Even though it’s 2023, there are still people in the world who expect others to make themselves smaller for their own comfort.
But that’s thankfully becoming less and less acceptable, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Ok-Internet-2420 was visiting her boyfriend’s parents in their new home and was shocked when she was body-shamed for wearing a swimsuit to their (checks notes) pool party.
But when her boyfriend later said she was overreacting for feeling so embarrassed, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she had blown the whole thing wildly out of proportion.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for no longer wanted to go over to my in-laws after they refused to let me get in their pool?”
The OP was invited to visit her boyfriend’s parents’ new house.
“I (24 Female) and my boyfriend (23 Male) were invited to a football draft pool party at his parents’ house. They had just moved to Florida so everyone flew in to draft their players. They just bought a new house in Florida and now have a pool.”
“His parents invited my boyfriend and me over since my boyfriend is in charge of the draft and because we live in an apartment and needed a bigger place to host the party.”
“His dad usually hosts the party and offered to do it this past year, which we greatly appreciated.”
The OP started getting ready for the party to start.
“Anyways, I helped put together a board where the guys can write their players on every round and helped my boyfriend’s mom set up the food.”
“The party started and I changed into my swimsuit.”
“I was finishing up setting up the food with his mother when my boyfriend asked me to come outside. He wanted me to get in the pool.”
“I’d like to note I was wearing a one-piece that was not revealing as I wanted to respect everyone there plus I felt more comfortable in it anyways. I have body image issues.”
“When I was unbuttoning my shorts, his dad called me inside. My boyfriend’s dad and mom pulled me into their room and proceeded to tell me that ‘no women are allowed in the pool,’ because they don’t want to distract the men or make them uncomfortable.”
The OP listened to what her boyfriend’s parents told her to do.
“I was in shock and didn’t know what to say back. It was their home after all so I just said okay and didn’t press any further.”
“Fast forward and my boyfriend was asking me where I am via text and I told him I’m inside helping his mom still, but he insisted I come outside again to talk.”
“He told me to get in again and I kept telling him I don’t want to, trying no to make a scene or play the victim.”
“He noticed my odd behavior, and when I finally told him the truth, he was p**sed.”
The situation escalated.
“He told his parents they were outta line and that the ‘rule’ was unnecessary and stupid.”
“They still said no to me getting into the pool.”
“His mom took the few women and me swimming at the community pool after she had us paint inside.”
“I felt uncomfortable the entire time. I tried to not show it but I think she saw right through. She never apologized though.”
The OP tried to confide in her boyfriend about the visit.
“Later the next day, we were going home and I brought up how I felt. I felt small, disrespected, and frankly embarrassed. I further explained that his parents were extremely inconsiderate for inviting us over and never telling us this ‘rule’ that they suddenly made.”
“He told me that they are old-school and I told him that they were ignorant and inconsiderate and that I didn’t feel comfortable going over there again.”
“He told me I was being over dramatic.”
“AITA for not wanting to go over to my in-laws anymore?”
Fellow Redditors weighed in:
- NTA: Not the A**hole
- YTA: You’re the A**hole
- ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
- NAH: No A**holes Here
Some found the OP’s in-laws to be incredibly sexist.
“NTA. Your in-laws just informed you that you are a distraction to men. You’re not a person with human feelings, you’re something to be hidden.”
“When asked to reconsider, they double down. They don’t see you as an equal to your boyfriend, and if your boyfriend doesn’t support you on this… do you need him?” – DoratheUrbanExplorer
“So it is okay for you to show your bodies in public and be distractions to total strangers, but not in the privacy of her backyard?”
“I suspect this isn’t about modesty, I suspect your boyfriend’s mom is scared her husband will be distracted by other women and your boyfriend’s dad is going along with it because it absolves HIM of responsibility if he should cheat on her/has cheated on her (‘it isn’t my fault, she was in the room and distracted me by wearing a skirt that showed her ankles!’)” – Historical_Agent9426
“Aren’t they also kinda admitting that they believe that the men they associate with have such little respect for women, including their friend’s girlfriend, that they might do harm to her? Like that’s how they feel about the company they keep. Wow.” – StormyLlewellyn1
“Aside from the obvious fact that it’s sexist and demeaning (to women AND men) to think a man can’t possibly focus on something if a woman nearby is showing any skin…”
“It’s a FOOTBALL DRAFT PARTY. Who cares if the men get distracted?!?! They aren’t doing brain surgeries or battling invading armies or something else that actually requires focus. It’s… a party.” – DinosaurDogTiger
“NTA. You’re nicer than I am.”
“I would have point blank looked at MIL and said, ‘Sorry your husband has a wandering eye.'”
“Then I would have turned to FIL and asked, ‘So why is it women distract you? Do you have no self-control?'” – _YodelLittleLady_
Others agreed and encouraged the OP to keep her distance from her in-laws, and boyfriend.
“Why the f**k did the women go to the community pool like lesser citizens? And where were the men when you were setting up the fun and games?”
“RUN, don’t walk. You can see clearly what your life would be if you stayed.” – Pale-hazelnut
“The community pool. What a nice little occasion for the servant class. Not.”
“NTA. Your boyfriend’s reaction (or lack thereof) is at the break-up level. You really need to rethink the shape of your future with him. He, at least, could have gotten his a** out of the pool in solidarity.” – Office_Desk906
“This is his chance to defend you and instead, he said you’re being ‘dramatic.’ He is showing you what a life with him as your partner is through his actions, and that he will side with his parents (maybe unless it’s something that inconveniences him, then he might stand up to them).”
“The way his parents treated you is sexist and gross and by not standing up to them and telling you you’re over reacting (you’re not; I think you handled this very well), he’s agreeing with them.”
“It’s your choice if you are okay with being treated as second class to men.” – elvis_wants_a_cookie
“He can’t support you the way you deserve.”
“I have crazy, unreasonable in-laws. My MIL didn’t come to our wedding. My wife has always been, ‘our family first, cut off any bad behavior immediately.’ We have gone lower and lower contact. We have a wonderful family with three teenagers, and my wife has ALWAYS been on our side.”
“If he isn’t there now, he isn’t going to be. Don’t do it.” – 2moms3grls
“Going off of OP’s age the in-laws would be in their mid-40s to early 50s. That is not an age range that gives you an excuse to claim ‘old school’ views.”
“OP’s boyfriend is still under his parents’ influence since he just goes along with their very s**tty reasoning and tries to justify and excuse his parents. Unless he gets out of their influence, this relationship is going to end very poorly after a lot of heartbreak.”
“OP’s boyfriend knows deep down that his parents’ views are f**ked up as evidenced by his initial objection. The way he acted later though shows that he still holds on to some of those views himself.”
“OP, your boyfriend either needs to detox from his parents completely until he is ‘deprogrammed’ from their s**tty views or he needs to grow a bigger spine.” – DOD489
The subReddit completely understood why the OP felt so uncomfortable and embarrassed at her boyfriend’s parents’ new house, and they urged her to seek out something better for herself, whether that meant depending to be better treated by his family or by ending the relationship.
Pinning the blame of “distraction” on the OP’s body, as well as the other women’s bodies at that party, was incredibly problematic and only perpetuates sexist and misogynistic stereotypes and beliefs.