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creepy empathy deficit entitled babies homophobia misogyny reddit

Reddit dad wants another son for the most effed-up reason imaginable

Dad bonding with sons by showing them pictures of all the broads he’s banged (Leave It to Beaver edition)

By David Futrelle

Let’s take another trip to the Am I the Asshole subreddit, where a young father has come forward with a simple question: “[Am I The Asshole] for wanting another child?”

You’ll be shocked and stunned to learn that the question isn’t quite so simple after all. Admitting that his particular quandary might prove “controversial,” the Reddit daddy, calling himself iwntanthrkid, explains his situation:

When my wife and I got married we agreed that we would have 2 kids unless both were girls, then we’d have a 3rd to try for a boy.

Already I don’t like this guy.

I’m a guy’s guy and I grew up with only brothers so I feel strongly that I want a son to bond with. That’s not to say that I don’t love my daughter equally. I just want to raise someone to follow in my footsteps with sports and girls and stuff.

Uh, the first illusion, or at least one of the first illusions, you should give up when you have kids is the idea that you can and/or should raise them to “follow in your footsteps.” They’re not little clones of you. Let them make their own paths in life.

After some convincing, my wife agreed to this but said that if the 3rd kid was a girl, we’d stop trying.

“After some convincing.”

Anyway, we ended up having one boy (8 years old) and one girl (5 years old). This background is important because you need to know that having a 3rd kid was something that was on the table.

Oh crap, now it’s going to get really bad, isn’t it.

Last month, our son told us that he likes boys. This is totally fine,

Yeah, then why are you writing to Reddit about it?

I’m not a homophobe, but I’m starting to feel like I want to have a 3rd kid so we can try to have a straight boy.

I love my son more than anything and I wouldn’t love a straight kid more than him, but at the end of the day I wanted to be able to bond with one of my kids over traditional masculine stuff, which includes women.

What the fuck, dude. First of all, obviously you ARE a homophobe. And second, what the fuck do you mean by “bonding” with a son over women? Are you going to go to Hooters together and ogle the waitresses’ boobs? Are you going to tell him in graphic detail about all the hot babes you’ve banged? Are you going to say creepy things about the girlfriends he brings home?

Trust me, no boy gay or straight wants to hear his dad’s horny opinions about women.

My wife doesn’t think that this is a good reason to have a 3rd kid.

Well, your wife is right, and you’re damn lucky she even puts up with your sad ass.

She said that she would be open to having a 3rd kid but that she finds my reasoning disgusting and she doesn’t think she can go through with it knowing the reason for me wanting one.

Good. I’m surprised she even wants to stay married to you.

I don’t think she understands how special it is for a father to have a son who can follow in his footsteps.

Fuck you.

Am I the asshole or is she overreacting?

The AITA subreddit collectively came down on the “asshole” side of this question, and several of the commenters suggested that his wife should probably divorce him, pronto. I can’t say I disagree with them. He’s going to be a terrible father to his gay son. And, I imagine, to his daughter as well.

LGBTQ kids, like all kids, deserve to be raised by parents who not only love them but also don’t secretly resent them for not being little clones of them.

HAPPY PRIDE MONTH! Here’s some brain bleach.

Ok, that last one isn’t specifically a Pride Month gif, but come on, it’s a dog driving a mower!

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JarredH
2 years ago

@Fenton said:

You know… according to the report of his frail-male, vicarious-living, never-grew-past-adolescence, looking-for-a-dudebro-buddy-instead-of-a-son, toxic-machismo, unflushed turd of a dad?

The father reported that his son told him and his wife that he (the son) likes boys. Presumably, those are the son’s own words.

The son has spoken and says he likes boys. Trying to pass this off as “the father’s interpretation” is complete and utter bullshit. Trying to second-guess what the son meant or how he really feels is bullshit.

Stop engaging in bullshit.

Leum
Leum
2 years ago

Straight is not the default. There’s no reason not to believe it. If he said the son was straight, would you question that?

Maybe it’s because I was a late bloomer, but the idea of thinking of an eight-year-old as straight or gay is incomprehensible to me.

