It can be really, really tough to be a teenager. Everyone tests their parents, explores their boundaries, and feels that urge to step out on their own – and when you have parents who consider themselves strict or traditional, things can get a little sticky at home.
This sixteen-year-old was a little bewildered at her father’s response to her good news that she’d been asked to a school dance, and things kind of snowballed from there.
Some context: My (16F) high school has an annual fall dance. Not last year, for obvious reasons. But it’s back on this year with covid restrictions, of course, and it’s been unseasonably warm this season (thanks global warming?) so a lot of the dance will be taking place outside.
Anyway, the boys are supposed to ask the girls, and yesterday at lunch, a boy asked me and I agreed to go with him.
When she told her parents about the dance her dad started joking about “answering the door with a shotgun,” which she didn’t think was very funny.
My dad has always been a traditional kind of guy when it comes to me and my younger sister (14F). So last night at dinner, I mentioned that I had a date for the dance, and he made a crack about answering the door with his shotgun. The thing is, I’m pretty sure he would do it.
She told him she wasn’t comfortable with that and for some reason, he started going off about how now she’s probably going to get all “slutty” and get pregnant or “give it all away” to the first boy to ask her on a date.
He ended that with the line that she would be the kind of girl “no self-respecting man would want to marry.”
I told him that if he was going to be like that, I’d just meet up with our friend group at school. He then got very serious and told me in an angry tone that he didn’t want me sneaking around with some guy without his knowledge. He asked me what I even knew about this guy.
He then said he didn’t want me to to turn into one of those “slutty girls” who give it all away to the first guy they meet and who no self-respecting man would ever want to marry.
OP considers herself a good kid (and it sounds like she is) and it hurt that her parents wouldn’t trust her anymore than they were saying when she’s never given them any reason to doubt her judgment.
Not only that, but she knows her father was in a frat in college and was super into the whole bro culture there.
That’s when I flipped a switch. I like to think I’m a pretty good kid. I get good grades, I play volleyball, I help my sister with her homework and help drive her to her soccer practice, I’ve never had a boyfriend. So being talked to like I was some lovestruck idiot who was going to wind up pregnant because I’m choosing to go to a dance with a friend really annoyed me.
Also, I know a bit about my dad’s history. He was in a frat in college, and he’s told stories to my cousin (18M), who recently started college at a big state school where frat culture is a big thing.
She informed him that she’s mature enough to handle a date, and since the only slut in the family seemed to be him, her mother must not have had any self respect when she married him.
So I told him that:
a) this guy is my friend and he seems nice, but if he turns out to be a dick I’ll figure it out
b) I only agreed to go to a dance. The last time I checked, going to a dance was not a binding sexual contract.
And here’s where I may have crossed the line. I told him that I knew he was in a frat in college, and I know what goes on in those places. I also know the stories he’s told my cousin. So in the heat of the moment, I said something along the lines of:
“By your own logic, the only slut in the family is you.”
Then I looked at my mom and said “you must have had no self-respect to have married him.”
She’s worried she crossed a line since she clearly hurt their feelings, but she still feels like they were being unfair and her feelings are hurt, too.
By the looks on their faces, I could tell what I said was hurtful. And then of course, I got yelled at and probably won’t be able to go to the dance at all.
But I feel like it’s unfair for him to give me a lecture about “slutty” behavior and self-worth when he’s recently been bragging to my male cousin about doing MUCH worse things when he was just a few years older than me.
But maybe I crossed the line trying to prove my point. AITA?
For what it’s worth, she did decide to apologize to her mother and they had a good chat.
I took the comments saying I need to apologize to my mom to heart, and I realized y’all were right – she didn’t deserve that. I made her an omelette and a coffee and brought it to her in bed and sat down with her on the bed so we could talk about what happened.
My dad was out of the house. I just explained to her that I said what I did last night out of anger, and that I was hurt that all these horrible accusations were being thrown at me when I feel like I’ve given them no reason to doubt my judgement. I apologized to her and told her how out of line it was for me to attack her when it wasn’t her who I was angry at.
And that I feel like my dad doesn’t really see me as a valuable person because he believes that I’m not smart enough to take my own decisions seriously, and that if I did make a mistake, I wouldn’t be worth anything to him or anyone. I cried, because it was hurtful.
She understood and was starting to talk, but then my dad walked in.
Where is Reddit going to come down on this one? Let’s hear them out!
Some of the commenters thought her mother was just as wrong for not standing up for her daughter in the face of such obvious slut shaming.
I mean, we’re not judging dad for sleeping around, we’re judging him for judging her.
Good for her for holding her ground, and we hope it sank in.
Mom probably needs to re-think a few things, too.
I’m not sure this is all that fun…
Y’all, his whole tirade made me see red, and also be thankful for the parents I have.
If this was your daughter, how would you have handled it as the dad? As the mum? Tell us down in the comments!