Trying to get along with family members with different political views is no small task. But respect is, of course, a two-way street, and sometimes it can be hard not to fight back.
That’s the situation a woman on Reddit ended up in with her super-conservative uncle who offended her with his views. She wasn’t sure about how she handled it, so she went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.
The Original Poster (OP), who goes by YourMoonWife on the site, asked:
“AITA for assigning pronouns to my uncle?”
“So this last week my parents called my husband (29M[ale]) and I (27F[emale]) to build their new shed. We call it a shed, but in reality it’s one of those 30’ x 30’ metal barns that need to be held together by bolts and nuts, spray foamed on the inside, and then because my mom wanted siding on the front, they wanted our help building the garage and man door entrances out of wood.”
“They also invited my very conservative (we are Canadian not American) aunt and uncle.”
“It was decently hot during the week and we were all fairly cranky getting sunburn and working hard and my uncle (54M) was making little snips about how he hates the new progressive millennials, and how he wouldn’t trust them to build anything.”
“Normally I can ignore him, but it had been 3 days at this point of ‘they cut off free speech’ and ‘the Americans are right!’ and ‘kids nowadays don’t have brains’ and I was hangry (no excuse I know) and sick of hearing him talk. He finally said during one of his many smoke breaks, ‘If someone has pronouns, I couldn’t even trust them to hand me a hammer.'”
“So I cut in pretty loudly from up on the scaffolding. ‘Uncle millennials are my age. And YOU have pronouns too. They are he/him. If YOU don’t know what pronouns are I don’t think we can trust you with reading the (construction) plans.'”
“He literally didn’t talk to me the rest of the week and my aunt said I was being a bit of a b*tch.”
“My husband even said that I should have just ignored him, and my parents told me that they love me but I should have respected him because he was my uncle and not been so ‘modern’ around him and now I kinda feel bad because I do love him and I know he comes from a super redneck background.”
“So Reddit, AITA?”
People on Reddit were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
And they didn’t have much sympathy for OP’s uncle.
“Why is he trying to stifle your freedom of speech?”
“Sounds like he’s a bit of a snowflake to me.” —actualliterally
“Most of the ‘snowflakes’ I know are definitely older, white men, usually Trump supporters, often upper middle class, COVIDidiots, the whole nine yards. God forbid you disagree with them.”
“Then it’s ‘when I was younger, we understood that our elders were older and smarter than us and we just shut up and did what they said!’ Trump unlocked a core of racism/misogyny/self righteousness in our population that’s just…yuck.” —Momofanavenger
“Well, I’m not Canadian, so I don’t know your norms, and I’m not in your family, so I don’t know how strong the ‘respect your elders’ vibe runs through it, but it sounds to me like you acted pretty appropriately.”
“I suspect your uncle just meant that he wouldn’t trust someone who felt the need to specify pronouns instead of letting people figure them out, so your comment might technically have missed the point, but after three days of listening to him whine and insult you, I think you are in the clear. NTA” —fernAlley
“NTA, Why is it okay for him to be rude? Because he is from a different generation/upbringing ? That is ridiculous.” —witchy_crochet
“It’s the same BS people are told around the holidays…bite your tongue, don’t make a scene, just ignore the racist/homophobic/bigoted/etc. family member spewing their hate at the table. Being quiet just enables the a**hole. Why isn’t it the job of the sh*tty family member to keep their sh*tty view to themselves? OP is definitely NTA, her uncle is.” —woundmatrix2
“Why was this even a topic of conversation at all? It’s not like the context of building a barn demanded it. It has nothing to do with politics unless you INVENT issues like ‘liberals can’t hold a hammer’ which is baseless and has nothing to do with anything.”
“He’s so bitter about people that disagree with him that he makes things up just to talk sh*t about them in an unrelated context? Continuously for an entire afternoon? How was everyone present not annoyed with him?”
“He was being disrespectful and unnecessary and didn’t even make any sense. What OP said is true, she’s a millennial and he has pronouns. If those incredibly simple details offend someone to the point that they shut up, it’s because they’re embarrassed about how stupid they are.” —floatingwithobrien
“NTA – Complaining about Millennials being lazy and stupid while Millennials are doing the work of building the shed is bad enough, but then to turn around and display blatant ignorance along with his bigotry? He deserved calling out.” —HowardProject
“NTA – like a typical American Trumpian, he can dish it out but not take it in return. You essentially punched the bully is HIS nose. :-)” —Portie_lover
After reading her fellow Redditors’ comments, OP came back with some thank yous.
“Edit: thank you for the silver friend! You didn’t have to waste your coins but I appreciate it”
“Edit 2: 3 hugs, 1 Murcia, 3 silver, 1 helpful, and a gold award. Please don’t give me awards. If you have some spare money I would suggest you look into GameStop”
Hopefully OP’s uncle can be a bit more respectful in the future.