The line between joking and being disrespectful is different for everyone and even between the same person and different friends. It can be difficult to tell looking from the outside in.
When nicknamebfaita encountered a situation he thought was disrespectful to his new girlfriend (GF) he couldn’t quite stand it. So, the original poster (OP) retaliated.
Now he’s unsure if it was the right thing, and needs some perspective. He took his story to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit to figure it out.
“AITA For giving my GF’s college friend nicknames after he kept being disrespectful to my GF”
Things didn’t go well when he met her friends.
“My GF and I have been together for almost 2 years and are in the process of moving in together. Due to the whole 2020 thing, we haven’t met a lot of each other’s friends yet.”
“This past weekend we went to a cabin with a bunch of her college friends who I hadn’t met yet. During the weekend there was a lot of drinking involved and a lot of old inside jokes amongst the friend group that I wasn’t privy to.”
“The group seemed like good people for the most part, but there was one thing that a couple guys did that rubbed me the wrong way.”
“My GF has a fairly large chest and these guys were calling her a nickname that rhymes with Bits McFee.”
“After the first few times I kind of raised my eyebrows and looked at my GF and she told me it’s just an old nickname and it’s harmless and they don’t mean anything by it. But it was constant every time they referred to her and at some point during the day Saturday, I kind of had enough of it.”
“We were playing yard games and one of the guys who kept calling my GF the name took his hat off and I noticed he had very thinning hair with a noticeable bald spot. So after a few more times of him calling my GF the nickname, I started calling him MPB.”
“During the games there was a lot of banter and trash talk and I kept referring to him as MPB.”
“After one of the times I called him that he got this confused look on his face and asked me what the hell that was supposed to mean. I told him since he liked nicknames so much I made one up for him, MPB.”
“He asked what that stood for and I said ‘Male Pattern Baldness.’ A lot of the group started laughing and he got really red in the face and looked kind of pissed and embarrassed.”
“After the game finished we went to shake hands and he muttered something under his breath about me being a f**king a**hole, but I just brushed it off.”
“My GF wasn’t nearby when it happened but someone must have told her about it because she asked me about it. She told me that I shouldn’t have said anything to her friend because he’s very insecure about his hair loss and I was wrong to make fun of him for it.”
“I told her I was tired of them being disrespectful to her and if they can’t take it they shouldn’t dish it out. She told me she can take care of herself and these are her friends and she doesn’t need me to defend her from them.”
“The whole thing put a damper on the rest of the weekend and my GF has been kind of icy to me since. I understand they are her friends, but this guy in particular just wouldn’t stop and I felt I had to do something.”
On the AITA board, people judge OP by including one of the following in their comment:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
The final decision was that OP was in the wrong, but the comments contained a lot of nuance. While YTA was the final determination, a lot of comments put forward other calls.
It was difficult to say one way or the other based on comments.
“YTA – lots of guys, especially younger guys, are insecure about their receding hairline. On the other hand, your GF doesn’t seem to be insecure about her chest, or the nickname her friends call her.”
“It seems more like you’re the one who had a problem with her nickname, but that doesn’t give you any right to mock her friends.”
“EDIT: Also you say he was being disrespectful towards your girlfriend, however, it doesn’t seem like she felt disrespected. Are you sure it wasn’t you who felt disrespected?” – allsevenpizzas
“YTA. Speaking as someone else who also has large bits, if she told you to let it go and that it wasn’t disrespectful to her than you should’ve let it go, and definitely shouldn’t have tried to ‘retaliate’.”
“If my SO had done the same I would’ve been extremely mad that they started mocking my friends over something that wasn’t an issue in the first place.” – EddaValkyrie
“ESH. As a female, hearing someone use that nickname so often and so comfortably kind of makes me uncomfortable. I don’t know how you could call someone that and not ‘mean anything by it’.”
“It’s degrading and disgusting, and letting them get away with that is teaching them that it’s okay to sexualize and demean girls like that. I feel bad for his future daughters.”
“HOWEVER, it’s not my job NOR IS IT YOURS to tell your GF how she feels about that. She’s a big girl who can fight her own battles, and she’s old enough to know how to speak up for herself if it bothers her.”
“It’s HER nickname, not yours, and just because you feel weird about it, doesn’t give u a right to be a dick to someone else. (Although IMO it was a little deserved.)”
“You didn’t know his hair loss was a huge insecurity of his before you said it, but I’d also go as far as saying he doesn’t know how your girlfriend feels about dudes commenting on her chest randomly. Even so, you went at it with ill intent, and that sucks on its own.” – greeniethebeanie
“I’m sure this will be unpopular, but I’m in the ESH camp because people shouldn’t be talking about or commenting on other people’s bodies as a form of humor, even if they used to do it ‘back then.’”
“You suck because you dialed sh*t up and did the exact thing you were accusing him of. This other guys suck because they need to grow up and accept that they aren’t in college anymore.”
“Your girlfriend sucks because if it made you uncomfortable then that needs to be taken into account.”
“In my mind, it doesn’t matter if your girlfriend doesn’t care, it’s still a sh*tty way to talk about someone you call a friend.” – sir_richard_head
“NTA it’s such a disrespectful nickname that doesn’t require much insight in their relationship.”
“My friends have a nickname for me involving my boobs but it is actually based on a story that we all found funny. That nickname doesn’t bother my bf.”
“It’s also not a nickname that completely takes over my actual name.”
“If the joke is she has big breasts what’s harmful about pointing out he’s balding? Your gf seems like she wants to be the cool chick.”
“These guys have no respect for your gf or you. You should have simply said it made you uncomfortable out loud and had them stop it. But the lack of respect would have pissed me off so bad too” – laurabland
OP came back and gave an update on what happened between him and his girlfriend.
“My GF and I talked about it and I apologized to her for overstepping. I told her she was right that it wasn’t my place to defend her but that her friend constantly referring to her in a sexual way made me uncomfortable.”
“I told her I was wrong to act on that feeling the way I did instead of talking to her about it more and she accepted my apology.”
“She told me she didn’t really date in college and that the nickname was just something she grew to tolerate and now she doesn’t even think about it. She apologized to me as well because she didn’t even think about how that kind of thing would make me feel.”
“She knows it’s degrading and unnecessarily sexual in nature, but she’s just become so accustomed to it that she never even thought that it would be an issue to a partner.”
“She also apologized for making me feel bad about making fun of her friend because she knows he can be a blowhard jerk fratboy and he deserved to be taken down a peg.”
“But also, I don’t really feel that bad for him being insecure about balding if he’s going to make a point to talk about other people’s bodies. So, communication wins out and things are good.”
It’s amazing what happens when couples actually communicate.