One would like to think that expectations around gender and gender roles have changed.
Than women are no longer expected to dress only in pink and play with dolls and be interested in sewing and dancing, while boys should only play with trucks and be interested in sports hunting.
But there are far too many people who still firmly believe that boys should be boys, and girls should be girls.
It was this mindset which resulted in Redditor Bromonium_ion becoming estranged from her family, and she planned on raising her baby girl in a much more open environment.
So when a disapproving aunt scolded the original poster (OP) over her child rearing plans, she had just the right response to put her in her place.
But concerned she may have behaved inappropriately, the original poster (OP), took to the subReddit “Am I the A**hole” (AITA), where she asked fellow Redditors:
“AITA for asking my aunt what part of the penis was required to operate a toy?”
The OP openly shared how a fundamentally different set of beliefs resulted in the OP cutting ties with her family, and her intention to raise her daughter in a more open environment.
“So I (26 F[emale]) am expecting my first daughter with my husband (29 M[ale]) in September.”
“I grew up in a moderately religious household with pretty strictly defined gender roles.”
“As in, since I was a girl, I had chores around the house while my younger brother did not have to do anything.”
“I don’t talk to my parents for a variety of reasons, going on year 5 now, so they do not know I am pregnant.”
“Both my aunts and grandparents were very supportive of me leaving my household and as such have been my main family.”
“Being 6 months pregnant now, people have started to give gifts and I am very grateful for them.”
“We have decided that we don’t want our daughter to be surrounded by pink everything with only girl things.”
“So we have made a conscious effort to include traditionally ‘boy’ outfits and toys like dinosaurs and cars.”
“We have told people that any gender items would be accepted and if it’s getting too much ‘pink’ we have gone out to balance a bit, getting a green jacket or something.”
However, one of her otherwise more accepting family members still didn’t approve of the OP’s intentions when it came to raising her child, and wasn’t afraid to say so.
“My younger aunt has taken great offense to this because ‘boys are boys and girls are girls’.”
“And she is a very verbal and loud person and has let us know several times her opinions.”
“She has two boys.”
“At my baby shower my older aunt gifted us a book called ‘goodnight construction site’ and a little stuffed truck.”
“My younger aunt went on a tirade about how we are somehow making our daughter trans and not allowing her to be a girl.”
“And she’s a loud person so of course her saying this was more like a yell, and in front of my VERY liberal in-laws who are very supportive of our choice.”
“Pregnancy hormones took over and I grabbed the toy, gave it to my younger aunt and asked her what part of the penis was needed to operate this toy truck.”
“She yelled that’s not what she meant and left.”
“The rest of the baby shower went fine but it was a bit awkward after.”
“Since then she has been blowing up Facebook where a bunch of people agree with her that I am making my daughter trans and have been telling me that I was an asshole.”
“The rest of my family think what we are doing is fine, but that I shouldn’t have handled it that way.”
“So was I an asshole?”
The OP later offered some clarity on how she and her husband planned on raising their daughter, as well as why her aunt’s remark at her shower came as such an unpleasant surprise.
“I do not care if she ends up loving pink and unicorns etc, we will get her them then.”
“I just was trying to balance out the sheer amount of pink items we were getting from friends and family.”
“Almost every single gift has been heavily pink or girl influenced.”
“To the point where she would not be dressed in anything but pink if we did not go out and buy some more boy things.”
“I also am generally not a person who argues.”
“But I feel like a bit of an a**hole because I intentionally said this as deadpan serious as I could and with the intent to embarrass her in front of our family members present.”
“My delivery and question did have the intended effect and she went quite red before leaving.”
“This was also the first transphobic comment I’ve ever heard out of her mouth.”
“While we all grew up quite conservative, my older aunt coming out 27 years ago really changed my family’s perspective.”
“My grandparents have changed from what they previously viewed and my aunt was always supportive of my other aunt.”
“My younger aunt always wanted a girl, so I thought she was just trying to act out her fantasy girl with all her gifts and preferences.”
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
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
The Reddit community unanimously agreed that the OP was in no way the a**hole for making a joke at her aunt’s insensitive remark.
Everyone applauded the OP’s progressive view of raising her daughter, and that her aunt comments were bigoted and deserved to be called out by the OP’s pitch perfect response.
“My 3 year old niece plays with dinosaurs and trucks, all while possessing a wardrobe that would put Elle from Legally Blonde to shame with the amount of pink.”
“She also pretends spoons are people and has whole scenarios where the dinosaurs drive the trucks and rescue the spoons, who are SOOOO grateful the they give the dinosaurs popcorn.”
“A toy is a toy, not a magic wand that changes people.”
“This is a baby, and your aunt sounds troubled.”
“If people keep on her side, do what you did with your parents because you don’t need this hate.”
“Also, if your child turns out to be trans, your family does not sound like they’d be supportive at all.”
“Familial red flags.”
“Not to mention, you were blown up on at your baby shower but you are supposed to be the bigger person and just take it?”
“Hell no, she smashed the line of decency first, all you did was treat her as she clearly thinks was appropriate.”- siris99
“That is literally the best response to hyperactively conservative wackos I’ve ever heard.”-ElishaAlison
“Your aunt is toxic for causing a scene and then to top it off she’s now blowing up Facebook.”
“Hopefully you can block/ignore her and enjoy the rest of your pregnancy.”
“Congratulations on the baby!”- Sad_You_1392
“It’s kinda funny.”
“You do not turn children trans.”
“Children either are, or they are not.”
“Countless studies have shown that the toys children play with have no significance in their future gender orientation or their sexuality.”- Illustrious-Horse276
“You’re already an awesome parent and your child hasn’t even been born yet!”
“There’s nothing you can do or not do to ‘make’ your child trans.”- planted-autic
“NTA but that response was hilarious!”- Mysterious_Damage708
“NTA and oh my God you are my hero.”
“I know for a fact if I ever get pregnant I’m going to have issues with some family members that are going to expect certain things for me in regards to gender and I love that you just throw all that out the window.”
“I am absolutely for boys getting dolls and girls getting trucks.”-bradjanetrocky.
“Reading the title, I expected this to be about some kind of actual sex toy.”
“My mind came up with odd combinations and images of what sex toy would be bizarre enough to not be able to tell which part of the penis to use!”
“You are NTA.”
“You will have no ability to make or not make someone trans.”
“I like not enforcing gender norms on children.”
“It is best this aunt either behave, or not be part of your child’s life.”-RxTechRachel
“First off, one cannot be made to be straight, gay, bi, queer, ace, non-binary, etc.”
“People are who they are.”
“Environmental factors can influence one’s habits and behaviors, but sexuality (or lack thereof) and gender identity are congenital.”
“Your aunt appears to be more concerned with maintaining a narrow view of life than being a supportive relative.”
“Your hormones notwithstanding, I’d say your reaction to her presumptuous and objectively rude comments was appropriate.”
“Don’t give these people any free real estate in your mind.”
“You’re doing fine and your child will be fine for it.”
The OP’s daughter is very lucky indeed, to be raised by such an open and nurturing family.
Perhaps seeing how happy and loved this child is bound to be will be exactly what it takes for he OP’s bigoted aunt to become a little more cognizant.