We don't always hear fathers' thoughts about feminism...but this husband-and-wife duo is encouraging that important father-daughter conversation.

By Zara Husaini Hanawalt
October 09, 2017

When married couple Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina embarked on a project of photoraphing 365 women for a book they were working on, they quickly realized something: The conversation around feminism is almost always told through stories of women.

Credit: Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina​

"We're used to women talking about feminism and issues of women's role in our society, but to win every battle I think you need all hands on deck," Hinchey told Parents.com. "[My wife] was like 'I'd really like to hear what men have to say about feminism. I'd like to hear them talking with their daughters to get a different perspective.'"

Credit: Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina​

That's how the couple's "Dear Daughters" project was born: Hinchey and Messina, who have a 10-year-old daughter of their own, put the spotlight on the conversations fathers and daughters have about the issue. The project, a series of photographs accompanied by video and text, illuminates the way fathers can have open conversations about women's rights with their kids.

Credit: Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina 

The couple met with 22 father-daughter pairs—they asked them to play a board game, which Messina and the couple's daughter created, leading them through a series of questions to encourage discussion about feminism, and to teach both the dads and their daughters a few things.

Credit: Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina​​

"[The point of this] was to get another perspective. To get the men on board and to get them to talk about the issue too," Hinchey said. "It just became a fun interaction. It became a moment of them bonding, having fun over a game, and at the same time helping each other. It's not easy for an 11-year-old, and it's not easy for a man to talk about certain things. The game really facilitated a conversation."

Credit: Sham Hinchey and Marzia Messina

The project's video appears above, and you can learn more about the couple's work here. Has this inspired you to encourage a similar discussion between the dads and daughters in your life?

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May 20, 2020