Is 'Call Her Daddy' Evening the Playing Field, or Just Internalizing Misogyny?

The opinions expressed in this article are the author's own and do not reflect the views of Her Campus.

While there are plenty of podcasts surrounding dating culture, Call Her Daddy has taken the world by storm. After its inception in Oct. 2018 and the virality of episodes like "The Gluck Gluck 9000" and "You’re Just a Hole," the show has become a household name (and by household, I mean any house containing anyone aged 18-24). Post splitting with her OG co-host, Sofia Franklyn, in 2020, Alexandra Cooper has continued to take millions of listeners worldwide on a weekly journey filled with sex tips, dating advice and insight into what her own dating life looks like on the day-to-day. 

After the initial hype surrounding the show and its dissection of a somewhat relatable, realistic dating culture, many have begun to take to platforms such as TikTok to highlight their issues with the show. Cooper has come out amidst allegations that her show is simply internalized misogyny masquerading as women empowerment, and explained that her show does, in fact, aim to empower all women. However, you wouldn't be able to tell from the dozens of episodes that commodify and deflate the worth of women in comparison to their male counterparts. From consistently telling girls that “they’re just a hole,” to detailing numerous ways to cheat on your partner, Cooper has defined women as subject to the men they are around. Yet, in all of the chaos surrounding Call Her Daddy and podcasts like it, I'm not entirely sure where I stand on the matter.

 

Barring the internalized misogyny, the show has provided all the advice and insight into dating (and by dating, I mean hookup) culture I wish I'd received from an older sister as I was going into my freshman year of college. Coming from a male-dominated family, it was reassuring that even if I personally didn’t apply her advice, Cooper still told my friends and I how it plainly was. Anything was fair game — how to trap a f*ckboy, avoid STIs and even random feminine hygiene hacks. When I first began listening, it seemed that as sexist as the show and its platform, Barstool Sports, continued to be, everything around me validated their misogynistic messages. All of the advice Cooper gave actually worked — especially and specifically in a college setting — so why feel guilty listening, right? 

Don’t get me wrong – I wasn't blinded to the explicit degradation of women in the show, but it seemed that the only way that our world worked (or at least, the world around me) was beating men at their own game. And even if TikTokers and other critics won’t admit it, this was Alex Cooper’s specialty. 

It gets better, though. In my years after discovering the show, I’ve come to realize that while Cooper’s show may provide comedic relief, her perception, and therefore advice, regarding sex, relationships and hookup culture only perpetuate misogyny — and we continue to allow it. Many, not excluding myself, have used the popularity and acceptance of the podcast as justification for behavior otherwise deemed questionable to ourselves. But that, in itself, is the paradox.

Call Her Daddy continually furthers misogynistic values, and that definitely can be found in older episodes of the show. Even with the tangible advice given by hosts (previous to their split), the show only fed into the toxic hookup culture surrounding us all. While Cooper has begun to take a more "health and wellness" approach in more recent episodes – by highlighting the mental health aspects of dating and sex and providing “healthier” anecdotes – it's important to remember that her show has the ability to reach millions and therefore, has the potential to drastically change dating culture.