An Impish Pepper
An Impish Pepper
2 years ago

You know, I don’t recall ever having a “girls are icky” phase personally, though I did get to a point of being self-conscious about liking “girly” things. I just remember feeling like the “girls are icky” attitudes depicted in shows were rather exaggerated in my personal experience. I did later on go through the motions of internet boards and their performative hatred of female-coded things like boy bands and fanfiction, but somehow it never really got ingrained in me the same way it seems to have been ingrained in others (though I’ll admit that it was to some extent). I discovered YouTube atheism in 2013 and had to be explicitly lied to about feminism before I even started contemplating explicitly anti-feminist views — and by late 2014 I had become all too aware of how blatant the lies were. This may be sounding like some kind of humblebrag, but I really just did not understand why anyone made such a big deal about gender, especially as my own family became more explicit about their beliefs in gender complementarianism. It sometimes makes me think my parents used to be way more progressive before finding the church we settled in.

Also, since this entry is about a dad being an idiot because his son told him he’s gay, I thought maybe I’d speak on a lighter note. I went to Toronto’s Pride Parade for the first time. I didn’t do anything remarkable, just stood/sat in the shade wherever I could find it near Church and Bloor where it started. But one thing I noticed putting myself out there for several public events now is that I’m not really that terrible in large crowds necessarily. I have problems — like a strong urge to get out — mainly when I’m lost or I don’t know what to do or say. And it’s unlikely that I’ll ever be the life of the party. But if I’m just asked to watch, then I’m good. Kind of weird for Google to show up, though.

Snowberry
Snowberry
2 years ago

@Leum: It’s possible for someone to be aware of their orientation and/or gender identity as early as age four, but that’s either pretty rare, or being able to effectively express it that young is pretty rare. 8 seems about normal for early awareness. At that age, they might occasionally get it wrong, but seriously, it’s extremely rude and potentially erasing to be dismissive of it because they’re children or because they might have made a mistake. Children are still people.

Some people are aware before puberty, or occasionally even well before, some after, some not until about college age, or occasionally not until even later. It’s not a race. You’ll get it when you get it, and there’s nothing wrong with being “early” or “late”.

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
2 years ago

@Kupo,

Straight is the most common and most likely sexual orientation. My brother went through a period around the ages of 11 to 13 where he thought he was gay but he turned out straight.

So it IS too early to assume that this boys sexuality is completely determined when he hasn’t even hit puberty FFS!

This father is a sad sack of shit. I wish this man was just trolling. I don’t even want to think what he’s going to be subjected to or what the fate of this family will be. I just hope the wife can knock some decency into him and learn to accept his son the way he is.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
2 years ago

@ Pyxxxie

Your brother is, of course, representative of all boys. His experience is not only completely generalizable, but also in fact overrides anyone else’s lived experience!

There is no way, in the face of this evidence, that we could do anything but agree with you completely. Thank you, O Enlightened One, for correcting the error of our ways and bestowing this wisdom on us. /s

Why are you so SO bothered some anonymous kid on the internet said he was gay and some of us believed him? What’s it to you? Are you the asshole?

ReductiveChaos
ReductiveChaos
2 years ago

@Big Titty Demon:

Why are you so SO bothered some anonymous kid on the internet said he was gay and some of us believed him?

I think this depends on how much one trusts the father’s characterization of his eight year old son’s statement. In other words, it wasn’t an anonymous eight year old kid who said he was gay: it was an anonymous homophobe who said his eight year old kid was gay.

What he directly said about his son was that he said he “likes boys”, without much context for that statement in the post or comments. He indirectly characterizes his son’s statement as sexual in nature, by asserting that it means his son is gay.

For my part, my initial reaction was not to trust that characterization. This was partly because, at eight, I could not have expressed sexual or romantic preferences. If I had been asked a question like “Do you like girls?”, I probably would have responded with “No, I like boys.” because my close friends were all boys. If someone took that answer as being sexual or romantic, I don’t think I could have corrected them because I didn’t have enough understanding of the concept.

The other part is probably that I’m a straight-ish male, and have never had to deal with hate or discrimination over my sexuality. I think I probably focused too much on what I perceived as him sexualizing his son, and not enough on the homophobia. I can definitely see why other people’s perceptions and focus would be different, especially after finishing writing this comment.

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
2 years ago

Big Titty Demon,

It really doesn’t bother me at all. But it should be taken with a grain of salt and not assumed to be absolute until he hits puberty.

I find it telling that the father assumes his sons sexuality is already set in stone due to his homophobic panic.

rugbyyogi
rugbyyogi
2 years ago

I’m wondering whether this is really a kind of emotional vampirism. Perhaps what the guy really wants is to relive his youth, …. And that’s harder for him if the kid’s not a mini-me. Or maybe he’s just homophobic and sexist, and I shouldn’t overthink it.

No reason he can’t be both. And signs point to yes on both of them.

