Mother asks Reddit for advice after husband tells son to 'never listen' to women
A woman, who has chosen to remain unidentified, has taken to Reddit to ask for advice after she overheard her husband telling their 15-year-old son to "never listen to what women say about dating" - something she branded as not only "dismissive" but "sexist".
"I was/am outraged at what I heard my husband say to our 15 year old son about a week ago," she began on the discussion website. "Our son has started dating and he’s been coming to me for advice since his dad is on the road for work a lot. He was home last week when he was telling us about how he bungled things with the girl he was talking to."
"I told him basically to move on and reinforced the advice I’d given him before about being respectful and polite," she continued.
"As I left the room he asked his dad what he thought and his father said, 'never listen to what women say about dating. Just pay attention to what they do. Your mother will tell you things because she thinks they’ll work, but trust me, it’s better to just watch how they behave and change your behaviour based on that.'
This struck me as being incredibly sexist and dismissive of not just what I said but if who I am as a woman. What about our daughters??? I feel like this was an awful thing to reach our son but my brothers and my dad all laughed it off and said he was right."
"Am I overreacting or is my husband actually the sexist as*hole?" she concluded.
The majority of Reddit users took a diplomatic approach, and said that neither party was explicitly in the wrong.
"I know this won't be popular but there're no assholes here. You're not the as*hole for getting upset. Your husband said something that you think is sexist, and it pis*ed you off. That's perfectly understandable. At the same time though, your husband's not wrong. Your husband has both the knowledge and experience of having been a teenage boy, and when he was he, presumably, dated teenage girls. He's offering your son advice based off of firsthand experience. Just because you didn't like the way he worded it doesn't discount the value of the advice," wrote one user.
Another corroborated, "I think you're confusing two different things. You heard "never listen to women, they don't know what they really want, no doesn't always mean no". He meant "don't listen to what your mother says women want because she doesn't know all women, especially not girls the age you're looking for. Watch what they actually do, because that's the best way to figure out what they want".
"In my opinion, the latter is sensible advice and not misogynistic in any way. However because it sounds a little bit like the former, it's easy to see it that way."
Others, however, pointed out that the father in question may be promoting "toxic mindsets" to his young son.
"Really gross to promote that toxic mindest onto his son too [sic]. Women are people, just like men and this whole idea that there's a "code" to figure them out is so detrimental (especially to an impressionable teenager)," wrote one individual, while another added "The problem here is that the advice involves not listening to what the woman wants. Even if it works and he gets the girl, it’s not good dating advice because it’s a sexist way to get into a relationship."
Regardless of your stance on the matter, it's evident that parents should work together to enforce good codes of conduct onto their children.