'AITA for refusing to participate in my bf's family's 'tradition'.'
I went to Thanksgiving at my bfs family's house last night. I had met his parents and sister a couple times but this was my first time meeting his more extended family. He said they make a whole day of it, so we would be heading over around 10am.
When we arrived there were several men sitting in the living room watching football. My bf introduced me to his brother, BIL, uncles and some cousins. His dad was was also there.
There is a cooler in the middle of the room and my bf grabs a beer and sits down to watch the game.
His mom and sister come in to say 'hi' and his mom says 'perfect timing! We are just getting going in the kitchen! Come on let's get you a drink!' I go into the kitchen and there are several women in there. They have Christmas movies on the TV and most of them are doing some kind of food prep.
I grab my drink and go back and sit with my bf. I tried to strike up some conversation, but the guys were super into the game. After a while I take my bf to the side and tell him I feel awkward, since I'm not into football, and no one is really talking to me.
He told me 'then go hang out in the kitchen, the girls talk up a storm. The family tradition is for the guys to watch football and the ladies hang out in the kitchen and make the meal.' I told him I found that extremely misogynistic, and I was not interested in 'going to the kitchen' while the men sat around drinking and watching TV.
I ended up just sitting around awkwardly watching them all talk sports until basically dinner was served, at which point they got up, got a plate and went back to watching tv.
I told my bf after that I was upset and he said I was over reacting. I told him it was awkward, as I didn't like sports but I didn't want to be banished to the kitchen with 'the women'. I told him I didn't really feel like I got to know next to nothing about his family, except that they have this messed up 'tradition'. AITA?
Info from OP:
There were about 15 women in the kitchen, so not all were helping when I was in there, though I did hear orders being given from the living room multiple times, so I am not sure who was doing what. They were also for the most part looking after the kids aside from a couple older boys who were watching tv with the guys
Here's what people had to say in the comments:
If he didn't want to spend the day with you he shouldn't have invited you.
Throwaway188349 OP responded:
He said I was supposed to be getting to know his family.
ESH - except all those nice women you chose to ignore. While you are correct: it is a sexist tradition, and you don't have to like it - Mom&Sister invited you to join them, they sounded happy to meet you, they were trying to include you.
YOU chose not to interact with the women of his family. You're complaining that you didn't get to learn about anybody in the family BUT had you gone with Mom&Sister and met all the other women they'd of given you the low down on EVERYBODY.
I agree it's a crappy 'tradition' but this might be deeply ingrained into your BF. Talk to him and make some decision s on whether THIS is something you can live with or if that is something He can live without.
Remember this experience very, very well, because it's most definitely a glimpse of what your future will look like if you stay with your boyfriend.
You told him how you felt, he invalidated your feelings, and told you to grin and bear it. Is that what you want? Not only does he accept this type of alienation, he expects you to just cluck with the other chickens in the kitchen, and leave the cocks alone. NTA