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Man snaps at SIL for criticizing daughter's interest in graffiti, 'your husband sucks.'

Man snaps at SIL for criticizing daughter's interest in graffiti, 'your husband sucks.'


Hell hath no fury quite like a parent who gets told they're doing a bad job. Even the most emotionally contained person is bound to pop off if their parenting is being criticized. This applies exponentially if the criticism is coming from another parent.

In these instances, fighting fire with fire can be so cathartic, even when it causes more chaos.

In a popular post on the AITA subreddit, a man asked if he was wrong for laying into his sister-in-law after she criticized his support of his daughter's passions.

He wrote:

AITA for telling my sister-in-law that she doesn’t have room to criticize the way I support my daughter’s passions when her own husband is barely involved with their kids?

My daughter Cameron is very artistic. Cam likes doodling and using certain online animation apps, but her preferred way to express herself is through street art such as graffiti. I have found an art class that specializes in graffiti for Cameron, as well as gotten her connected with specific zones where graffiti is allowed.

She’s staying out of trouble and it makes her happy, so I don’t see any issue with it and encourage her hobby. Some context about my sister-in-law Sydney is that she has two daughters, my nieces Eden and Ava, and her husband Benjamin is not involved with the girls at all.

My brother-in-law is the kind of guy who brags about he’s such a man because he’s never changed any diapers or attended parent-teacher meetings and Sydney does it all. He’s seemingly oblivious to the fact that this does not impress nor earn him respect from other fathers his age.

Sydney constantly makes excuses for Benjamin’s lack of involvement with Eden and Ava. Things along the lines of how it’s her responsibility as the mother or that since he makes more money, it is not his responsibility to step up as their father. (Sydney seems to have internalized misogyny herself.)

I bring all that up because Sydney has become very vocal about her disapproval of Cam’s graffiti hobby and a lot of her complaints seemed to be misogynistic. Things along the lines of how Cameron is fourteen, becoming a young woman, and needs to start acting like it. And that I should move her into classes for a more appropriate (“feminine”) form of art like watercolors.

I told Sydney that, unless Cam wants to, I would not be changing her art class or discouraging her graffiti. She’s staying out of trouble and it makes her happy, I see no issue with her hobby. Sydney called me irresponsible and said to think about the kind of potential partners Cam would attract with a hobby like graffiti.

She then said that if Cameron keeps doing graffiti, she will eventually hang around a bad crowd and get into drugs. I told Sydney that she doesn’t have room to criticize the way I support Cam’s passions when her own husband is barely involved with Eden and Ava. Sydney and I got into an argument, where I admittedly was yelling back at her.

My wife had us de-escalate, told Syndey off, and we left. Once we got home and things cooled off, my wife explained that she did not regret telling Sydney off over the drug comment. But throwing Benjamin’s lack of involvement in Sydney’s face was just a low blow on my end. And two wrongs don’t make a right since I could have addressed Sydney’s comment without bringing Benjamin into it.

I do see my wife’s side and realize that bringing up Benjamin was a low blow. The two friends I brought it up to, however, said that Sydney had it coming and that, in a way, I helped Sydney because she needed to look at herself and her own family dynamics in the mirror. Now I’m conflicted. AITA?

People had a lot of big thoughts.

Competitive_Bird_705 wrote:

NTA. Your SIL has essentially said that you have exposed your daughter to a bad crowd and that she's likely to get into drugs. She has offered her opinion that you should be encouraging more 'feminine' art for her.

What you should have said is, 'thank you for caring about my daughter, I'm happy for her to do this and I'm confident that it's safe. I don't think it'll expose her to a life of drug-taking. I'm glad we can have these open chats about our kids, because I've been feeling some concern for a while about the impact that your husband's neglect of Eden and Ava might be having on them.

I'm worried that they don't have a strong bond with him and that in the future, they might exhibit some worrying attention-seeking behaviours from the males in their lives'. I suspect had it gone down that way, she may have STFU.

potatoyuzu wrote:

NTA. I’m sorry but I’m surprised by the all Y T A in here. In what universe is Sydney not the TA? It’s none of her business how OP chooses to parent. OP is being supportive of their daughter’s interest in the best way. Sydney and her internalized misogyny (something that’s actually harmful to her daughters) can get out of OP’s business.

She has no right or place criticizing OP. I’m sorry but if she didn’t want OP criticizing her, she shouldn’t have done it to OP. She simply got a taste of her own medicine. It was fair game. Again, “play stupid games, win stupid prizes.”

unknown_928121 wrote:

First paragraph reaction 👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽👏🏽

Second paragraph: dude sounds like a gem 🙄

Third paragraph reaction: she's doing a lovely job of showing her daughters the type of adult relationship they should hope to have.

Fourth paragraph : she's not even trying to hide her misogyny anymore.

Fifth paragraph: she should be more concerned about her daughters and the type of love they think is acceptable

Sixth paragraph: was it a low blow or the truth finally coming out?

Seventh paragraph: don't be surprised if nothing changes, but don't be ashamed of what you said either.


EducationFragrant545 wrote:

NTA. Your SIL needs to mind her business. She's projecting like a mf and she needs to deal with her issues. I can't stand when people try to clean someone else's life when theirs is effed to hell. Like, hey, focus on your sexist husband and the fact you are basically a servant in your own home.

Had she not got in your business I'd say never call her out, and I feel you never would. However, when she came for your daughter, it's time to let her know. I don't think you went too far. Go further if she comes at you again.

JJ-Gonz wrote:

NTA seems like you were pushed too much and needed to make a point to shut her up. It is what it is. Also, as someone who was into graff when I was younger, I think it's awesome you support this. But, sil does have a bit of a point (not that it's her business). The graffiti scene can be extremely violent. Even if you never buff (write over) someone's work, writer and crew beefs exist.

Although chicks are usually left alone bc there are so few of them. I came into that scene in some really rough areas around a large city known for it's graffiti so my experience was seeing the worst of it, but just being honest, ya know. Nonetheless, keep doing what you're doing. A lot of parents don't care or don't get it, which helps push kids into the street with their artwork.

Clearly, OP is NTA, his SIL is just way out of line.

Sources: Reddit
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