Wetherby
Wetherby
2 years ago

Leaving aside all the sexuality stuff, it seems like the father intends to force his son to he involved in his interests regardless of what he actually wants, which is an exceedingly shitty way of raising a child. I love both my dad and my stepdad, but if either one of them tried to force me to do just the stuff they’re interested in regardless of whether I was interested or not, I would never do anything with them again. I have shared interests with both of them and it’s great to do stuff we’re mutually interested in together, but we also have separate hobbies and interests and the willingness to respect them.

Like most parents, I realised very very quickly that my kids were individuals with their own individual opinions, and if they didn’t share the same interests as me, that’s just tough.

In particular, I have very few shared interests with my now teenage daughter besides a weakness for appalling dross with words like “sharknado” in the title, but she’s terrific company (in particular, she’s one of the laugh-out-loud funniest people I know besides her mother – and both know exactly how funny they are) and I have every confidence that she’ll make a decent fist of whatever she attempts – which I imagine will be utterly outside my own experience.

Most likely deliberately – after all, this is a girl who, when offered the opportunity to drop one of the languages she was learning at school, chose to stick with Spanish for the simple reason that, unlike French, I didn’t speak it, and therefore I “couldn’t interfere”. And I know exactly where she’s coming from, because I ended up working in a field completely different from that of any of the ones in which my parents, grandparents, aunts and uncles had excelled, and this was wholly deliberate from the off.

My own parents, greatly to their credit, never tried to push me or my siblings in any particular direction (the most we’d get is a gentle steer, usually in the form of advice that I now recognise was pretty sensible), because their overwhelming priority for their kids was that they’d forge their own path and be happy doing what they wanted to do.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
2 years ago

So, asshole wants a mini me?

No kid ever is.

There’s this woman I know. Her oldest son is my age, her second son is about 9 years younger than me, and the daughter is about 12 years younger than me.

She always went on about how horrible and difficult parenting boys is. Usually in hearing range of her sons.

I used to volunteer at a child care organization while I was still at school. Both younger kids went there.

The way she treated her younger son was infuriating, especially if you were able to contrast it with the way she was fawning over the girl.

I have no idea how any one of them turned out, but I really hope that the girl had the most epic case of teenage rebellion, ever.

I can’t stand parents who define themselves via their children.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
2 years ago

@Knitting Cat Lady:

She always went on about how horrible and difficult parenting boys is. Usually in hearing range of her sons.

My mom used to complain about how horrible it is to raise a kid with disabilities. She would get really worked up about it, forget that I was in the same room with her, and then just go off about how awful it is and why did she get stuck with such a sucky kid. I thought I must’ve ruined my parents lives when I was born, that I really was a bad kid.

I HATE WHEN PARENTS DO THIS!!!!!!! Especially online, where the kid (and everyone else!) can see it for all time.

Also, on the kids orientation… all the stuff about ‘he can’t know he’s gay at 8!’ This is only my experience, of course, but I knew I was attracted to both boys AND girls when I was 8.

Some people have the privilege of not having to think about this stuff as kids, but not all of us do.

Not Edward
Not Edward
2 years ago

I am just guessing, but if this a***hole father doesn’t get to “bond” with a son by teaching his son about how to conduct relationships with women, this sounds to me like a lucky escape both for the son and for any women who would have been unfortunate enough to subsequently encounter the son should he have been misguided enough to have paid any attention to what his father had to say.

Knitting Cat Lady
Knitting Cat Lady
2 years ago

@Yutolia: I’m autistic, diagnosed as an adult. It runs in the family. The way I see some parents talk on the internet about autistic kids is revolting. And all the ‘treatments’ they torture their kids with in order to cure them are horrifying.

It took me ages to figure out my sexuality. I was in my late 20ies when I learned about the a-spec. And finally I knew that there was nothing wrong’ with me. I just was assembled without the whole sexuality, romanticism, and gender module!

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

So it IS too early to assume that this boys sexuality is completely determined when he hasn’t even hit puberty FFS!

Even if I accept this premise, what is the point of bringing such a thing up on this thread?

Is the father any less of an asshole for wanting a replacement son it turns out that his first son actually ends up being straight?

Also, I would expect that with all the heteronormative bullshit that we get spoon fed since birth, I’d expect there to be far more kids that erroneously assume that they are straight than visa versa. I was one of those kids.

JarredH
2 years ago

The kid says he likes boys. You ACCEPT that. You don’t question that. You don’t second-guess it. You ACCEPT it. IF sometime the road, he says that no, he likes girls instead (or hey, maybe he decides he likes BOTH), you then accept that, too.

