It’s pretty widely acknowledged that ignoring someone’s bad behavior is the same as participating in the behavior ourselves.
By not trying to put a stop to the act, we’re essentially saying that we’re comfortable with it continuing, reasoned the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
But Redditor Scary_Foundation_608 was worried about losing his friendship if he pointed out to a guy that his sexist jokes were harmful.
When his sister called him out on enabling his friend, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if he actually was in the wrong for looking the other way each time.
He asked the sub:
“AITA for ignoring my friend’s sexist remarks toward my sister instead of calling him out on them?”
The OP had a sexist friend.
“One of my [26 Male] friends is really sexist. He [26 Male] still has a really old-fashioned view of women in that they should stay at home and cook for men and shouldn’t challenge men in any way, and he also makes a slew of s**tty sexist jokes.”
“My friends and I usually just ignore him when he says that stuff and he’s actually a cool guy besides all that.”
His sister got to meet the sexist friend on her birthday.
“I invited my big sister [28 Female] for a dinner yesterday since we hadn’t seen each other in about two months.”
“My sister is a stout feminist advocate, and in her free time, she advocates for equal pay and treatment for women in the workplace and other things of that regard.”
“I picked her up while also dropping off my sexist friend at his house, and during the car ride, my friend was being a f**king idiot, and was making the same s**tty sexist jokes and remarks that he always makes.”
“My sister told him to shut the f**k up (they actually have never met before).”
“He flipped out and spat out a slew of sexist s**t, and honestly he was speaking so fast, I couldn’t even understand what he said. The dude was literally foaming at the mouth.”
“At that exact moment we arrived at his house, so he got out of the car and slammed my car door shut.”
The OP’s sister called him out for enabling his friend.
“After my sister and I left for the restaurant where we were supposed to have dinner, my sister was p**sed and asked me why I tolerate him and why he’s my friend.”
“I told her the truth that I just ignore what he says about women because other than that. he’s a cool dude.”
“My sister then got really mad, and then she asked to be dropped off at her home instead of dinner.”
“I obliged, but it still sucks that we couldn’t have had dinner with each other.”
“I’ve never approved of what my friend says about women and never say anything in agreement with him, so what’s the issue?”
“Me saying anything won’t change his mind, and I didn’t want to risk losing his friendship.”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some insisted the OP was enabling his friend, which made him the AH.
“YTA. ‘He’s actually a cool guy besides all that,’ but he was ‘literally foaming at the mouth’ while telling someone how much he hates women.”
“Defending your sister isn’t even my main issue. Spending time with and defending an asshole like this who spends his free time hating on women says more about your character than his.”
“We need more men to actually stand up for what’s right in the world, and standing by allowing people to spew sexist and misogynistic s**t like this isn’t the way to do it.”
“Do better for your mother, your sister, your future wife, and kids. Do better for yourself.” – originalglazedkrispy
“The OP actually has no problem with what this guy is saying. If it bothered him at all, he wouldn’t be so close with this guy.”
“He’s the type that internally agrees but knows he’d look like an AH, or more of an AH, if he actually expressed that.”
“He clearly thinks his sister was just being a sensitive little female, and she shouldn’t have caused a scene.” – Ok-Beginning-5922
“Notice how dismissively he refers to fundamental human rights like equal pay for equal work, decent treatment for women in the workplace, ‘and things of that regard,’ like they’re trivial, silly things that don’t concern ‘people.'” – ThaneOfCawdorrr
“He referred to his sister as a ‘stout feminist who advocates for equal pay.’ Does OP even hear himself?”
“Doesn’t matter if you never verbally agree, staying silent around people like that is tacit agreement and complicity.”
“If you don’t verbally or visibly disagree and instead ‘let it slide,’ then you are communicating silent agreement with them.”
