Sometimes, humor is in the eye of the beholder. That’s especially true of jokes that hinge on an insult.
One Redditor discovered that recently, and he shared the story in a post on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as AITATABadJoke on the site, laid it out in the title:
“AITA for making a joke about my pregnant SIL or is my brother overreacting?”
OP led with a rundown of his family situation.
“I (32-year-old male) am child free. I always thought my little brother would be too, but he actually really likes kids.”
“I always thought my SIL must be behind him feeling like that, but he says he’s the one who really wants them but I don’t know if I believe that honestly.”
“She’s currently pregnant with their second child and they already have a one year old.”
Then he thought he’d inject some humor into the situation.
“They were over to celebrate our dad’s birthday and my mom told SIL she was sure she was exhausted and to sit down and rest and not help with the dishes.”
“I fake pouted and jokingly asked why she offered the broodmare rest but not her son who’s been helping her all day.”
“I expected my mom to laugh and sort of swat my shoulder like she usually would, but it was silent.”
That silence would eventually end.
“My brother asked me WTF I just said about his wife. I laughed it off and said to take it easy, it was just a joke. He demanded I explain what was funny about calling his wife a broodmare.”
“By that point I was irritated and said they’re the ones who thought popping out kids close together was a smart idea and at this point that’s what she essentially was.”
“He called me a disgusting immature a**hole for how I spoke about his wife.”
Then came the blowback.
“My dad told me to leave and my mom refuses to answer any calls or texts other than once to tell me she was disappointed in me.”
“I really thought my family was just overreacting but now several of my friends are saying I was being an a**hole to my SIL and that there was no reason for me to say that.”
“I really was just kidding though, am I really the a**hole just because my joke fell flat?”
Anonymous strangers weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors explained that, indeed, OP had been an a**hole.
The top comment walked through it all step by step.
“YTA big time.”
“1- you refuse to believe your brother could possibly want a different life than you, despite his insistence.”
“2- you compare your sister in law to a horse”
“3- when literally no one takes your side, you double down to the point of being kicked out and everyone stops talking to you.”
“I’m gonna make something clear. I’m childfree too! I totally understand your choice in not having kids.”
“However!! Your decisions are your own and have ZERO bearing on your brother’s and his wife’s decisions. It’s one thing to disagree about what’s best for either of you, it’s completely another to insult their choices and, again, insult your SIL and compare her to livestock”
“It’s people like you that make the rest of the childfree community look like selfish, arrogant sh**heads and you need to fucking stop. Being childfree is a choice we make for ourselves, and we don’t interfere with or belittle other people for making different ones.”
“Go to/call your brother and SIL and APOLOGIZE. SINCERELY. Because what you did is an absolutely valid reason for them to cut you out of their lives, and their kids’ lives, forever.” — Amaranth_Addams
Others kept their responses blunt.
“YTA. Calling anyone a broodmare isn’t okay. Implying that her only value is having babies.”
“And you’re wrong for assuming that your SIL must be the driving force behind your brother wanting kids. It takes two to make a baby. He clearly wants to be a dad.”
“And 18 months to 2 years between the kids isn’t an unusual age gap. Pretty normal honestly.” — nathashanails
“Lol your joke didn’t fall flat. It wasn’t a joke, and it was in poor taste. You know how they say there’s truth in the joke?”
“YTA. And a giant baby for being mad you had to help over a pregnant woman who was a guest.” — pennywhistlesmoonpie
“YTA broodmare? You are seriously the a hole!”
“And no, you weren’t just kidding. You were being nasty to your brothers wife because of your issues with their reproductive choices! None of which are your business!” — Embarrassed_Hat_2904
“YTA. No (pregnant) woman would like to be called a broodmare, it’s really offensive. It’s their decision to have children close in age, your joke makes you sound like you’re judging them for it.”
“Being pregnant isn’t always great and easy, it costs much more energy than doing some tasks cost.” — Imkode8719
“I’m vehemently childfree but wow, you’re a gigantic gaping AH.”
“Even if you think women who have babies are broodmares, keep that shit to yourself. It’s rude and insensitive and unwelcome in 99.99% of everywhere.”
“Read the room, man. Did you really think your brother would be a-OK with you being horrible about his wife?”
“Though I think it’s funny how some people are saying you’re jealous. Haha, no.”
“It’s more a case of you wanting validation, not sour graping.”
“YTA.” — CJCreggsGoldfish
Plenty of people spoke to the main issue behind it all.
“The only person you’re kidding is yourself. That comment was made out of malicious spite, degrading another human being to animal status.”
“It seems like you’re just jealous that your SIL is getting attention and you’re not and quite honestly, your petty jealousy is pathetic.”
“You’ve probably ruined your relationship with your family, definitely your brother, possibly forever and I don’t blame them if they never talk to you again.”
“Also, I shouldn’t have to say this but it seems like maybe I actually do: Choosing to not have children does not make you special.”
“You dont deserve special treatment and you sure as hell don’t get a pass for insulting and treating other humans like they’re beneath you just because you chose to not make a person!
“Get off your ‘no kids’ high horse and apologize to your brother and SIL. If you’re lucky they will forgive you, but they would also be entirely within their rights to tell you to screw off and leave them alone forever. YTA” — forestfairygremlin
“YTA. Just because you’ve decided to be child free doesn’t give you cart blanche to insult others who didn’t. Being pregnant is HARD.”
“Raising babies is HARD. You chose to skip it, they didn’t.”
“That doesn’t make their choices invalid and it doesn’t make them less deserving or sympathy, compassion, or help. Suck it up, you sound like a jealous 12-year-old fighting for your mother and brother’s attention.” — ifimhereimrealbored
“YTA. A great big misogynistic one. I’m also child free—I don’t have them, I don’t want them, and I don’t particularly like most of them.”
“But I sure can acknowledge that growing a whole little human is taxing on a woman’s body, and that people have the right to decide whether they want to have children and the timing of that.”
“There’s nothing wrong with a woman having children close together, and it certainly doesn’t mean that her entire value is as a baby-producing animal, which is what your comment implied. What you said to her was terrible, tone-deaf, and not even a little funny.”
“Seriously examine and rethink your attitudes towards women. You owe your SIL an enormous sincere apology.”
“Consider adding something like a gift certificate for a nice prenatal spa package (massage, pedicure, etc…) to that apology, and then hope your brother and SIL decide to forgive you.” — oreganoca
And a few hit OP with some terse words.
“OMG How much of an obnoxious AH are you that you cannot see how horrible this comment was?”
“OP, you are so self-centered that you are unable to tolerate your brother having a mind of his own—it must be that witch of the wife ‘forcing him’ to have kids.”
“You are also a misogynistic AH, thinking in any context anyone would find funny comparing a pregnant woman to livestock (outside disgusting misogynistic AH groups)”
“You sound like a sad, bitter little person, resentful and self-involved as someone can be. Go get a life and stop judging everyone else’s decisions because they don’t match yours. YTA” — Banyazz
“YTA You are a disgusting immature a**hole. Just accept that you are jealous of your brother and his wife because they have a happy family and you don’t.”
“Probably would not even have any because who would even wanna be with an awful person like you.” — lily527
We don’t know how OP took all the criticism, but it’s likely he thinks twice before making another livestock joke.