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Guy Called Out For ‘Emasculating’ Military Brother In Front Of Family During Target Practice

Two men at a shooting range.
RichLegg/Getty Images

The fear that your parents prefer your sibling to you is something many people have trouble shaking off, even when they’re well into adulthood.

As all it can take is one (possibly inadvertent) gesture or choice of words to kill someone’s self-esteem and make them seem inferior to their siblings.

While most of the time, this fear is completely unwarranted. In some sad cases, it can be frighteningly accurate.

Redditor throwrascapegoatt always felt that he was a disappointment in the eyes of his parents, a feeling his strained relationship with his brother didn’t help.

As a result, when the original poster (OP)’s brother claimed that he was superior to him in one of his fields of expertise, the OP was more than happy to accept his challenge.

While the OP won this challenge fair and square, almost his entire family took his victory as an affront to his brother and swiftly demanded an apology.

Wondering if he had, in fact, done anything wrong, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where he asked fellow Redditors:

“AITA For ‘humiliating and demasculating’ my brother in front of our family?”

The OP shared how what began as a simple, friendly competition with his brother ended up putting him at odds with nearly his entire family.

“My brother and I have a very strained relationship.”

“In most of our family’s eyes, he is the golden child.”

“I’m just the extra kid.”

“Growing up, he overshadowed me at every possible event/milestone.”

“He was the pride of the family.”

“I was just the one that cost more money.”

“My brother followed my father’s footsteps and joined the military right out of high school.”

“He served about eight years before he got out.”

“Unfortunately, when I was younger, I was diagnosed with a form of epilepsy.”

“Which I was fortunately able to outgrow.”

“But it disqualified me from joining as well.”

“Anyway, a few years ago, I got into shooting competitions.”

“Specifically 3 gun (rifle, shotgun, handgun). I got pretty good at it and am now in the process of being sponsored and going to national competitions.”

“None of my family really cares.”

“Which is fine.”

“But my brother decided that every opportunity he could he would explain to me that there is no way I’m that good, he is wayyyy better than me because he is ‘combat trained’.”

“After a while of this, I called him out.”

“A long argument later, he agreed to do a mock competition in front of the family by his invitation (mom, dad, SIL, and a few others).”

“A buddy of mine who sets up for these comps agreed to set one up for us. 4 stages.”

“3 generals… one head to head.”

“All done safely and under the supervision of actual professionals.”

“Using gun safety and proper management.”

“I provided the ammo (sealed), provided the firearms (my personal comp guns with my backups), and even got my friend to be a ref.”

“I let him sight them in a practice.”

“Gave him equipment as well.”

“I’m trying to get rid of all possible excuses.”

“I destroyed him.”

‘By the last one came, we did the head to head, and I cleared my side.”

“Then, he cleared half of his side.”

“He made excuses, which I would dismiss.”

“I gave him multiple opportunities to restart or try again.”

“He then said that I was an AH for humiliating and demasculating him.’

“My parents also called me an AH and some other words.”

“SIL stayed quiet until we were packing up (me, my friend, SIL, and my gf. The rest were coddling my brother); she thanked me.”

“My girlfriend asked if I really had to finish off his side.”

“Which I admit was me showing off.”

“It got to the point that my mom said I couldn’t come over for Mother’s Day until I apologized to my brother.”

“When I refused, she called me an AH again and said I couldn’t come back until I apologized and made it up to him.”

“AITA for calling my brother out and then proving that he is not the best at everything like the family believes?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situation by declaring:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for beating his brother at the shooting range or refusing to apologize.

Everyone agreed that the OP’s brother brought this on himself, and if anyone “demasculated” him, it was himself and himself alone, which many felt merely exposed the OP’s brother’s numerous insecurities, and the last thing the OP should do is apologize.


“He invited the family to embarrass you.”

“It backfired. He then spun it as a you issue.”

“He is very insecure for some reason.”

“He shows needs for praise and admiration.”

“That’s not your issue.”

“Why do you think SIL thanked you?”

