But when Steph Curry was ejected from game 6 of the NBA championship finals last week, in which a victory would have secured his team the championship, queen Ayesha did something that shocked and angered those who were once so loyal to her. She used her opinion to speak on sports. In a deleted tweet, she claimed that the game was rigged. She had stepped out of bounds and was no longer in alignment with the code of patriarchal femininity. Ayesha was dangerously toeing the line that separated her from the other heinous women that she was so often used to shame and ridicule. According to some, she had crossed that line. In perhaps the most blatant example of gender bias and paternalistic patronization, part-time sports commentator and full-time clown Stephen A. Smith went on a long winded rant condemning Ayesha’s tweet, juxtaposing her actions with her adorability and bright future.
I want to state upfront that I don’t think that Ayesha Curry is a bad person who got what was coming to her. She could be, but I think that she, like many people, are clueless about the realities of sexism and how it works to prop up some women while knocking down others. This cluelessness is the reason she saw no harm in prefacing a statement about her own views on clothing, and how important they apparently are in a relationship, with a statement about trends that she doesn’t follow. It is also why I don’t think she ever expected to feel the wrath of masculinity when she suggested that its beloved basketball league was imperfect and set up against her husband.
Ayesha Curry was used by patriarchy as a tool to reinforce its narrow ideals for women, and when she failed to meet one of those ideals (which involves being seen and not heard) she was discarded and judged just as harshly as the girls in the revealing clothes that she spoke out against. This is an important lesson, because the temptation for oppressed groups to pledge allegiance to the same rhetoric that contributes to their lackluster circumstances can be strong. Straight gays and black Republicans are a testament to this fact.
But let this be a warning that sexism is friendly to no one. As a wise woman, one I’ll assume the likes of Ayesha Curry has never even heard of, once said: The master’s tools will never dismantle the master’s house.