But again, this whole “that may not be what he meant” or “he might change his mind” bullshit is exactly that. And it’s just another way to invalidate the kid’s current feelings and self-understanding because you think you know better.

Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
2 years ago

@JarredH:

But again, this whole “that may not be what he meant” or “he might change his mind” bullshit is exactly that. And it’s just another way to invalidate the kid’s current feelings and self-understanding because you think you know better.

This. So this.

weirwoodtreehugger: chief manatee

And if we decide there’s a minimum age of trustworthiness on one’s declared orientation, what is that age? Because a lot of teenagers are dismissed as confused when they come out when they know definitively what their orientation is. Plus, such a dismissal makes it seem bad or silly to be confused, and being confused about your orientation is okay too.

There’s no harm that can be done by taking someone at their word about either orientation or gender identity. But there is harm to be done by not taking someone at their word. So, best to err on the side of the former.

Alexis Filth
2 years ago

so quick poll of the commenters

I am a nonbinary trans femme.
my husband is a binary trans man

we have 2 kids together, aged 8 & 4, and are pretty sure they’re both cis.
AITA if I demand my spouse quit the hormones and get pregnant again so we can have us a LGBTQ+ kid?

(this is so much snark, please don’t take it seriously I already have a trans lesbian stepdaughter so it wouldn’t even make sense as a serious question it’s just me making fun of douchebag McGee in the OP)

Weasel-Rah
Weasel-Rah
2 years ago

I don’t think anyone is doubting the kid, so much as we are doubting the word of the father who is all set to toss his son in the metaphorical garbage and start over based on his interpretation of what his son said. The son may like boys or not. It won’t matter because his father will now treat him as less because in the father’s mind he is less. I feel bad for the kid regardless of what he chooses in life because his father’s love is so stilted and conditional.

My brother is a recovering homophobe. When his first son was young my brother was in a huge tizzy that he was going to grow up gay because the kid liked to draw and slept with a teddy. (The range of acceptable interests for a homophobe is so small I wonder they don’t all die of boredom.). He’s doing better now, thank gawd, bigotry can be unlearned as well as learned.

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

I don’t think anyone is doubting the kid, so much as we are doubting the word of the father who is all set to toss his son in the metaphorical garbage and start over based on his interpretation of what his son said.

Yeah, but like you said, it doesn’t matter if the father is right or not, so why should we be debating whether or not an 8-year-old can accurately gauge his own tastes?

Is it somehow worse for a father to treat his straight son badly because the father thinks the son is gay, than it would be for a father to treat his gay (or bi or pan) son badly because he thinks his son is gay? Does the hypothetical straight son “deserve” the poor treatment any less than the hypothetical gay son?

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
2 years ago

DEAR ANY YOUNG LURKERS/COMMENTERS ON WE HUNTED THE MAMMOTH:

If you are young, and think you are Not Straight, that is okay. No one knows you better than you.

If you are young, thought you were Not Straight, and then think no, maybe you are straight, that is fine. No one knows you better than you.

If you hear stories about how this one kid totally thought they were gay and then realised that no, they were straight – that doesn’t mean that you will feel that way, as you age.

If you hear stories about how no one knows themselves at that young an age, and you think to yourself “but I do!” – I believe you.

Now that that is out of the way…

DEAR OLDER LURKERS/COMMENTERS ON WE HUNTED THE MAMMOTH:

If you know someone who thought they were Not Straight, and then decided later that they were straight – Their experience is not universal. Don’t try to make it like that, you are invalidating the feelings/experiences of vulnerable kids.

If you, personally did not know who you were attracted to at 8 – don’t try to make that a universal experience. No truscum* here!!!! Everyone experiences this at a different pace. Some know incredibly early, some figure it out in their old age. It’s all cool!

Now, you might want to argue that we can’t trust what the dad says, because he’s a raging homophobe. (He 100% is a homophobe!)

My answer to that: Nah. I’ll trust what he says on this, because it’s too dangerous not to. I don’t see what the problem is, with this idea?

* I know that ‘truscum’ is specific to trans people, and policing how being trans manifests. I don’t know a similar term for policing sexuality, so hopefully it makes sense still.

Katamount
Katamount
2 years ago

Seconding @wwth when she said:

There’s no harm that can be done by taking someone at their word about either orientation or gender identity. But there is harm to be done by not taking someone at their word. So, best to err on the side of the former.