“OP, YTA for not shutting him down *every time you hear that drivel”. And more so for exposing your sister to that.” – aLittleQueer
“At least it’s very obvious that neither OP’s s**tty friend nor OP himself considers women to be ‘people.’ I hate that we live in 2022 and there are still so many people like this.” – coastalshelves
Others agreed and said the OP needed to surround himself with better friends.
“The only good news in this?”
“At least the sister now knows EXACTLY who OP is, so she and his family can stop respecting him.”
“Awesome work, OP. At least you’ll still have the respect of your small-minded, fragile ego’ed, bad-tempered, old-fashioned, woman-hating incel friend.” – ItsAboutResilience
“The way he types this up, I honestly… You know in the movies when there is a s**tty group/gang/crew, and there is Alpha AH, and then there is his bestie the S**t Starter that winds him up to being an AH…”
“And then, they have a little boot licking friend, Bottom Boy? OP gives off Bottom Boy vibes. Bottom of the pack and he’ll do anything for their acceptance and approval.”
“Like, he’ll bend over backward and show his belly to his s**tty friends and sure sure, he didn’t lay a hand on the girl but, he definitely wouldn’t stop them from r@ping her. THAT guy in the movies.”
“That guy in the movie? That’s OP. To me, anyhow.”
“YTA, OP. Stop being a follower of an AH and become the man that the women in your life deserve.”
“If someone raised their voice to me in my brother’s car, he wouldn’t have gotten the chance to froth at the mouth. Even if he didn’t resort to violence because my brothers aren’t that type, they dang sure would have been walking the rest of the way home as soon as they raised their voice at me.”
“Do not pass Go. Do not collect $200.” – EvenOutlandishness88
“I can understand the sentiment of ‘it doesn’t affect me so I’m not gonna bother with it.’ I don’t agree with it, it’s weak AF and is very character telling, but I can understand the thought process behind it.”
“So when OP’s friend is spouting his bulls**t, it’s easy for OP to ignore because, ‘hey, there’s no actual women around and it’s not like he’s talking about anyone I know.'”
“However, this wasn’t just the usual spouting of bulls**T into thin air. This was very targeted rage at someone that, presumably, OP cares about and has a good relationship with.”
“He was insulting and verbally attacking his sister, and OP just sat there like a useless lump. Maybe it’s easy to ignore when there’s no present target, but Op pretty much gave him a target in an environment she couldn’t walk away from.”
“He says he doesn’t agree with his friend but the fact that he includes him in his circle, and said nothing to the disrespect being aimed at his sister, tells me that:”
“Op secretly agrees with his friend.”
“Op says he doesn’t like it but really doesn’t care at all about it.”
“Op is so spineless and desperate for this man’s approval and friendship that he’ll just sit by and allow him to do/say whatever.”
“Op values his relationship with a b*got more than his relationship with his sister.”
“Any of these could be true, it could be a combination, but every option leads to YTA.” – Msbhavn69
“OP doesn’t know people will judge you by the company you keep. If he gets so upset from a stranger, he is doing it to everyone.” – _Wheatmoney
“These d**kheads know which side their bread is buttered. He’ll keep his mouth (mostly) shut when there are potential consequences, like at work. But his friendship group is consequence-free, so he says what he wants.”
“It’s such an indictment about the OP that this ghoul knew that not only can he say vile things in front of him, but he can even say vile things to the OP’s sister, and the OP wouldn’t defend her!” – hdhxuxufxufufifffif
After receiving feedback, the OP shared an update in the comments.
“Bit of an update and some extra information to qualm some fears of my sister.”
“I talked to my friends late last night and they agree with ghosting the sexist former friend.”
“As for my sister, I picked her up from a Walgreens, so my former friend doesn’t know her address or my address.”
“I will tell my sister to avoid that Walgreens as much as possible from now on.”
While the OP thought he had done nothing wrong while staying quiet while his friend talked, the subReddit didn’t think so. It was telling that this was the sort of company he was keeping and that when his sister was the target, the OP still did nothing.
Hopefully he and his other friends will stick to the ghosting plan.