While progress has thankfully been made, there remain a shockingly high number of men all over the world who have antiquated, often sexist, views of women’s roles.
Men who are uncomfortable, even unhappy, to find women in positions of power.
The saddest scenarios are couple’s, when men feel threatened when their female partners are more successful professionally than they are.
Such was sadly the case for Redditor No_Lingonberry_5061, whose boyfriend was less than thrilled to discover that she made considerably more than he did.
As a result, no doubt in an effort to massage his bruised ego, the OP began turning the original poster (OP)’s career into something of a source of ridicule.
Until the OP finally had enough, and called him out on his behavior.
Inadvertently putting a strain on her relationship.
Wondering if she had gone too far, the OP took to the subReddit “Am I The A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for calling my boyfriend an insecure little boy after his repeated jokes that I ‘cheated the system’ to get to a career that pays more than his?”
The OP explained how her boyfriend simply couldn’t believe she earned her current career and salary, feeling the need to constantly make jokes about it until the OP finally had enough.
“Tim and I met in an English literature class our junior year of college, and we’ve been together the ten years since.”
“While he ended up going into IT, I stayed in the liberal arts track and ended up doing non-profit work after college when I realized I didn’t actually want to be a schoolteacher.”
“Just to say that we always assumed he’d out-earn me by a considerable margin, though when he made more I always insisted we split things evenly to avoid potential resentment down the road.”
“I’ve had sort of a non-linear career path, but ended up switching to the corporate world.”
“To make a long story short, my liberal arts degree and time doing non-profit work gave me a lot of skills that enable me to really excel professionally in some more niche areas.”
“I recently started a new job as a consultant, making way more than I’d ever anticipated.”
“When I got the offer, I told Tim that the pay was ‘amazing’, but he didn’t ask about the actual amount and I didn’t want to be braggy about it, especially since I was fairly sure it was above his current income.”
“Well we just put in an application for a new place, and in the process of having to submit our paystubs it’s become obvious that I make roughly 30% more than he does now.”
“I expected him to think that was cool, since he’s a feminist and has always been super supportive of my career.”
“But instead he’s started to make increasingly harsh jabs about how I ‘cheated the system’ to get where I am, that no English lit major makes more than a cyber security professional without cheating somehow.”
“His major point is that I got my first job out of nepotism, which set me up to ‘trample’ more qualified people who didn’t have the same advantages.”
“It’s true that I got my first post-college job after being referred by a sorority sister, but it was for non-profit work making 22k/yr, not exactly at somebody’s daddy’s firm.”
“He also points out that at my first corporate job, I snagged a big promotion after volunteering to take on starting up the company’s diversity/equity/inclusion program, and I’ll admit that were I a white man, it’s highly unlikely I would have been able to be the face of the eventually high-profile diversity program.”
“Tim also notes that I was awarded a small college scholarship for being a ‘promising female writer’, when no such scholarship existed for males.”
“But all that said, I still don’t feel like I cheated the system, and it makes me angry to listen to him ‘joke’ about it, especially since I grew up blue collar and worked full time while going to school full time to afford my degree.”
“I reached a breaking point yesterday when he made a crack about how the new/first woman on his team is an obvious diversity hire.”
“I told him that his jokes about women cheating the system to get ahead aren’t funny or ‘guy-talk ribbing’ as he says, they make him sound like an insecure little boy.”
“He told me I was being a naïve Karen and we haven’t really talked since yesterday.”
‘Did I go too far?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in on where they believed the OP fell in this particular situations 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 agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for clapping back at her husband’s constant jabs.
Everyone agreed that the remarks of the OP’s husband were jealous and misogynistic, with many also questioning how healthy the OP’s relationship was.
“You don’t sound like you cheated the system whatsoever, and used your skills to get a job you were qualified for, so with that being said, INFO: “
“Why are you dating someone who has zero respect for you?”- CebollasSaltado
“He’s a feminist until a woman earns more than him, then suddenly it’s all cheating.”
“If he cannot be happy for you I am not sure where your relationship is going.”- heart_over_board
“But y’all have some serious problems.”
“I can’t imagine being with someone for 10 years and not telling them how much money I make.”
“Even if you split your finances and have separate accounts it’s important to know how much money you’re bringing in.”
“It sounds to me like you guys have a real problem with communication that needs to be fixed if you intend to stay with him.”
“I wouldn’t, but that’s just me.’
“I can’t imagine my husband being jealous and accusatory if I made more than him.”
“He’d be happy for me and for us.”-porcelain_owl
“But you’ve just found out how little your boyfriend respects you, so that’s good to know, I suppose.”
“By the way, he IS acting like an insecure little boy.”- tangerine-trees-
“All the NTAs in the world.”
“I think what you’re seeing is that he may have been a feminist in theory, but it hit home differently when you started out-earning him.”
“You worked hard to get where you were and made the most of your opportunities, volunteering to set up a diversity program?”
“That shows initiative and I’m guessing you did it pretty well to get hired.”
“Same goes for just about everything else.”
“Even if they’re just ‘jokes’, those things always have a grain of truth.”- SpellExisting
“He does sound like an insecure little boy.”
“Those aren’t harmless things he’s saying.”
“He clearly has some sort of disdain for professional women, or at least women who are doing better than him career wise.”
“It’s disrespectful and pretty gross.”- lihzee
“I guess your SO is only a feminist when the women he is dealing with make less money and ‘know their place’.”
“Dump him cuz his attitude means eventually he will expect you to pop out kids, work and take care of THE MAN.”
“You did it literally didn’t go far enough and by that I mean you haven’t packed your bags yet.”
“This type of crappy, put you down at all costs attitude is going to continue forever.”
“This shows some real personality flaws of him and to call you a ‘Karen’ for gently pointing out what he has been hammering over your head is very problematic.”
“Him using words like nepotism, frankly inappropriately, but he feels the need to use it and words like trampling over other people, and talking about getting a female writer scholarship.”
“Just way too much of the same themes here, and that is that he’s a sore loser, and an unsupportive and unappreciative jerk.”- dart1126
“Your boyfriend is not a feminist.”
“He is okay with posing as a feminist when it suits him and benefits him, but he has thoroughly outed himself at this point.”
“His wording, his taunts, and his accusations are about as far from feminism as you can get.”
“And you should get as far from him as you can as well.”- HowardProject
“You didn’t go too far but he did.”
“PS. He is not a feminist.”- Usual-Archer-916
“Sounds like he’s downplaying your success and well earned accomplishments because he’s jealous and insecure.”
“You earned that scholarship.”
“You earned your reputation as a great asset.”
“You didn’t just sit on your ass when given an opportunity, you spin gold with it.”
“Does this guy even deserve you if he so blatantly shows he doesn’t respect you?”- _always_sunny_
It’s hard to say what is more upsetting.
That the OP’s boyfriend couldn’t even show the slightest amount of pride in all her accomplishments.
Or that in his eyes, the only way she could have achieved any of her accomplishments was through favors and dishonesty.
Leaving one to wonder if this relationship really stands a chance at having any kind of a future.