This is why the Joe Rogans of the world are so infuriating because they take an idea as simple and frankly innocent as a child exploring their own identity and graft a whole bunch of bad faith concern-trolling on top of it to hide their own base disgust (and it is disgust) for gay and trans people. I watched the YouTuber Vaush break down Joe Rogan interviewing, ugh, Steven Crowder about some of Crowder’s stupid pranks related to kids exploring their gender identity, and as he noted, Crowder actually came off less transphobic than Rogan did (they’re still both transphobic shits, but Crowder had the sense to steer clear of the vehemently hateful stuff).

If you can stomach it, the video’s worth watching if only to examine how it is transphobes frame the issue. The ages of the hypothetical children get younger each time and they hyperfocus on drugs and surgeries when that’s not what people are recommending for grade schoolers who haven’t reached puberty.

kupo
kupo
2 years ago

@Alexis Filth
Clearly your man owes you a do-over. It’s only fair. 😉

@wwth, rhuu, et. al.
Thank you. I got too frustrated to continue the discussion.

@grown-ass adults second guessing a child’s orientation
This isn’t about taking the father’s word. You accepted the following without question:
* he’s married
* he and his wife had an agreement about having 2 kids, but would try for a third if both were girls
* he has two kids, a boy and a girl, who are 8 and 5 respectively
* his wife doesn’t want to try for another child because she thinks the reason is disgusting

You take all those statements at face value even though you supposedly think this man is completely untrustworthy. The only thing you didn’t take at face value? The son’s statement that he likes boys.

Laserqueen
Laserqueen
2 years ago

@Rhuu

Well said!

As my kids’ friends have grown up, names have changed, genders have changed, preferences have changed, pronouns have changed. I have known many of these kids since they were toddlers. It has always been my responsibility to keep up with who the kids themselves say they are. It is not easy, and much of my programming has had to be yanked out repeatedly, as some of it is tenacious af, and I am an older parent with older programming. The reward is seeing the kid’s face light up when I use the correct name, the correct pronoun for them and comment positively on something they’ve done in school/life. So many adults in their lives won’t bother, “You’ll always be … to me.” And the kid accepts that many won’t change. But when I can acknowlege that change, see who they are, and do it smoothly? That’s a beautiful light up face in a teen- and totally worth it. (Looking at you Sayre- whom I’ve adored since you dressed as Link for Halloween and needed math help in 2nd grade. )

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
2 years ago

Good point @kupo re: all the things commenters accepted in the story. I was getting distracted, and didn’t even think about that!

Thank you, @Laserqueen, both for the compliment and for trying to respect what the people around you are telling you about themselves.

AsAboveSoBelow
AsAboveSoBelow
2 years ago

Victorious Parasol: It was the same with my father. Three girls, and he gamely played dolls with my little sisters (I wasn’t so much into dolls) as well as co-coached my third-grade softball team, taught us to ride bikes, taught me to sail, took us fishing, read to us, helped with our homework, ate our awful cooking experiments with relish (overcooked fudge and burnt cookies, he averred, were delicious), and fostered our curiosity and intellect. He was a bookish, artistic, outdoorsy kind of man, and I remember him getting offended when some dickweed cousin-in-law insinuated that there was something wrong with having girls instead of boys; it went over my head, so I didn’t understand why Dad was mad until much later. I miss him, too.

So yeah, this guy is the asshole. Children are people, too, not robots, carbon copies, or clones.

Big Titty Demon
Big Titty Demon
2 years ago

@Pyxxxie, RC

Read kupo’s post above mine. It points out the flaw in your thinking “I don’t care, I just don’t believe” better than I could. By not believing only that one thing, you show you do care.

Atropos Moirai
Atropos Moirai
2 years ago

Dear Readers, old and new, casual, daily, or those who tend to drop in and out as the hyperbole gets a bit much:

No one said that all children who have told an unworthy parent “I like kids like me” must be straight and just going through a phase.

In fact, if you are a person for whom this is not true, please realize you will be celebrated and supported on this website even when the rest of the world is horrible to you.

If you are a person who once said, “I like kids like me,” and now realize it means just that – people who are like you regardless of their gender – YOU ARE OKAY TOO. You don’t have to be gay OR straight. You can be you.

I realize that it’s tough to know all the answers and that people want you to line up as binary, straight OR gay, even when you are young and sorting things out. Please realize that binary people mean well, and may not always know the right way to offer you support and defense. They may think and say things like, “Nobody knows who they are at (insert life stage here),” thinking that it is a comforting thing to tell someone – all of us question facets of our identity throughout life, or we don’t grow. They may rather focus on the bad behavior of adults on either side (“I want a son like me” is bad but people also think so is “It might just be a phase” and so is “how dare you ignore the child’s immutable clearly stated in first person testimony sexuality!”) and point out that it is wrong for other people to apply their experiences to all situations.

