You're The A-Hole, Mom

The Internet Dragged A Mom Who Makes Her Daughters Wear Dresses To Her In-Laws’ House

Unsurprisingly, her daughters hate it.

Adorable little girls in old city in Toscany on italian vacation, In a popular post on the “Am I The...
Dmitry Travnikov / 500px/500Px Plus/Getty Images

Maintaining a healthy relationship with in-laws can be a challenge, especially if one side of the relationship (I think we both know which side) is unwilling to bend or compromise to make things amicable for all involved. Things can get even messier and more tense once grandchildren are involved.

However, once the happiness of a child comes into question to appease a 60-year-old grown adult, changes probably need to be made. For one mom, she needed the public’s opinion to help her work through her in-law conflict.

In a popular post on the “Am I The A—hole?” (AITA) subreddit, a mom asked if she’s wrong for making her two school-aged daughters wear dresses when they visit their grandparents. The issue seems to lie in the fact that her husband’s parents are not willing to bend on their extreme conservative beliefs — including that pants on a woman are the devil’s work.

She wrote, “My in-laws are what you would call traditional. They seem to think the world should have stopped 50 years ago, and think [everything] since then is evil. They aren't racist (that I know of) or outwardly bigoted, but they just are very old fashioned.”

This “old fashioned” thinking also pertains to them not liking when girls wear pants because it’s “showing off” (Showing off what? That they have two legs?). Her father-in-law “always says it isn't Christian.”

While the mom admits that putting on a dress to keep the peace doesn’t bother her, the problem is that her daughters not only hate putting on the dress but they also hate going to their grandparents in general.

Gee, I cannot imagine why.

“They don't like visiting my husband’s parents, which breaks his heart, because we make them put on a dress before they go. They are both pretty tomboyish, and they never wear any dresses otherwise,” she explained.

“I had to but each of them a few dresses specifically so they can go. To be clear it's not like they aren't allowed over if they wear pants, it's just that they won't shut up the entire time about how much they hate it.”

The mom then makes the excuse that in “a lot of cultures” women only wear dresses, so she doesn’t see the big deal. Her biggest worry is that her oldest daughter plans to never speak to her grandparents again after she's 18. “I'm worried it's affecting them,” she concluded.

The response from Reddit users was overwhelmingly in the “You’re the a—hole” camp, noting that this mom was pretty much telling her daughters to conceded their personal beliefs, feelings, and opinions to make others happy.

“YTA...What the hell OP!?! These poor kids have to be subjected to them several times a week!?! You’re worried they aren’t going to speak to the grandparents again after they turn 18, you should be more worried they won’t speak to you or your husband either,” one user noted.

Another user pointed out that this probably has nothing to do with religion and everything to do with everyone’s favorite past time: controlling women’s bodily autonomy.

“New flash: Christ didn’t wear pants, either. So, if you’re traditional, it’s not masculine OR Christian to wear pants,” they said. “This is about controlling women’s bodies and removing their bodily autonomy. If it was three times a year, I might see it as an acceptable concession. Every week, for hours? YTA, big time. You are telling your daughters that other people can dictate about their bodies. It’s a terrible lesson to impart.”

Hopefully this mom takes in all 5.6k comments on her Reddit post and really tries to understand how something she doesn’t see as a “big deal” can be incredibly damaging to her daughters.