An eye for an eye is advice given in the religious texts used by several major world religions.
But Mahatma Ghandi countered:
“An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”
In modern society we could replace those words of wisdom with the unattributed quote…
“Don’t start none, won’t be none.”
…versus First Lady Michelle Obama’s advice…
“When they go low, we go high.”
But what if you or your family are being bullied on the internet and you decide not to turn the other cheek?
Did you do something wrong?
That was the dilemma faced by one teen who posted his experience on the “Am I the A**hole (AITA)” subReddit.
The Original Poster (OP), known as aitanodad on the site, kept his title for the since deleted post simple:
“AITA for making fun of someone’s family after he made fun of mine?”
It all began with an exciting family milestone.
“I (15-year-old male) have two mums.”
“Last week was the 5th anniversary of the first night my sisters and I spent in their care, so I made some posts on social media to celebrate.”
But unfortunately the internet was, well, the internet.
“Apparently, a lot of people didn’t realise that I have two mums until now, and the reaction was mixed.”
“One guy in particular, who we’ll call Jacob, started posting all these nasty, homophobic things that I don’t want to repeat.”
Jacob trotted out the usual anti-LGBTQ+ rhetoric targeting same sex parents.
“He also said things about how children need a mother and a father to grow up ‘right’.”
OP wasn’t about to take all of that lying down.
“Jacob’s father left when he was little and I was upset about him saying those things about my family, so I commented ‘if children need a father to grow up right, where’s your dad?'”
But while that gotcha moment felt sweet, there were some repercussions.
“He blocked me and deleted the comment, but screenshots have been going around.”
“A lot of people have said I went too far and that our situations aren’t the same.”
Anonymous strangers weighed in on the OP’s moral dilemma by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors assured OP he hadn’t gone too far.
“NTA. As someone who grew up without a dad, I find your comment humorous and well deserving. I hope you screen capped those comments especially if you go to school with this kid.”
“This is clear harassment and bullying. Report it to your principal, and also his mom.” — winnkey1
“NTA. You gave a relevant retort.”
“Not sure how you are doing, but it seems like you have awesome parents. It helped me tremendously when I learned that people (we) have their (our) own issues and often project them onto others.”
“In other words, a lot of times a**holes are dealing with personal issues and them being an a**hole has nothing to do with you. In this case, the kid probably feels anger and neglect and is projecting it out on others.” — reidmrdotcom
“NTA. In my opinion children need love to grow up ‘right’ and it certainly sounds like you have that. As far as Jacob, first of all it’s disgusting he would post nasty, homophobic things about your family in the first place.”
“And second of all, I’m not sure if he didn’t think you knew about his father leaving, but your response to him was legit if he commented that children need a mother and father to grow up ‘right’ knowing full well his was gone.” — CJsMom2000
“NTA sounds like the kid fu**ed around and found out. I was raised not to talk sh*t without expecting sh*t back, and to never be the first to throw a punch.”
“This kid legit threw the first verbal punch and found himself on the metaphorical ground picking up his teeth from your response, keep it up kid.”
“Defend your mom’s because they’d defend you.” — OddDc-ed
“Bullies are usually really pathetic underneath it all, hurt people hurt people, but it doesn’t give them the right to say whatever they want without any repercussions.” — pinkyhc
“NTA – hypocrisy always seems righteous when you’re ignoring it and so painful when you don’t.” — Whoreson_Welles
Some were, in fact, glad to hear how OP reacted.
“Nta. Was it a bit of a low blow? Probably. But i love it” — TrashTechy
“NTA, he deserves the comeuppance and as for the dad comment you only spoke the truth, it’s too bad he is sensitive about it. People in glass houses shouldn’t throw stones.” — targaryenMartell
“Jacob literally gave you the stick to beat him up. You literaly used his own word against him NTA”
“I don’t care about not stooping to the bully level. You didn’t bully him” — Cool_Assist_7324
“NTA clap back for team two moms Next whup his arse and tell him your mom taught you how to box.”
“But don’t actually do that. If you choose to on your own, fine that’s life. As long as you remember I told you NOT to do the thing I told you to do.” — Docklenator
“NTA and more than anything on Reddit I dislike when people say don’t stoop to his level bla bla bla. If you can’t take sh*t then don’t dish out sh*t.” — sophi52760
“NTA. As Agent J said in Men In Black – Don’t start nothing, won’t be nothing.”
“The obnoxious kid had the option to ignore the post and keep his opinions to himself. He chose to be nasty.”
“Play stupid games. Win stupid prizes.” — DangerousDave303
“NTA, Jacob is probably jealous of your stable home life and was using homophobic remarks to try and cut you down.”
“NTA, and I hope you always call out people when they respond to your family that way.” — noturmomsfavorite
“By the way, the thing with fights and arguments is that if you shoot, then expect to be shot back at.” — ThatBrownGuy120
So Reddit decided the OP was fully justified.
Here’s hoping this online support helped OP celebrate the anniversary of his family in peace.
And while it wasn’t the OP’s aim, hopefully Jacob also learned something about empathy and hypocrisy.