A fiery debate occurred on Reddit’s Am I The A**hole (AITA) when a man talked about introducing his girlfriend to his family. The man explained that he had a large family that met up very close every few months. While you may think this sounds very sweet, the man revealed that the family adheres to old-fashioned stereotypes.
There Is a Clear Gender Divide
The man explained that when the family meets up at his Grandfather’s estate, they all eat together, with the women cooking. While the women head to the kitchen to cook, the men socialize and wait for the food to be put out. The man knows that such behavior is very sexist but insists it is a family tradition and his family would not understand if he queried their actions.
Women Who Don’t Help Out Are Ostracized
The man said some women do not help with cooking, but they are usually wives or girlfriends who have been in the family for a long time. If there is ever a newcomer to the family who does not cook, they are ostracized. Women risk being called names and spoken about behind their backs, something he doesn’t want his girlfriend to experience.
He Told His Girlfriend That She Should Cook
A family dinner is coming up, and the man is excited for his girlfriend to get to know everyone. When he invited his girlfriend to dinner, she was initially excited but then learned she would be expected to cook. He tried to explain that cooking was a family tradition and that it would not be permanent but something that he wanted her to do to start with.
He Begged Her to Play Along
While the man told his girlfriend he knew where she was coming from, he stressed that it was “ best for everyone if she just played along.” He believes that as it is her first chance to make an impression, she should not “cause waves” by not following the ritual. His words did not calm his girlfriend, and he said it was “unacceptable” to expect her to cook and that she would not attend if that were the case.
He Was Accused of Being the Same as Everyone Else
The man’s girlfriend is unwilling to budge and has accused her boyfriend of being just as bad as his family if he accepts this sexist behavior. The OP stressed that he is only asking her to comply so that she makes a good impression on his family.
People Responded with the Real Questions He Should Be Asking
In a witty response, one reader said that the title of the man’s post should read, “Why is my girlfriend mad that my family expects her to cook for them after inviting her to dinner as a guest?”. This post got likes, as did another who said the post should be titled “Why won’t my girlfriend abandon her sense of self-respect so that she can establish herself as a subservient woman-tool so that my sexist family won’t mentally and verbally abuse her?!”.
A Guest Should Never have to Cook
Some readers noted that the sexist behavior from the man’s family is not unusual in itself, as many families live their lives this way. One person recalled how the women in her family always cooked or took on the role of housewife while men went out to work. However, this poster said, “it would have been unheard of to expect a woman who was meeting her family for the first time to participate in the cooking.” The consensus was that, while stereotyping was a big problem, the main issue was expecting a guest to cook for people.
He Needs to Stand Up for his Girlfriend
People were unhappy that the man was proclaimed to be progressive, yet he was not willing to stand up to his family. One person commented, “ It’s pretty clear the act of not being a subservient woman in this family makes them unlikely to accept you.” There were many calls for the woman to ditch her boyfriend if he continued begging her to go through with cooking for his family.
A Call to All Men
There was a strong call for men to stand up for women, with one person saying, “Stop expecting marginalized groups to compromise so that others don’t have to confront their bigoted belief systems.” Another made the point that women always have to compromise to make men happy and never the other way around.
People Are Hoping the Girlfriend Stays Away
The post brought up a lot of disparaging comments for the man, and there was very little support for him. Most of the support was for the girlfriend as people begged her to dump him, with one commentator saying, “I think maybe the worst part is how they treat the women who don’t participate in this. This is a seriously toxic family system, and I think OP’s girlfriend should just stay away.”
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