Daddy Issues, or How to Make the World Safe for Femininity

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People ask me what it’s like to be the only man in a home with three women. I tell them it’s fine, it just means that at any given moment, there is a 50 percent chance that somebody is crying.

Sure, I’m joking, but, you know, joking in the sense of saying something completely accurate. I’m not complaining. It’s all part of the feminine experience which is, ultimately, good.

Still, as the father of two young girls, I am witness to so much crying, a lot of it about things it would never have occurred to me to cry about.

CD player won’t work? Cry about it.

Can’t separate a couple of LEGOs? Cry about it.

Don’t know where you put your hairbrush? Throw yourself and the floor and sob.

Some of this is just childishness. But a lot of it is pure feminine energy that is as of yet, unformed and immature. Nothing puts the differences between male and female in high relief like raising children of the opposite sex.

For example, let’s consider my reactions as a boy to the above scenarios.

CD player won’t work? Yell for dad.

Can’t separate a couple of LEGO’s? Throw them against the wall until they blow apart.

Don’t know where you put your hairbrush? Great. Maybe mom won’t be able to find it either.

Boys and girls are, you can no doubt see, different.

And so, the role of the father is different in the lives of boys and girls. The role of a father in a girls’ life is to make a space, a safe protected space, where the untutored, feminine wildness she embodies can be lovingly trained into mature womanhood.

It’s no easy task.

Both of my daughters are very girly girls. Every day, I step over mounds of My Little Ponies, wade through rivers of barrettes, hair bands and stuffed animals. I’ve lost count of how many Barbies are in our house. Never once have they asked for a toy sword or bow and arrow, my favorite childhood toys.

Part of my job is to provide a contrast to that nascent femininity. That’s one reason fathers are important in girls’ lives.

In an age that celebrates single mothers as valiant and courageous, we are told that fathers don’t matter. Press some people, and they might grant that ok, boys need fathers to teach them how to be men, but little girls? Little girls have moms, and moms can do it all! Moms are all we need!

Like most of what we hear in the esteemed outlets of mainstream opinion, this notion is bogus.

The fact is that little girls needs fathers every bit as much as little boys. Healthy, mature femininity grows from a father’s masculinity as much as from the femininity mother models.

In her father, a little girl finds the solid rock of masculine authority, clarity and protection. Without this, she cannot grow up to be an emotionally healthy woman unafraid to embrace her feminine nature. Femininity blossoms best within a the garden of the home surrounded by the strong walls of a father’s love.

Little girls know this intuitively. When the wall that should be surround them is, for whatever reason, less than secure, something goes haywire in their development. Instead of a beautiful flower, weeds and brambles grow.

Most fathers now, simply don’t provide the kind of foundation little girls need. Seeing the effects of this requires no great insight. Hatred of femininity among women is epidemic. The determination to take on men in every avenue of life to the attempt to look, to behave like men, the outright attacks on their own bodies in the form of numerous piercings and tattoos, all make it obvious a lot of women have not had the foundation of a strong father.

There is a reason why dysfunctional women are jokingly referred to in popular culture as having “Daddy Issues”. Most people intuit that a failed relationship with her father is going to have lifelong implications for a woman. This fact is often treated dismissively because to take it seriously would mean contradicting certain tenets of contemporary orthodoxy, specifically the notions that men and and women are exactly the same and that therefore a mother alone is just as good as a mother and father together.

The widespread idea that men in general, and fathers specifically, are worthless has left in its wake a countless horde of damaged feminine souls. When daddy is kicked out of the picture, he isn’t replaced by mommy, but by a whole host of dysfunctions ranging from depression to full-blown cluster b disorders. Again, the foundation of healthy femininity in a daughter is healthy masculinity in her father.

Even most fathers now can’t see this. Young women suffer most, not because feminists believe their fathers are worthless, but because fathers believe fathers are worthless. As fathers have come to accept their status as an unnecessary appendage to the family, things have gone downhill for girls. If feminists were really concerned about the welfare of women, they would be focusing their efforts not on organizing yet another slutwalk, but on strengthening and honoring fathers.

They will never do this. So, we must. The only way out of this situation, the only way to make the world safe for femininity is for fathers to to assert our masculine nature. We must know ourselves and our duties. We must throw off the shame laid upon us by a feminized culture. It is we, and we alone, who can raise the necessary walls, enforce the border between the damaging forces of the world and the feminine souls they seek to devour.

Only a father’s love can make the space a little girl needs to become a glory, a fully mature expression of all that is good in the feminine. Only a father’s love can be that base, a solid rock in the churning world upon which the souls of little girls might firmly stand.

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7 responses

  1. Hi Dean.
    Thank you from the great post.
    Could you please write about some advice you would give for girls who grew up without a father? Nowadays it’s pretty common, but most of all, I think it would be worthy because more and more women are running away from feminism after its lies about success, fulfillment and safety (as the movement supported Islam in Europe, for example). Lots of women were co-opted by feminism and are leaving it because they search for bigger things than reducitve materialist philosophy and can’t find it anywhere in the culture (but in Christian philosophy, which is also corrupted by materialism, as Evangelicalism shows). Women who look inside themselves and become honest about their nature and need leave feminism but have nowhere to go in our culture. This ‘where to go’, this compass point to north should be their fathers. But as you said, they can’t give it to them, in general, in out culture.
    Thank you if you could attend my suggestion.
    Congratulations for your amazing and necessary work.

  2. Excellent post, and profoundly true in my experience.

    I married a woman whose father abandoned her and her mother. We now have a daughter together. My wife envies my relationship with her. The reason my relationship with my daughter is healthy is that it comes from living the archetypes you describe — although there are days that test all our patience!

    About a week ago, I finally assented to the pattern I saw, over and over again. The image of the female psyche is, at bottom, that of a mother bending over her beloved child in a cave. Outside is the storm and the hunt. If her man outside dies, she is alone, bereft, and has to do everything herself. This makes her anxious in every way, and at every level.

    The man’s job — if he wants the woman to be healthy in every sense — is to protect her and that cave. Only then will she be emotionally prepared and willing to join him outside of it.

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