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‘Traditional’ Woman Lashes Out After Sister-In-Law Wears Pantsuit To Her ‘Formal’ Pregnancy Celebration

Olga Zabegina/Unsplash

People’s ideas of proper gender roles can often stir up tensions within families.

But for one person on Reddit, an all-out war ensued over their sister’s extremely old-fashioned, zealously sexist demands for women’s behavior.

All because their wife wore a pantsuit to their sister’s party.

The Original Poster (OP), who goes by the username mywifeinasuit on the site, wasn’t sure about how they handled things.

So they went to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit for perspective.

The OP asked:

“AITA for laughing at my sister when she told me to ‘control my woman?'”

They explained:

“My wife, ‘Mina,’ enjoys dressing up. Her style is very feminine and she’s always dolled up – even to go shopping.”

“She’s always glowing and is very confident in her appearance. She looks good and she knows it.”

“My sister, ‘Betty,’ believes in traditional ideas of masculinity and femininity. Women are meant to stay home with the children while the men are meant to provide for the household. We talk when we have to, but I try to avoid her.”

“Each time we see Betty, she’ll manage to slip a comment about my wife’s outfit. She’ll either comment on how ‘ladylike’ it is, or how ‘slutty,’ it looks.”

“Mina always rolls her eyes and laughs it off. I don’t think the comments bother her, but I try to tell Betty to mind her own business.”

“Betty invited us for dinner to celebrate her pregnancy. On the invitation, she stated that the dress-code was formal. She didn’t mention a certain colour or style of clothing, only that you had to dress formally.”

“Mina wore this dark green suit that fit her very wel. I’m 100% certain that it fit the dress code. It was formal – nothing revealing or outlandish – and I thought she looked good.”

“When Betty opened the door, I could see the look of disgust on her face when she saw Mina. The first thing she asked was her, (very condescendingly) ‘Are you really wearing that?’ Mina only smiled and replied, ‘Yes.'”

“Throughout the night, I could tell Betty was talking about Mina to my family. I could see her point and laugh, or whisper something in someone’s ear, or make a face anytime Mina walked by.”

“At one point, Betty ‘joked’ about Mina wearing the ‘pants’ in the marriage, leaving me to wear all the ‘pink, frilly dresses.'”

“(Mina is too ‘masculine,’ leaving me to be the ‘wife’ in the relationship.)”

“As distasteful as those jokes were, Mina asked me to not make a big deal.”

“After we had all eaten, Betty stood up to make a toast. At first, her speech started off well. It was sweet.”

“However, near the end, Betty decided to throw passive-aggressive comments towards Mina.”

“I’m sure I don’t remember all of it, but she essentially said, ‘It’s going to be hard raising my daughter in a world where women want to act and dress like men.’ (all while making direct eye contact with Mina)”

“‘The devil often hides in the people that are closest to us and if you can spot him, don’t let him in your house.’ During that entire section of her speech, her eyes never left Mina.”

“Before the end of the speech, Mina stood up from the table and left and I followed her.”

I got a bunch of texts from my BIL, scolding me for leaving in the middle of my sister’s speech.”

“Betty called me, calling me rude for leaving while she was speaking and not ‘controlling my hot-headed wife.’ When I heard this, I laughed and hung up the phone.”

“That led to more texts.”

“When I told Mina she laughed, but suggested I apologise – but in an effort to make this whole thing blow over.”

“EDIT: Forgot to add, reposted because I went over the word count the first time.”

Redditors were then asked to judge who was in the wrong in this situation based on the following categories:

  • NTA – Not The A**hole
  • YTA – You’re The A**hole
  • ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
  • NAH – No A**holes Here

As you might guess, they were not only firmly on OP’s side but downright disturbed by their sister’s behavior.

“NTA. Your sister is a misogynist who tries to impose her rigid stereotypes on to others. I wouldn’t apologise for sh*t because she was disrespectful as hell.”

“You should walk around with zero fu*ks because your sister gave zero fu*ks when she decided to be passive aggressive.” –Empress_LC

“I wouldn’t be surprised if there was a hint of jealousy in there as well. I really don’t understand women who are still trying to hold on to these outdated and misogynistic beliefs.” –etoilebrille

“Honestly, even though it isn’t mentioned, I’m guessing she’s also transphobic.”

