Ayesha Curry, and the business of false equations

(Photo Credit: Instagram/ayeshacurry/)

So. Ayesha Curry took to the streets of Twitter to let everyone know her views on life, liberty, and pursuit of covering up yourself for your man.

I don’t know why Ayesha had to tear others down when talking about fashion trends and modesty, but she did, and here we are.



Ayesha’s comment suggests women need to wear their clothes a certain way in order to please their man (“the one that matters” in her tweet alludes to her husband Stephen Curry). Obviously there’s nothing wrong to dress up for a significant other, but we shouldn’t ignore the million other potential reasons people adopt a certain style. Creativity and personal expression. Dressing for self confidence. Quickly finding an article of clothing because it’s frowned upon to go to WalMart naked.  And speaking of heteronormativity, sometimes women dress up to impress other women, either flirtatiously or professionally or just because they know their friend will get jealous of their bedazzled tiger sweatshirt. Some people don’t want to dress up to sexually arouse anyone. The list of possible combinations of why we dress modestly or minimally can go on. And, to be honest, I’m sure Ayesha knows this, but her string of tweets don’t do her justice.

I think what bothers me the most, though, is the respectability politics at play here. Ayesha’s assumed formula is dress modest = get respect. Unfortunately, this equation doesn’t always work out, especially for woman of color. The truth of the matter is, when you take in any clothes women wear + a good dose of sexism + other isms that relate here= lack of respect. We see religious discrimination come into play when women, covered up by wearing a hijab, face Islamophobia in the work place and assault in the streets.  We’ve heard that tired phrase a “woman is asking for it,” regardless of what she’s wearing, a phrase that has yet to die out when we talk about rape. Dressing modestly or not wouldn’t have saved the 13 women from Daniel Holtzclaw, or Kiesha Jenkins (spoiler alert: men not raping or murdering trans and cis women of color would have protected them). And: catcalling, catcalling, catcalling.

Covering up doesn’t magically save us, or make us better people. In this world, misogynoir and misogyny makes it very clear what our place in society “should be,” whether we’re dressed up in sweatpants or a miniskirt. In an ideal world, women wouldn’t be attacked in any form or fashion. Because clothes, or lack of clothes, shouldn’t assure our safety; the fact that we’re human beings should. However, we live in a world that attacks women, regardless of what they’re wearing. And then, on top of that, has the audacity to tell us that dress modest = get respect is a real rule, even though we’ve seen otherwise.

We even saw it today, through the Tweets that came after in support of her statement. Many people felt comfortable not only defending her, but attacking women who disagree with them as “hoes.” One article even wrote that “while plenty of people agreed with Curry’s sentiments, there are those that felt she was shaming people (THOTs, maybe? No disrespect.) and are actually offended.” Thank  you, HipHop Wired, for letting us know that those of us who fight for the right to be respected, regardless of what we wear, are only to be dismissed as hoes. It doesn’t matter that a) you don’t know who we are or what we wear, or b) wearing booty shorts, heels, crop tops, or any other pieces of clothing you may deem “offensive” doesn’t define who we are or make us any less of a human. Nope.

@Nettaaaaaaaa is 100% right. The misogynoir was strong today.

I refuse to add anymore, because even simply posting them here fills me with the hot burning rage of a Colorado forest fire, but this article does a pretty good job collecting some of the tweets, and HipHop Wired’s article has more of the so-called “hilarious” responses. 

Ayesha’s three or four series of Tweets might seem like a small thing, a way to state her clothing preference. And I respect that modesty is her thing, and I respect that she likes to cover it up for everyone but her husband. To police the way she wears her clothes is also not a solution.

However. These tweets brought up the fact that people love to come out of the woodwork and attack who they think are barely dressed. And this isn’t a problem that’s the sole fault of Ayesha. Her tweets and general attitude are merely vessels, solid representation of society’s views on women they perceive to be “hoes” and “thots.” Honestly, the scariest part of this whole ordeal is that Ayesha’s thoughts are not isolated. Today, and always, we have seen that people of all genders (because yes, women can perpetuate misogynoir and misogyny as well) feel comfortable disrespecting women who don’t cover up. We have seen respectably politics come into play, and have been told if we don’t buy into the “dress modest = get respect” equation, we’re just jealous hoes with no future. We have seen the “Ginger v. Mary Ann” debate (or more accurately, the Amber Rose v. Ayesha debate). It doesn’t matter that both women are good at what they do in their own right. Apparently Amber Rose= doesn’t wear enough clothes= a bird who shouldn’t get the time of day. P.S., what does “enough clothes” mean? Were is this invisible line drawn? And who gets to decide that line? Of course. MEN DO.

To close off, I want to post a tweet from Ayesha Curry, just hours after her original string of tweets. I don’t know if someone had a coming-to-Jesus talk with her, or if she doesn’t care that this tweet contradicts the previous ones, or if this whole response was a secret way to troll us all and collect responses for her dissertation on slut shaming and the role of clothes in society’s judgement of women (PLEASE GOD LET THIS LAST THEORY BE REAL). I’m still mad at her actions. But whatever is happening, this isolated comment, on it’s own, is good advice:


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