Sunday, October 6, 2013

Scandal Indeed: Olivia Pope and her Daddy Issues are a Motha!

They say that all girls marry their father. If that's the case, are some of us screwed? On this week's episode of SCANDAL, we got a little peek into what makes Olivia Pope tick and apparently it's a complicated relationship with her father, Rowan, aka, Daddy Pope, formerly known as Senator Whitley's Byron, played perfectly by Joe Morton.

Rowan is an extremely powerful, terrifying, ruthless, abusive individual who will literally put mofos in a hole if they even think of stepping out of line. Despite being the CEO of Goon Inc., he's still a father, and when Olivia is outed as the president's sidepiece, he swoops in to save his baby girl from herself. Whether he's doing it because he loves his daughter, wants to control her, or a combination of the two remains to be seen, but it's classic father behavior. Like his daughter, he's a fixer (albeit Rowan's methods are a tad more extreme),
so naturally he comes in to rescue Olivia and tries to "fix" what's broken.

But, he can’t just be a savior. Nope, he has to yell at her, denigrate her, insult her, and reduce a grown, intelligent, powerful woman in her own right to a scared, trembling child. I mean, in the first five minutes of the show, Daddy Pope read Olivia for FILTH, and Olivia couldn't do anything but deal:

Rowan: “You raised your skirt and opened your knees and gave it away to a man with too much power. You’re not rare. You’re not special. Your story’s no different than a thousand other stories in this town so you know how this goes. You could call this in your sleep. First they’ll smile, be warm, sympathetic, on your side, letting you know that they will fight for you. They will pull you into a false sense of security. And then, once your belly is exposed, they will gut you. And they will be swift about it. And by the time you realize you should be fighting back, well, you’re already bleeding to death. That is the presidency versus you. Whose victory do you think they will fight for? Whose body do you think they will bury?” Olivia: “He would never do…” Rowan: “He would never. You and I both know that he is not in charge. He is never in charge. Power is in charge. Power got him elected. I know more than you could possibly imagine about things of which you cannot dream. He told you that you would be first lady, and you believed him! Did I not raise you better? How many times have I told you, you have to be…what? You have to be…what?” Olivia: “Twice…” Rowan: “What?!” Olivia: “Twice as good.” Rowan: “Twice as good as them to get half of what they have. Sleeping with that…For God’s sake! You know to aim higher. At the very least, you could have aimed for chief of staff, secretary of state! First lady! Do you have to be so mediocre?” (Source:
Unfortunately, for some people, this is also classic father behavior.

During the episode, we discover Olivia may have a penchant for older, powerful men. Fitz (in all his awful, selfish, manipulative man child glory), certainly fits the bill. Rowan is also extremely powerful. See the connection here? Olivia may not be here for her father's God complex, but there’s a reason she’s attracted to power and a reason why she doesn’t exactly get along with Daddy Pope, and it’s deeper than just “all girls marry their fathers.” Maybe it’s more like what Iyanla said on a recent "Fix My Life" episode, all women marry their fathers. We marry who our father was, who we wanted him to be, and we marry the father of our fantasies.

This is so real for me because I too have a messy relationship with my father. I’m not a “daddy’s girl” by any stretch of the imagination. Now, my dad is no Rowan, but he ain't Cliff Huxatable either. Let's just say that some fathers have no concept of anything but the tough-love-with-a-side-order-of-fear approach without any regard for a little thing called self-esteem (Love you, dad, but let's keep it 100).

The thought of marrying anyone remotely like my dad scares the crap out of me. However, like Daddy Goon, my dad will swoop like Captain-Save-A-Daughter in a heartbeat to "fix" something. He'll just make you feel like ish while he's doing it. The "twice as good to get half of what they have" stuff? My dad never said that directly to me, but it was implied like a mug (I think many children of color of a certain generations can relate to that one). I love my dad, but I don’t want to marry anyone with the characteristics that make our father-daughter relationship so complicated. So does that mean I want to marry the man I wanted my dad to be? Does Olivia? What camp does she fall into? If all us gals who want to get married are really just looking for our dads, aren’t we just setting ourselves up for disappointment? Can we just take our dads out of this, and just be open to a good guy?

Man, they don’t call them Daddy Issues for nothing.

Stay Random,


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