Sexism and gender stereotypes affect all genders.
A lot of emphasis has been placed on sexism targeting women because of the historical power base being dominated and centered on men.
However, sexism and gender stereotypes also affect men’s ability to embrace and thrive in certain roles and professions.
For example, men still struggle to be accepted as the primary caregiver for children. While stay-at-home mom is embraced as “normal” by society, stay-at-home dad is still viewed with a critical gaze.
Men who engage in any sort of stereotypically feminine roles or past times often receive pushback.
A man who faced criticism and scorn from his sister-in-law over his sewing hobby found himself questioning if he should use those same skills to fulfill a request from that same sister-in-law.
So he turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for refusing to make my sister-in-law (SIL) a wedding dress?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“I (27, male) have loved making stuff since I was a kid, and I’ve worked with everything from wood to paint to welding and even fabric, which is what this situation concerns. I made my wife’s dress since she couldn’t find one that fit her, her style, and our budget.”
“It wasn’t my first time making clothes, but I certainly wasn’t an expert (nor am I now, for that matter). However, the dress turned out amazing and everyone complimented it on our wedding day.”
“Most were surprised I was the one who made it, but my SIL (Sara 25, female) was extremely offput when she found out.”
“She took my wife aside during the reception to ask if she was really OK marrying a guy who made dresses and apparently made some homophobic remarks (my wife told me all this the day after).”
“Ever since, Sara has been rather cold to me and treats me like I have the plague, like she isn’t outright mean but she doesn’t talk directly to me aside from pleasantries. It kinda hurts but whatever, I don’t generally see her since she lives in another state.”
“Sara recently got engaged to her bf of 3 years and asked me to make her a dress. I have made wedding dresses for a few friends and a couple of my wife’s cousins, but I don’t really want to make one for her.”
“She’s offered to pay me for my work, but that’s not the issue. It feels like she likes my work but doesn’t respect me, hell even disrespects me for making dresses.”
“I told her this and that I knew about the remarks she made on my wedding day, and she got mad, saying I’m being a d*ck for holding something that happened years ago over her.”
“I brushed it off, but my wife’s family is hounding me about it, saying I shouldn’t deny her the dress when I’ve done it for other family members. I came here, though, since my dad told me I was being an idiot and to just take the money.”
“My wife supports me no matter what I decide.”
The OP summed up their situation.
“I refuse to make my SIL a wedding dress despite having done so for other family members. My dad told me I should just take the money.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided the OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA. OMG, OP, please don’t do this. She’s already standoffish and disdains you.”
“She is going to be a nightmare. She’s the type to work with you, agree on a design, let you do the mock-up…then tell you three weeks later that she has a different vision.”
“Rinse, lather, repeat, followed by crocodile tears about you ruining The Most Important Day of Her Life because you ‘refused’ to listen to what she wanted.”
“Tell the people harassing you to chip in and pay somebody else.”
“Her a**holery, and that of everyone enabling her, is infuriating to my little seamstress heart.” ~ PennyArena
“Of course she probably has no idea what a tailor-made wedding dress costs and is probably only offering to pay for the materials (not your time or alterations).”
“I would stay away from the sh*t fest and let that woman find her own wedding dress.” ~ HappySparklyUnicorn
“Right?? ‘I deserve to have this $20k designer dress, but I can’t afford it! Surely someone can make an exact replica for me out of this thrift store dress and $15 for extra supplies?’.” ~ Ribbitygirl
“I am paying someone to make me a custom coat. It’s a nice 3/4-length wool coat with a collar and tie-sash. I paid…. mmmm, I think around $150 or so for the materials, but it is going to cost me around 1800 all-in for my friend’s TIME and effort.”
“Why am I doing this? Well, my friend is really talented, and I really like coats and I don’t have kids… hey I’m supporting the arts.”
“The point is materials ain’t sh*t without the person’s time and energy to make it happen, so you’re right.” ~ UnicornPanties
“I also expect to pay dearly for custom or hand-crafted items. These are not things mass-produced for pennies in minutes.”
“If I wanted that, I could go to a discount store. A lot of people seem to forget these individually crafted items cost more than materials alone.”
