And now, fatherhood as the path to feminism

This is brand new father and mega-famous rapper, Jay-Z:

Before I got in the game, made a change, and got rich/ I didn’t think hard about using the word bitch/I rapped, I flipped it, I sold it, I lived it/Now with my daughter in this world I curse those that give it.

No man will degrade her, or call her name/I’m so focused on your future, the degradation has passed/ I wish you wealth, health and insight/Forever young you may pass/Blue Ivy Carter, my angel.

And more from this thought-provoking article from Lisa Belkin (hi!) at the Huffington Post:

Jay-Z is not the first man to realize he has been a misogynistic jerk only after he has a daughter.

Okay, maybe the academic studies don’t use those words exactly, but one, from the University of Maryland titled “Like Daughter, Like Father: How Women’s Wages Change When CEOs Have Daughters,” found that the birth of a girl to a male CEO closes the wage gap at his company by .5 percentage points, and if that daughter is the CEOs first child the gap closes by 2.8 percentage points.)


That same switch might flip some of a father’s political views, too. A study of the voting records of US Congressmen found that those with daughters voted more liberally on issues of reproductive rights, flexible work policies and funding for education. And data on British families found that fathers with three sons and no daughters were far more likely to vote for conservative candidates than were fathers of three daughters and no sons.

“Daughters make people more left-wing, while having sons, by contrast, makes them more right-wing” the author of that last study, Andrew Oswald of the University of Warwick said when it was released in 2009.

Still, world, we can’t wait for every man to have a daughter – men, find your feminism NOW.

UPDATE: Jay-Z didn’t really write that poem.

(Cross-posted at blue milk).

Categories: arts & entertainment, gender & feminism, language, parenting

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5 replies

  1. This will be helpful input into a family discussion about the rapper’s lyrics turnabout, which kicked off with one of my teenage daughters saying “yeah like how come it took something that important in his personal life to make a difference – shouldn’t he always have had better manners?”

  2. It didn’t work for Tony Abbott. Or maybe he would be 10 times worse had he had sons instead

  3. That is a really frightening thought Sandy.

  4. IMO this comes back to non-feminist men still viewing women as chattel.
    women only become important when they/we are “their” women.
    I feel a similar dis-ease when people try to fight misogyny with the argument “what if it were your wife/sister/daughter?”. It shouldn’t matter whose wife/sister/daughter she is!

  5. This is interesting though in that it does suggest that these fathers are actively imaging their daughters as people who should achieve equally to men. I don’t think this would have historically always been true. Plenty of fathers in the past expected their daughters to have restricted social roles, educated them in subordination, and even actively limited their education to keep them in their place. And I think such men were as likely just as motivated by love of their daughters as fathers today. So, in many ways, this is a success of feminism that such possibilities are wanted and desired for daughters.
    I am kind of intrigued about what this says about their relationships with their partners though, that such ‘awakening’ took the birth of a daughter.

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