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Teen Makes Family Pay ‘Swear Tax’ After Being Told It’s ‘Unladylike’ For Her To Cuss

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No two people have the same relationship with profanity and foul language.

Some people can’t even tolerate the sound of it, while others seldom let a sentence go by without letting out a curse word or two.

Perhaps profanity is most shocking when it comes from someone one wouldn’t normally expect to speak in that manner.

The father or Redditor heckheckdangit was shocked to hear her cursing on the phone, and wasted no time in reprimanding her.

This didn’t sit particularly well with the original poster (OP) as her father and brothers swore constantly without any consequences.

As a result, the OP hatched a plan to call out her family for their bad language, as well as their double standards.

A plan which proved as lucrative as it did hilarious.

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 getting my family to do a ‘swear tax’ after my dad told me off for swearing? (My dad and brothers cuss like sailors but apparently me cussing is unladylike?)”

The OP explained how she found a way to clean up the language of her entire family, while also making her father and brothers literally pay for their double standards.

“I am living with my family, it’s me a 15 year old girl, my twin brothers who are 17, and my parents.”

“My dad cusses a lot, and so do my older brothers.”

“But apparently the standards are different for me, my dad overheard me saying a couple cuss words when I was on the phone with my friends and he got mad at me for my language, and for how trashy and unladylike it was.”

“This wasn’t the first time he called me, and only me, out for bad language.”

‘But it was the one that frustrated me the most because I could tell there was a double standard.”

“I thought of calling him out on his language and hypocricy, but then I had a different idea.”

“I said that yeah, it was a bad habit I was forming and didn’t want to make a patter, because if I got in the habit of cussing a lot, that wouldn’t make me come off well when I start getting jobs or going to college.”

“And as I was growing up, I wanted to learn how to speak respectfully and intelligently.”

“But it was hard to keep from bad habits, when I heard him and my brothers having potty-mouth-syndrome so often.”

“They’re setting an example whether they realize it or not.”

“So I wanted to work on things for myself, but also together as a family.”

“I suggested we make a ‘Swear Tax’ where if anyone swears in front of anyone else who’s participating, they give a dollar to each person who heard them.”

“I’d want that rule for myself because it would keep me accountable and I’d really like it if the family joined me for it.”

“So my dad said he’d join, and so would my mom.”

“They got my brothers to be a part of it too.”

“They didn’t really have a choice, my parents decided to make it a rule.”

“I know it’s kinda petty but I wanted to make the point that my dad and brothers swear a lot and I almost never do.”

“In the few months we’ve had the rule, I’ve gotten about 250 dollars from hearing my dad and brothers cuss, and have not sworn once.”

“It’s kinda making my brothers angry because they often cuss when they’re mad, and I ask them for money, so they get madder and cuss more, so I get more money until they shut up.”

“My dad actually got mad at me too.”

“He was having some drinks, calling his brother and talking, and I came over after and asked for 18 dollars.”

“He actually said he wouldn’t give me that much, and there should be a cutoff.”

“He gave me 5 dollars which sends a weird message.”

“Like swearing is bad, unless you wanna swear A LOT, then it’s cool?”

“I feel like I’ve made my point already so really now I’m just continuing to ‘want the family to learn not to cuss’ for the money, and it’s really making my brothers mad.”

“AITA for having the idea for the ‘family swear tax’ after my dad got angry at me for swearing?”

“I did it because I know I swear the least out of my family but I was the only one getting in trouble for it.”

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
  • NAH – No A**holes Here
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here

The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was not the a**hole for making her family pay up every time they swore.

Everyone agreed the OP found the perfect solution to teach the OP’s father and brothers to be mindful of their double standards, with many simply unable to hold back their amusement, even if some warned the OP not to take advantage of her own rules.


“That was actually genius way to handle the situation.”

“I would have been petty and angry and would just swear more, especially after the ‘unladylike’ comment.”- xflorentinaa


“That is f*cking genius.”

“And I owe you a dollar now, sorry!”- Glowie2k2


“They agreed to it, they have to play by the rules.”- geegeepark

“Don’t spew profanities.”

“Enunciate them clearly, like a f*cking lady.”

“NTA.”- bothsidesofthemoon


“Just simply tell dad, ‘Like father, like daughter’.”

“‘Don’t like it? Don’t swear’.”

“‘If you owe $18 but can only pay $5?'”

“‘Then I get 13 free swear words on my tab’.”- DenverRalphy


“This was delightfully clever of you and a very fair way to point out the double standard.”

“And all they have to do is make it stop is quit yelling at you for swearing when they do it all the time.”- lightwoodorchestra


“Would have been easier for your dad to stop being a sexist hypocrite but he decided to play the game instead.”- jaywinner


‘Double standards are worse than swearing in my opinion.”- EclecticEel92


“I literally laughed when I read the 250 dollar part.”

“This is hilarious.”- an-odd-tyranosaurus


“First of all, they agreed to it.”

“It’s very easy to just, you know, not swear.”

“Second, your dad’s double standards are gross.”

“You should suggest a ‘sexism tax’, too, just to bleed a little more money from him.”- allinkarnate

“Sis you capitalized your dads low-key misogyny and I am HERE for it.”

“Nta!”- jebelle87

“I love the way you handled this.”

“NTA and they are for perpetuating the double standard.”- terrapharma

“You are brilliant!”

“Don’t change a thing.”

“Well done, I would have not been able to hold my tongue and my pleas for equal treatment would have been ignored.”

“My father still encourages me to be charming and ladylike when I don’t comply with his one sided rules and standards for women.”

“You are bloody brilliant girl!”

“Inspiring.”- quattroformaggixfour


“You’re a smart little entrepreneur, good for you.”- cultqueennn


“So long as you aren’t misusing the rule.”

“For example, if your dad was talking on the phone in a room separate from you and you went and sat in the room unannounced for the sole purpose of gaining money.”

“Otherwise, good on you for fighting the double standard and making bank while doing it.”- Elephant_Banana


“Technically speaking, it’s un-ladylike to swear, but it’s also in-gentlemanly to swear as well.”

“So effectively, based on the fact that you’re the only one held to this standard, you’re the lady of the house and they are your subordinates since none of them rank above commoner.”- 13Jams

“NTA, that’s hilarious!”

“I know this part came off as a little facetious, but I want to add that I (25) used to have the same ‘thought’ growing up.”

“That swearing was bad and I didn’t want to get into a bad habit around other adults.”

“But it turns out it’s incredibly easy to hold your tongue and change your language based on whom you’re speaking with, so it definitely shouldn’t be something you try to define your life around.”

“I swear all the time around my friends but never around my coworkers.”- RaiTab

“NTA and congratulations on your riches!”- LynnieFran

“You know what I would do and NTA but I would bit the entire family dinner with some of that money so they can have a visual representation of the double standards and cussing they do just a thought.”-Jrattler


“And I was just arguing with my mom about this double standard.”

“Why does saying a cuss word make me trashy but it’s ok for guys to cuss?”

“F that.”- ilikefluffypuppies

One could argue that it’s not unreasonable for any father to want their daughter to behave in a ladylike way.

But if that’s how they feel, then they should act like a gentleman, and ensure their sons do the same.

It seems the OP’s father and brothers are, indeed, paying the appropriate price for years of being a bad influence.

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'.