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Mom asks if she was wrong to stop funding sons' dojo after they banned girls.

Mom asks if she was wrong to stop funding sons' dojo after they banned girls.


My ex husband and I have been funding a dojo/martial arts gym that our son's (24m and 16m) run. Technically it's only the 24yo's, but the 16yo does a lot of work for it and gives a ton of input.

The dojo has always welcomed girls, but now my 16yo wants no girls starting in 2023/2024. Apparently they made that announcement back in September and I didn't know. I asked my 16yo why, and he said he thinks it'd be 'beneficial for guys to have a space just for them' and because some guys don't 'feel comfortable doing certain things around girls'.

My 24yo is going along with it because that's what his brother wants, and apparently 'something' happened that probably had a lot to do with my younger son's decision.

I was and still am incredibly upset, and I decided to take a look at my son's social media, and I saw a lot of tweets and retweets about men's issues and mental health. There was nothing misogynistic, however I just didn't like the headspace he was in.

So I explained to my son how disappointed am I with this decision he's made and that if he didn't reverse it, I would stop paying for it. Which he got really mad about, but didn't change his mind.

My ex husband called very upset because now he has to pay for everything by himself, I assumed he would just stop paying as well, but I honestly should've known better with him.

So the dojo/gym will stay open, but they will have to cut back on a lot of things. So both my son's are upset, my ex husband is upset and the coaches at the dojo are upset with me. AITA?

Questions, answers and comments:

Squirrel-mama asks:

Wait... Why are you funding their gym? Do they not have enough clients? And if they don't have enough current students to pay the gyms bills, is it really a smart business plan to cut their client list even more by refusing to serve females?

When you run a business you have to make decisions based on what's best for the business, not some arbitrary thing that the owners brother went through. If they can't tell their investors why they're making this decision then can it really be a smart decision?

paperplatewithcheese OP responded:

They used to make way more money, but dramatically slashed memberships and did away with certain fees because the pandemic hit our community really hard. They still make enough for the basics but our money was for classes and special equipment

They didn't have to lower prices, they just chose to so more people could afford it, half the shit in there is ridiculously expensive and unnecessary for any gym. They still refuse to re-raise prices.

Bean5idhe says:

Speaking as someone who runs an all female dojo, I started it up because a lot of women weren’t comfortable in male spaces and particularly with martial arts they’re very male dominated.

iaincaradoc says:

YTA. What would anyone like to bet that a girl made him tap out?


Or maybe something actually negative/traumatizing happened to a 16 y/o child and he is trying to process it and feels that the dojo is his safe space to work through it? Having a males only place isn't necessarily a bad thing, but they obviously shouldn't have before allowed females and then revoked that privilege.

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