All of these statements tend to lock a person into a rigid, static role, and none are about you. They are about the person making the statement.

Who you are will never change, and that’s good! It means you can spend a lifetime learning to love yourself. Oh, you’ll grow and add new layers, but you are you and that is good!

Who you love may change, and that’s also good! You should be with the person who loves the immutable core of your being, while supporting your growth and health. Sometimes you grow away from people. Sometimes you’ll grow back and share all your lessons from when you were away.

The point is, you are not a bonsai, confined to a limited world and pruned by a benevolent (as it were) hand. You are a mighty oak, shedding limbs when they no longer serve you, gnarled in places, but with great strength, beauty, and worth.

Grow where you will. Refuse the binary definitions of straight and gay if they don’t fit. Recognize that those who don’t understand your path aren’t always the enemy; sometimes they’re an opportunity to teach and learn.

Sometimes “meaning well” paves bad roads. Other times it waters a garden.
-AM

P.S. If you are dealing with parents who are getting used to understanding they misgendered you, please give them room to grow too. They may not have the vocabulary yet, and making the shift is harder for people whose social programming was pretty thorough. Sometimes they will love you imperfectly, but unconditionally, and after a few glasses of Scotch, apologize repeatedly and tearfully for misgendering you at birth. They may use the wrong words at first because this is a new world for them. If this is you and your parent, please know it has always been about love.

P-P.S. If you are the parent of a misgendered and/or non-binary child, I won’t lie. It’s been a hard road. Everyone is willing to tell you how you’re fucking it up, including the child. It’s cost me several jobs and many potential friendships. Obviously I’m glad I chose my kids, but it still made for rough going. Now that both survived to become adults, I’m being told I did it all wrong. I read responses from the gay community to straight people fumbling their way through, being essentially right – c’mon, the kid’s actual identity isn’t the topic, it’s his idiot dad’s reaction to the potential future – and I recognize the frustration on all sides. Stick with it. You are part of the circle, too.

Good fortune and beneficial RNG to all, and to all a fruitful turning of the earth.

ReductiveChaos
ReductiveChaos
2 years ago

@Big Titty Demon:

Sorry, I think I wasn’t clear enough — after thinking about it, I’d come to the conclusion that, if this isn’t a troll, I should take it as true. I was trying to explain my thought process, as to why I initially focused on what I saw as an asshole pushing sexuality on an eight year old boy, and then using it to hate him. I also did question other details, but mentioning them wasn’t immediately relevant. I questioned how much of his “deal” with his wife was him forcing his desires onto their relationship rather than by her consent, for instance, even though I didn’t mention it in my post.

Now I’m wondering if my development of romantic/sexual attraction was (significantly?) delayed, at least compared to normal. At eight I just wouldn’t have understood any of this, never mind being able to express it. It took me until I was ten to start realizing that I was attracted to a few others in a way that wasn’t simply as friends, and at least another couple of years to reach the point where I was able to volunteer that information to others. But at eight? I just couldn’t have, and I didn’t think that was unusual until this came up.

Hambeast
Hambeast
2 years ago

Sounds to me like the douchebag in the OP needs to go out and find some dudebros to make friends with. Oh, and stop having kids.

Yeesh.

My mom tried to make me into her image of a good home maker. I hated every minute of that. I mean, loved her and trusted her, but we were never simpatico.

Somewhere around my high school years, we both figured out that that was all okay and things got much better between us. I can only hope that Yes-you-ARE-the-asshole dad figures it out, too.

Diego Duarte
Diego Duarte
2 years ago

To those who question a child’s capability of knowing their sexual orientation. I have a gay nephew, two bi nieces, and a lesbian niece (that I know about). Most of them were about that age when they realized their sexual orientation and, in the case of my gay nephew, it was pretty telling early on. The Gay runs big in the family considering I also have three gay cousins.

To the topic of parents wanting a “Mini-me”, I am compelled to comment because both of my narc parents had a really bad case of this, my mother in particular.

You know what the most efficient method for fucking ruining a life is? Trying to indoctrinate your children into following your footsteps. I absolutely loathe people like that.

If you have unresolved issues or unfulfilled dreams, please fucking seek therapy instead of trying to project your ambitions onto your children. If you’ve had a turbulent or unfulfilling childhood all you are going to do is create trauma for your children, ontop of projecting your very own onto them, thereby creating an even worse kind of trauma you had to begin with.

