenter’s criticisms, which are somewhat popular critiques about women who choose more traditional roles in their families. (The same critique was once leveled at First Lady Michelle Obama when she announced her role during her husband’s presidency would be “Mom-in-Chief”) Luckily, I do have the time.
This commenter’s sentiments are feminism gone haywire. Criticizing a woman for celebrating a happy marriage and inspiring women to be good wives? How is that remotely problematic?
There are many happily married young black couples. Unfortunately, we don’t hear enough about them. We hear statistics about how black folk don’t get married, and if they do, how they can’t keep their families intact because of rampant dysfunction. It is good—and healthy and refreshing— to see the The Currys, a young and successful black couple loving on each other— and their children— publicly.
And as for Ayesha’s love of cooking? Yes, getting in the kitchen is a very traditional role. But I would argue there’s a difference between forced into a role you don’t want because you have no options, and performing that role because it excites you. Ayesha Curry likes food. A lot. Before she and her husband became household names last year, she was on You Tube baking homemade bread for kicks and giggles.
Who is mad at a good cook? I mean, don’t people still like to eat? Food is Ayesha’s ministry. Asking her to promote an agenda that she is not passionate about just because its more in line with narrow ideals of what makes a successful modern woman is not just stifling, but anti-feminist.
I’m also curious as to why Curry, a married woman, should be expected to build her empire outside of her husband. How does that even happen? Like would she divorce Steph, take her maiden name, build her business and then remarry him?
And like, isn’t part of the point of marriage that you support your spouse, and help them achieve their dreams? Instead, Ayesha should… what? Be married to a man who has earned millions, who gets consistent press and who makes calls to important people that get answered, but she should reject all that and say, “no, I want to do it on my own”? For what? So she can wear a badge of independence, and someday tell a hard knock story about her struggle…. while married to a millionaire? That’s stupid.
Mrs. Curry’s recent business deals are evidence of a smart woman doing exactly what she is supposed to. From its inception, marriage has been about building wealth and creating alliances (i.e., power). The love part of marriage is a relatively new concept. And yet, it does negate the original intent. A husband and wife are supposed “honor, respect, and obey” but also to look out for and take care of one another. When one person gets “on”, they are supposed to put their partner on, if that’s where the other partner wants to be. If you have a successful spouse and you share your dreams with said spouse, and that spouse hits you with a Lil’ Kim lyric— “get your own sh—/ why you riding mine?— it’s time for you get a new spouse.
If Mr. Curry’s popularity opens doors for his wife, why should she not walk through them? There is no logical reason. And let’s be clear, Steph’s popularity? Ayesha helped to build that. Mr. Curry was a force in the basketball arena. He became a household name beyond sports fans because of his image as a lovable family guy. He couldn’t be that without Ayesha and the children she bore him.
Demetria Lucas D’Oyley is the author of Don’t Waste Your Pretty: The Go-to Guide for Making Smarter Decisions in Life & Love. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.