“That specific form of misogyny is extremely common among transphobes, I see it a lot (not trans myself, but I’m active in the community as a whole and see a lot of the pushback).”

“I fear for Betty’s daughter if she fits outside of gender norms or ends up being trans.”

“If op chooses to stay in Betty’s life, I hope he and Mina can be the better role models for their niece and be the safe space she may one day need.”

“Betty’s behavior will not get better without extensive therapy.” –MewKiichigo

“NTA.”

“Your wife has amazing self control. She is amazing.”

“I would have said ‘just because you want to be barefoot and pregnant in the kitchen doesn’t mean all women must be stuck there.'”

“‘It’s the 21st century and women are astronauts, brain surgeons, supreme court justices and vice presidents of the USA.'”

“‘Stay in the kitchen if you want, but the rest of us women are going to be what we want to be.'”

“Betty is trying to drag us back to the fifties, along with the repeal of Roe v Wade.” –where_are_the_bats

“I feel sorry for Betty’s daughter. Shes not even born yet and is being condemned by her mother to these 1950s ideologies.”

“OP is NTA. Mina had more class than Betty (or me, id have flipped) to just walk away. She ruined her own speech with her snide little comments. Mina doesn’t need controlling, Betty’s mouth does.”

“Also, I hope their daughter turns out like Mina. Betty would be clutching her pearls by the minute.” –Hunter-Dangerous1366

“Yeah, surprisingly enough women can be misogynistic just as much as men. And they are horrible.”

“You and your wife sound awesome. Tell your sister that ‘the 1800’s called. They want their backwards views back.'”

“NTA.” –NightWitch65

“They misogyny is coming from inside the house. Your sister should worry about her own life and leave you and your wife to happily live yours.

“NTA, why did she think she could overtly insult your wife and have you roll over?” –MZlurker

“DO NOT APOLOGIZE”

“You had to support your wife. She left in the middle of your sister’s speech for good reason. You had to leave with her to show your support for your wife.”

“Because a man supports his wife. If you didn’t agree with your wife, you would have broached the subject in private instead of making a public statement by not following your wife when she left.”

“Your sister wants you to back her up, see the light, whatever.”

“But, according to the traditional views she’s supposed to follow, you as the husband are not allowed to publicly disrespect your wife.”

“(Source: I’m fundamental Baptist, and while I and my family are not nearly as strict as your sister is, I’ve been exposed to that idea all my life.)”

“NTA” –penpapercats

“Alternatively, ‘I’m sorry the Devil has made a home in your heart and a log in your eye.'”

“‘I pray the Lord grants you a spirit of love and understanding to relieve you of your burdens.'”

“Bonus points if it’s pretty, handwritten, and has a Bible verse suggestion attached.” –agoldgold

“OP should have responded to his sister’s request to ‘control [his] woman’ with Timothy 2:12: ‘I do not permit a woman to teach or to exercise authority over a man; she is to remain quiet.'”

“If Sis wants to live by her misogynistic, fundamentalist views, then she needs to shut her trap and not try to tell a man what to do. NTA!” –nottakinitanymore

“NTA Who invites their family to dinner and requires formal dress. Where you dining with the Queen?”

“As for the rest, your sister is a bitter shrew. And the fact that your family tolerates her acting like a 14 year old mean girl is pathetic. You don’t owe anyone apology.” –laude_nam

“NTA”

“you and Mina sound awesome and omg the Green Suit sounds epic.”

“Don’t bow to the misogyny and sexist bullsh*t that has been ingrained jnto your family.”

“Mother biggest issue they wil have raising a daughter is how badly they will try and mess her up and stuff her down into their small view if what it means to be a woman.” –ZECheer

Hopefully OP and their wife can figure out how to avoid this conflict in the future.

Written by John Sundholm

John Sundholm is a writer, content producer and performer originally from Michigan. His writing has also appeared on YourTango, Delish and Medium, and he has produced content for NBC, The New York Times and The CW, among others. When not working, he can be found tripping over his own feet on a hiking trail while singing Madonna songs to ward off lurking bears.