If you feel you are not ready to respect your own children as individuals, or if you think children are property, please refrain from having any. Tie your tubes or get a vasectomy. You are only going to make both of your lives miserable.

Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
Rhuu - apparently an illiterati
2 years ago

Okay @Atropos Moirai – I have no idea what you’re on about, and was wondering if you could clarify it?

Are you responding to me, and my saying “I believe kids when they self-ID, because why wouldn’t I?” – To say that’s… Bad?

That’s what I’m getting from this –

(“I want a son like me” is bad but people also think so is “It might just be a phase” and so is “how dare you ignore the child’s immutable clearly stated in first person testimony sexuality!”

I wasn’t even talking about the binary? Like, I firmly believe that gender and sexuality and attraction and being a/romantic are all spectrums, and where you are on them can shift during your life.

I probably should have used ‘queer’ rather than either ‘Not Straight’ or ‘gay’, because ‘queer’ is inclusive, and ‘gay’ is centering the discussion on the term for dudes, which isn’t great. And no one likes being defined against being ‘normal’. But some people (usually older people or TERFs (who I don’t care about, fuck TERFs)) have a problem with it, because it was a slur that has since been reclaimed – but words can still hurt, even if reclaimed, so I didn’t use it.

So, clearly, I am not understanding your point, and was hoping for some clarification.

Jackson Ayres
Jackson Ayres
2 years ago

Christ, these men have such fragile egos.
“I need a straight son so I can make crude remarks about woman and feel like a man.”

KB
KB
2 years ago

Long time reader, first time commenter…

Until we got to the gay stuff, this literally was / is? my father. He wanted that boy so badly they tried 4 times. (failed 4 times too, may I add) And every time I, growing up as a little girl, would express that I was hurt by his unrequited desire to have a boy, he gave this same reasoning. He wanted a boy to bond with over boy things. He was one of 8, 6 sisters and 1 brother, and that somehow got it in his head that his special relationship with his brother was because they were both male, not because they were twins. So he’d get mad at me saying I didn’t understand. Surprise dude we have no relationship at all now. Maybe shoulda invested your boy things time in your daughter.

The irony is he DOES have a clone of him in my sister.

Jackson Ayres
Jackson Ayres
2 years ago

@Yutolia the Green Hash Pronoun Boner
@Jesalin: Clit-o-centric Lesbian Goddess

This isn’t really relevant to anything, but I love your usernames. They’re perfect

As for the reminiscing everybody’s doing, I was always much too introverted and precocious to have many of the same childhood memories many fondly remember, and my desires and interests were quite different from those of my siblings. Instead, many of my fond childhood memories are of my parents taking me to museums, monuments (usually while on vacation), book stores, mineral shows, and the like. Much of this was to the dismay of my siblings, but both of my parents were a bit geeky themselves and were glad that one of their children at least appreciated it.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

I recall getting crushes on female class mates and friends at that age. probably a lot more then the male ones. I had a crush on a boy name Johnny and a girl name Taylor growing up. Gay exists. The younger generations just under stand it a lot more and have words to it. Of course I didn’t know about bi sexuality at that age or have any sexual urges at that point but puppy dog love of holding hands and a kiss on the cheek. I had that and I’m sure this boy is to. If straight kids can have puppy dog love then the gay ones can have it to. It adults that need to stop getting it mixed up with sexual urges. Non straight love is a lot more then simply wanting to bone someone of the opposite sex.

Weasel-Rah
Weasel-Rah
2 years ago

Catalpa, I don’t know where you’re seeing people here who say it’s worse to treat a straight kid poorly than it is to treat a gay kid poorly. I don’t think anyone here has made that claim.
I’ve known people who knew they were gay in early childhood. I’ve known people who married hetero, raised six kids, were widowed, and in their eighties realized they preferred their own gender. Both of those are valid people. Neither one is the way it is for everyone.
*my own family thought I was gay and in the closet for many years. No, parents, I’m genderqueer and I don’t bring my partners around to meet you because our family dynamic is a horrifying dumpster fire. Luckily for me, they didn’t treat me any worse than usual because of it – at least they got that right.

Nequam
Nequam
2 years ago

At this point I simply want this man to be rendered incapable of having kids. The traditional two sharp bricks would suffice.

Catalpa
Catalpa
2 years ago

Catalpa, I don’t know where you’re seeing people here who say it’s worse to treat a straight kid poorly than it is to treat a gay kid poorly.

I haven’t seen anyone say that explicitly.

But I do get the sense of that kind of sentiment when I see people respond with “the kid might not even be gay!” to a situation like this.