“So far seems the only sane one in the family.”- Forward_Nothing5979

“NTA, you did ’emasculate and humiliate’ him. He did that all by himself.”

“Don’t waste your breath apologizing to this AH.”

“Also, congrats on your shooting.”- Imaginary_Building_4



“I think this is your cue to cut contact completely and never look back.”

“He humiliated and emasculated himself with all his bragging about how good, make that how much better, he is than you, then failed miserably.”

“So his own wife thanked you?”


“That’s very telling.”

“Walk away from that mess with your head held high.”

“And if anyone asks if you’re ever going to apologize, tell them not to hold their breath.”- LoveBeach8

“‘F**k em if they can’t take a joke'”

“If your brother – who I assume is an adult – agreed to such a competition, he should be ready for what happens whether he wins or loses.”

“He shouldn’t have agreed if he was going to have to question his ‘masculinity’ depending on how it went.”

“NTA.”- mits66


“A mature adult, although disappointed, would accept the loss and move on.”

“By making such a big deal of it, your brother is making certain that everyone will remember it for longer and that the issue will be a cloud over his head for more time.”

“Also, anyone who talks about people ’emasculating’ them after a legit loss has serious issues with fragile and toxic masculinity.”

“He lost fair and square.”

“He needs to adult up and accept it.”

“And your parents need to stop enabling him.”- bamf1701


“To be honest, I don’t know why, but I feel satisfied after reading this someone needs to know their place.”- GOATedat17


“And his wife coming to thank you privately speaks volumes about his character.”- espressopowder


“Apparently, his whole oversized ego is built on the myth that he’s better than you.”

“And wow, what a sore loser.”- Paevatar

“People often confuse competitive with combat.”

“Done both, and they are different.”

“Law enforcement is different still.”

“You did not say what his MOS is, but eight years by itself means nothing in terms of marksmanship.”

“Does he even have a combat patch?”- A_Lost_Desert_Rat


“Go to the Olympics, and in your Olympic Hero Spotlight say:”

“’I really wish my Family was able to support me, but alas they are the only ones (besides my opponents) to wish I fail’.”- HockeyBabble


“Buy him a Target gift card for his birthday.”- Full_Prune7491


“He never had a problem when he thought he was demeaning you.”

“Unfortunately, while it might have felt good in the moment to prove your skill (and defend yourself), it’s not surprising that it doesn’t change the fundamental dynamic of the family – he’s the golden child, and you’re not.”

“It’s too bad that instead of seeing how skilled you are and how much practice you’ve dedicated to it, he’s ’emasculated’ because he’s not better than you.”

“Which makes me wonder if you’re a woman.”

“Not that a man couldn’t experience the same dynamic…it’s just more common with a woman.”

“So your brother is an a**hole, and your parents are also a**holes.”- Kettlewise


“He talked trash for a long time before you challenged him to put up or shut up.”

“And he didn’t even acknowledge that you could be good.”

“‘There’s no way!'”

“He set himself up to be humiliated.”

“He’s the one who owes you an apology.”

“Unless your brother was specifically in an infantry role, he probably only went to the shooting range once or twice during his eight years in the military.”

“Even if he was in an infantry role and personally saw combat, there are huge differences between combat shooting and competition shooting.”

“Weapons, technique, mindset, etc.”

“The two don’t have a whole lot in common.”

“He never should have assumed he could compete against you.”- throw05282021

Setting out to demean or humiliate others seldom, if ever, pays off.

This was clearly what the OP’s brother was aiming to do when challenging him, never even taking into account that it might backfire.

Perhaps after eating this sizable slice of humble pie, he’ll know better than to try to show off purely to bring others down.

Written by John Curtis

A novelist, picture book writer and native New Yorker, John is a graduate of Syracuse University and the children's media graduate program at Centennial College. When not staring at his computer monitor, you'll most likely find John sipping tea watching British comedies, or in the kitchen, taking a stab at the technical challenge on the most recent episode of 'The Great British Baking Show'.