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“If she’s got daddy issues, she’s got a good p***y” is an actual quote I have seen numerous times on the internet.

Daddy issues is an informal term used to describe a person that has a troubling relationship with their father. The issues that arise from the broken relationship with their father seeps into how the individual pursues and acts in romantic relationships.

(In)famous neurologist Sigmund Freud coined the term “daddy issues” with his original idea of the father complex. The father complex was basically about unconscious decisions made by a child based on the relationship with their father, either good or bad. Through time, the father complex became a negative connotation, eventually turning into what we know today as daddy issues.

Who can get daddy issues? Everyone can, but today’s culture associates it exclusively with women.

When people think of a woman who doesn’t have a good relationship with her dad, they think of her as broken, desperate and lost. Making these assumptions to a woman that had a rocky relationship with their father can ultimately be used as a weapon against her, whether these assumptions are true or not.

Men have somehow weaved their way into seeing these assumptions as an opportunity to fetishize those with daddy issues in an attempt to feed their savior complex. “I can fix her.” No Chad, you can’t fix childhood trauma and it’s actually quite douchey of you to assume she has broken tendencies because of her past. What can fix her is therapy and allowance for proper healing. To boost more of their egos, men have sexualized broken father-daughter relationships to the point of desensitization, where it is now trendy or “hot” to have it.

They think that women with daddy issues are willing to do anything in order to seek the male validation they never had. Anything. Men think it’s hot when really it’s disgusting to know that there are men who actively seek a woman’s trauma for a sexual opportunity.

“I wouldn’t stick around with her, she’s got daddy issues.”

Notice how using the phrase “daddy issues” blames the daughter and not the father who failed to be a better parental figure. It pushes shame onto the child which is completely unfair. She did not have control over how her father treated her, nor did she deserve to be labeled and have to carry all the baggage that comes with this phrase. So why do people use it as a weapon against women?

Disguised misogyny.

If a man comes out saying he has daddy issues, he’s less likely to be sexualized or objectified. That’s the messed-up thing about this term. The pain and trauma endured by women from their absent or unhealthy relationship with their fathers have ultimately been desensitized.

At this point, we understand that society generally assumes that all women with daddy issues are troubled.

Not all women with daddy issues are lost causes who are just about ready to jump into an older man’s arms, despite what Lana Del Rey has told you.

Generalizing troubling tendencies to the modern-day father complex is dangerous. It causes assumptions about an individual with a struggling past that may or may not even be true about them. As a reminder to society, anyone can be “broken, desperate, or lost,” despite what went on during their childhood.

There are many women with absent fathers who have turned out to be just fine, however, women who struggle in adulthood romance because of their father issues are less likely to seek help because of the way society shamed them.

A little personal input here.

I have “daddy issues.” I hate to even say it because society has taught me to associate it with shame and disgrace; feelings that should not belong to me.

At some point, I liked the fact that I identified with having daddy issues. I thought it made me more desirable to men. It’s only recently that I realized I was brainwashed by their narrative, sexualizing myself and not focusing on the help that I truly need in order to heal.

The issues with daddy issues are that through time the term has been used as a weapon against women who had no control over their trauma. The sexualization, destigmatization, and generalization of the modern-day father complex is just the result.

Someone who has had a not-so-good relationship with their dad should not feel like they’re at fault, the dad should.  Men being part of the problem and blaming it on women is misogyny at heart.

Yoo-hoo, It's Mary Kay here! I'm a 4th-year Advertising student at San Jose State University. Other than being a writer for Her Campus, I also currently intern at Dwight, Bentel & Hall Communications as a copywriter.
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