To me it sounds like someone’s saying “hey you can’t treat that kid poorly, you don’t even know for sure if he deserves it” instead of “hey don’t treat your children like garbage, asshole”.

If it’s wrong to treat one’s children poorly regardless of their orientation, surely whether the son is truly straight or gay or bi or pan or ace or undecided is completely irrelevant?

Buttercup Q. Skullpants
Buttercup Q. Skullpants
2 years ago

A kid who announces he likes boys is exactly the same kid that he was five seconds ago. There’s no reason on earth to treat him any differently than you did five seconds ago, much less openly fantasize about replacing him.

It says a lot about the dad that the deepest level at which he can envision bonding with his son is “women”. And I doubt very much that those conversations would be flattering to women. Given his homophobia, he sounds like the sort of dad who thinks teaching his son to be a man means filling his head with gender essentialist dogma. I don’t understand what’s so special about passing down outdated tropes, or why he feels fatherhood is incomplete without that experience. Those are not footsteps that need to be followed.

Robert
Robert
2 years ago

The more I learn about some other people’s fathers, the more grateful for mine I am.

Nina
Nina
2 years ago

When I was 13 I started having dreams about kissing my best friend (another girl). It soon became pretty obvious to me that I had a crush on her. But I dismissed those feelings, and when the adults around me said that I wasn’t interested in boys yet because I was a late bloomer, I believed them. I was pretty much gaslit into identifying as straight. Eventually, I got a boyfriend, forced myself to sleep with him, and found the experience traumatizing enough to decide to remain single for the rest of my life. I was 23 when I finally was able to admit to myself that I was a lesbian and that maybe I should give dating another chance.

But yeah, ten years of straight misery, that was fun. /s

What I am trying to say is that it doesn’t matter whether this boy’s sexuality is set in stone, or whether the father’s assertions can be trusted. In a world where straightness is still very much the expected default, the last thing we need is doubt how people self-identify, no matter their age. It’s harmful.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

@Nina

I’m so sorry you went through that. I hope you’re doing okay.

Nina
Nina
2 years ago

@Lainy

Thanks, I am doing fine now (it’s been over a decade since I came out). I do get quite angry though when people act like lgbt+ issues shouldn’t be discussed with children or that children couldn’t possibly understand anything about it. If homosexuality had been more normalized during my childhood, it would have spared me a lot of grief.

Lainy
Lainy
2 years ago

@Nina

Same. Especially when you don’t understand what your feeling because you’ve never heard a word for it or seen any lgbt adult couples. The self hatred. She is real and she comes with a force!

Z&T
Z&T
2 years ago

Wondering whether the kid is really gay or not –

I don’t think that matters. The guy wants a replacement kid for whatever reason and is hanging his argument on gender because (and that he did detail) – that was the “agreement” with his wife.

What is clear is that he wants not just another kid, but a replacement fantasy kid, so for whatever reason – he thinks his son isn’t good enough 🙁

epitome of incomprehensibility

Yuck. What a person. Y’know, he could relate better to his kids if he didn’t try to force them into his narrow viewpoints. Not that he seems about to realize it.

@ReductiveChaos –

Now I’m wondering if my development of romantic/sexual attraction was (significantly?) delayed, at least compared to normal.

– I don’t think so. Like others were saying, people come to these things at different ages.

Me for example? I clearly had a crush on my grade 1 French teacher, but at the time I thought I loved her like a mother or something. At that age I assumed romance was male-female. Later, when I was 12-13 and found myself more physically attracted to girls than boys, I thought I must be gay (or lesbian – for some reason I found that word old-fashioned but pretty, like lace doilies ). It wasn’t until I was 14 that I realized I was bi – basically because I learned what that was 🙂

Funny enough, when I was doing a Master’s degree, I wondered aloud to my friend if I was asexual. Now, I’m not the horniest person I know, but I’m definitely not ace either. But I was overworked and overtired!

Pyxxxie
Pyxxxie
2 years ago

Z&T,

I agree.

Talonknife
Talonknife
2 years ago

I think the kid’s sexuality is ultimately immaterial. Maybe he is gay. Maybe he’s bi and doesn’t realize it yet. Maybe he’s straight and doesn’t understand the concept of sexuality yet. Maybe what said was misinterpreted. They’re all plausible options, but which one is the truth doesn’t really matter. The important thing is to accept what he says and treat him accordingly until he tells you otherwise. I think what we’re all trying to get at in the comments here is that you should respect what other people tell you is true about themselves and let them tell you if they later decide they got it wrong.