When we say a woman has "daddy issues," what are we saying about her? Anyone whose relationship with his or her father negatively affects his or her current relationships could be said to have these "issues." The term is most often used, though, when we assume that a woman we perceive as attention-seeking or unlucky in love is acting on the basis of a messed-up father-daughter dynamic.
In the latest episode of her series Report Card on Refinery29's comedy channel, RIOT, comedian Shannon Coffey explores the definition of "daddy issues" and how the term is used to shame women.
"I think it's always used to describe acting out for attention, but specifically male attention," her guest and fellow comedian Naomi Ekperigin points out.
"It's important to remember that men also have 'daddy issues,' not just women," adds psychologist Niloo Dardashti, PsyD.
It's also important to remember that unless you're a woman's therapist, it's not your role to ascribe anything about her to her relationship with her father. "Usually when I hear the term 'daddy issues,' it's from someone being super judge-y over how a woman is dressed," Coffey says — and while maybe she does have a complicated relationship with her dad, "maybe she just wants to show off her cool-ass boobs!"
View the video above for more thoughts on this loaded term.