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What's meant by "daddy issues"?

Zorgolio

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It's a phrase I often see tossed around on forums, in movies, books etc.

Usually, if a woman is acting in an "unladylike" fashion, for instance sleeping around or generally being "sleazy", this will be explained by simply stating that "She has daddy issues".

What does that actually mean?

I've never heard it or anything similar in swedish. I very much doubt it is an "american thing", but having an admittedly mildly negative bias towards the culture of the US, I can't help but wonder.

To me, it seems to often be just a hand-wave explanation for something that does not fit snugly into a preconceived notion of how the world functions.

I've often seen it used as an explanation for why some women get into porn. I've never seen any porn actress state this, though.

Do you know what it means? Have you ever been accused of having these "issues"?

To be clear, this has nothing to do with judging people for exploring their sexuality and being open and free about it. I'm just honestly curious about what this phrase actually means.
 

Patchos

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It's a phrase primarily used by men to undermine, degrade and dehumanise women. Don't use it, and if you hear someone else say it, call them out.
 

IntoxicatingToxin

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Saying a woman has "daddy issues" is implying that she's acting in a behavior based on a lack of a father-figure in her youth, or issues she may have had with her father as a child. In theory, from a psychological standpoint, if a girls father isn't around she will often go above and beyond to attract attention from a man because she craved that attention as a youth.
 

Patchos

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Zorgs, you had it right from the beginning; it's a trope commonly used in the media, on tv and in porn. Similar examples are: the Bumbling Father, the Evil Mother-in-law, etc.
 

LaFemme

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Yup, can't disagree with anyone here. While there might be some women with "daddy issues", that particular statement does not apply to all attention seeking women or men. It is a trite way of writing off entire human beings. Men and women both seek attention for a plethora of reasons, far more complex than some silly statement like that would indicate.

I include men although I consider "daddy issues" to be kind of a sexist statement. Certainly there are men who seek attention and lacked fatherly attention. I just don't hear anybody saying "daddy issues" in regard to men. I could be wrong. I just haven't heard it.
 

AlteredEgo

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I actually do have an evil mother in-law. So did she. So does an ex of mine. So did my grandfather. And, if my parents had married, so might have my father, who was terrified of my grandmother because she hatd him and it was no secret.

Me? Fear of abandonment frequently interferes with my relationships and friendships. Guess who was the first person to abandon me? Yup! And then I felt abandoned again when he died. I felt like he abandoned me many times in my life when he promised to spend time with me and didn't even give me the courtesy of cancellation. Yeah. That sort of thing has lasting effects.

Other cultures may not use the phrase, but it's a human relations issue, not an American one. Patchos is the most concerned party in this thread over the phrase, and she's not from the US at all. The real problem is entertainment media tend to overuse and exaggerate this facet of a character's personality, reducing her to only her reactionary, psychological defects, and ignoring her potential to be proactive and dynamic. I am more than any fear of abandonment, and not everything I do traces back to my broken relationship with my father.
The same is true of any woman. It is sexist to believe that every aspect of the sexuality of every woman who doesn't conform to vanilla expectations is linked to unresolved issues with her dad or low self-esteem.
 

Zorgolio

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Thanks for the answers! So basically it's like saying somebody is a "schizo" because they have a hard time making up their minds? It's making light of a serious issue to oversimplify a person's motivations so that it may be put into a convenient category.

Ah, humanity. How did we ever get this far as a species?
 

Patchos

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Thanks for the answers! So basically it's like saying somebody is a "schizo" because they have a hard time making up their minds? It's making light of a serious issue to oversimplify a person's motivations so that it may be put into a convenient category.

Ah, humanity. How did we ever get this far as a species?

Yes, it's similar to that. The example you gave also marginalises people who genuinely suffer from mental health issues. The 'daddy issues' trope is extremely sexist since it's only ever used to describe women; never men.

You may also be interested in reading: What is Slut Shaming?
 

EllieP

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A contractor told me once that I had issues before but not daddy issues. I told him I had exactly 214 issues with this job and he was responsible for over half of them. I do my damn best to get the last word.
 

Patchos

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Your replies to me are bordering on harassment. Use the ignore button in the future.

You should speak to a professional about your hatred of women, it's disturbing.
 

Patchos

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Zorgs, on the subject of sexism:

Internalised sexism (/misogyny) is the effect of growing up in a sexist society where women begin to believe the negative attributes assigned to them, that they are weak or unworthy compared to men. This leads to women policing each other using the same forms of sexism and misogyny they receive.
 

AlteredEgo

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A contractor told me once that I had issues before but not daddy issues. I told him I had exactly 214 issues with this job and he was responsible for over half of them. I do my damn best to get the last word.
I don't know whether to high-five you or hug you! Both!


...And Patchos is absolutely correct. Th phrase is used to categorize women, usually women whose sexuality is expressed in unorthodox ways, and never used to describe men. It is almost always used for slut-shaming.

I will cop to occasionally using it to describe my behavior if I have done something crazy in relation to my fear of abandonment. It isn't a phrase I would ever feel comfy using about someone else's behavior, because I can't claim to know othe people's motives for their behavior. I hate how often it gets tossed around here, whenever some of the men don't like what women have to say. I kind of wish it was okay to slap them.
 
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LaFemme

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I don't know whether to high-five you or hug you! Both!


...And Patchos is absolutely correct. Th phrase is used to categorize women, usually women whose sexuality is expressed in unorthodox ways, and never used to describe men. It is almost always used for slut-shaming.

I will cop to occasionally using it to describe my behavior if I have done something crazy in relation to my fear of abandonment. It isn't a phrase I would ever feel comfy using about someone else's behavior, because I can't claim to know othe people's motives for their behavior. I hate how often it gets tossed around here, whenever some of the men don't like what women have to say. I kind of wish it was okay to slap them.

It's totally ok to slap them! One big ole cyber smack up side the head!

Nobody puts AE in a corner! :smile:
 

Zorgolio

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It's fascinating, and disturbing, to see the amount of hate and nastiness that is spewed daily on the internet. And worse, in real life. Life can be rough enough as it is, why do we make it harder for each other?

This brings to mind Ray Bradbury's short story There Will Come Soft Rains. What it basically is about is that the earth wont miss us humans when we're gone.

That aside I do appreciate the clarification that the answers to my question has brought. Thanks for the input!

Are there any similar phrases that I should know about?