“Time, talent, labor are just a few of the costs.” ~ No_Arugula8915
“I love the part where she didn’t even apologise for saying it and acting like an a-hole for years. Not even an attempt to make amends to get what she wants. She’s a piece of work. Don’t sew her a stitch, OP.”
“Also, almost ALL my favourite fashion designers are men. Some of them are even straight, lol. What an a**—I hope her wedding is like Alanis Morrisette wrote about it. NTA.” ~ hebejebez
“That was my thought as well. SIL didn’t even try to pretend to be a better person and apologize for her comments.”
“Nightmare. And no way such a person would actually pay for OP’s time and materials.”
“OP, no one is entitled to your labor or time. Tell the flying monkeys they can pay for her dress. NTA.” ~ BombayAbyss
“I was about to say, ‘Take the $ and keep the peace’? Nope.”
“SIL has been a nightmare of a human being to OP, and there’s no reason to expect she’ll be sunshine & roses as a bride designing a custom wedding gown.”
“NTA. Keep YOUR peace. Do what you feel is right here. Trust your instincts.” ~ LK_Feral
“She will be the absolute worst nightmare of an entitled client, and telling her to f*ck off and take her business elsewhere when she demands unreasonable sh*t partway through the process will only cause more family drama.”
“And, of course, the totally disrespecting you and your creativity … right up until she wants family discount prices for a labor of love.”
“OP, make things for people who actually value you and your work. If you’re really needing the money, advertise your work with your wife’s dress for actual business clients. You can expect to actually pay a decent rate.”
“I guarantee you SIL expects the moon while paying for gravel. People who are willing to respect you and you can expect to abide by a contract without calling in their flying monkeys about ‘fairness.'” ~ InannasPocket
For many people, the lack of an apology was a sticking point.
“Adding in that if this was his primary job, it would be his decision and right as a business owner to not do business with customers that are difficult and likely wouldn’t pay in full.”
“And let’s keep in mind this woman is not likely to pay you.”
“And by the way, who gives a flying feck that you’re a man who sews? There are likely more straight men than most people think that do. But then I grew up with a dad and men in my neighborhood who were quite ahead of their time (most born in the 30s).”
“OP is NTA, and SIL should have learned by now that actions have consequences.” ~ ketobegin64
“NTA. But for your own sake… I vote DO NOT make her a dress!!! Aside from the disrespectful comments she made about you to your wife(on her wedding day-who does that??), she has continued being dismissive and disrespectful to you.”
“If you do this, nothing will change except she will feel superior for being able to get you to do what she wants, and you will feel worse, when even after you make her a dress she still continues being a B* to you!”
“Why put yourself through all that? You owe her nothing. And your family needs to understand that what Sarah thinks about you and what she said to your wife was unacceptable!”
“I’m nuclear… I’d literally make an FB post spilling everything and lamenting the nerve and audacity she has to come back after no apology in years… And yeah, maybe you are holding it over her after years..but even hearing all that she didn’t apologize!?”
“To H*ll with that!! And her…! No dress for Sarah, the bully!!”
“Personally, I’d book yourself and your wife a vacation away the day of the wedding if I was you. Good luck in whatever you decide.” ~ Ms_Saphira
“NTA. Your dad is incredibly wrong here. Your self-respect is worth more than the money or the backlash.”
“Remember, she had all those years to apologize but never did. People like that don’t deserve your time and effort.” ~ namesaretoohardforme
“NTA. Even professionals have the right to refuse someone their service.”
“You would be doing this as a favor—paid or not paid, it doesn’t matter. It is not your job thus, it is a favor.”
“She didn’t even apologize when you called her out on her remarks.” ~ MousingJoke
“NTA—SiL can take her BS elsewhere. She made her position on you clear and treated you as a nonperson.”
“Let the people complaining make her dress. Don’t dare cave for her. She simply is unworthy of your artistic efforts.” ~ The_Bad_Agent
Reddit was certain not making a dress for his sister-in-law was not only justified, it was also a great idea.
The OP didn’t provide an update on his final decision.
Well, what do you think, readers? Let us know in the comments.