You might think that with all the talk and political strife in recent years about women's issues, that men would maybe unlearn certain behaviors like referring to women as if their cars or iPhones to be "upgraded."
But as a recent Reddit post made clear, you'd be very wrong.
A Redditor got in precisely this argument with one of his buddies, and the story reads like a master class in those buzzwords we hear so often today, "toxic masculinity" and "male fragility."
The Redditor in question, who goes by the name friendbadsuggestion on the platform, posed his situation to the AITA (Am I The A**hole) subReddit. There, people can pose their ethical dilemmas to a panel of strangers, who then apportion blame according to one of the following categories:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- ESH - Everyone Sucks HereN
- AH - No A**holes Here
The Original Poster (OP) titled his post:
"AITA for calling my friend a piece of sh*t for suggesting I 'upgrade' my wife."
Let's hear him out.
"So when my wife and I got married I was probably 40 pounds overweight. I gained weight for a couple years until I finally got sick of being a fata*s and started exercising and dieting. Since then I've lost 50 pounds, and I'd say I'm within a healthy weight range now."
"When I first married my wife I would say looks wise she was out of my league. I think she's very pretty and I was definitely not good looking. I'd say now we're more equal as physical attractiveness goes, not to be a brag."
"Anyway I was talking to a friend about how I'd finally lost weight and it felt good, he congratulated me then said that I should upgrade my wife. I figured it was a joke and chuckled a little but he kept going with it, said that we've only been married a few years(4, not nothing) and that I shouldn't spend the rest of my life with someone "ugly" that I married because I was fat."
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You can't just go around calling dudes' wives ugly!
OP, understandably, wasn't having it.
"I said yes, I do in fact want to spend the rest of my life with someone I married, that tends to be how it works, and that I'm not a piece of sh*t so I'm not going to upgrade my wife."
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But, true to form for dudes like this, OP's friend wouldn't let it go.
"He got a divorce a few years ago and talked a bit about how good it felt to be out there again, but never really said it was because he thought she was ugly."
"He got pi*sed and said that he divorced his wife for looks and he isn't a piece of sh*t, at which point I said that I disagreed, and he hung up. He messaged me later that we exchanged some 'harsh words' and should just move past it, but then followed it up with he wants an apology."
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How about he apologizes for calling OP's wife ugly?
Maybe we start there.
"I don't know what the fuc*s wrong with him, but a mutual friend also messaged me that calling him a piece of sh*t wasn't 'cool'. I don't know I'm pis*ed off right now so it's hard to tell if I went too far."
Weird that someone who would blithely call his friend's wife ugly would be so sensitive.
In any case, OP's fellow Redditors delivered swift and unsparing justice.
"NTA, I would recommend you 'upgrade' your friend" --Arenty_Nigh
"Upgrade the mutual friend while you're at it too" --Gonzales95
"I also think he should block the friend because staying friends with a toxic man like this would be super disrespectful to his wife." --bulgariandoll
"... OP, he also called you ugly by implication. He's not your friend. He's a shallow jerk that rates the physical attractiveness of the people in his life." --NerdyKris
"Yeah, sounds like the friend is projecting his own issues onto the situation. He dumped his own wife, but it doesn't sound like he upgraded, he's single. Maybe he has some regrets about his own decision but will feel validated if others choose the same thing. NTA" --insomniac29
"NTA. This guy is a major a**hole and what he suggested was disgusting. Same goes for anyone who defends his behavior." --NUTmeSHELL
"...Good for you for standing up for your wife. I would seriously consider moving on from this friend though, because are you certain he will stop this attack on your relationship because you asked him to? He clearly doesn't respect boundaries." --grw313
"Can we also point out the other "friend" that messaged and said that it wasn't cool for calling the AH a piece of sh*t? I just hope he didn't know the whole story." --Keek91
"I really thought that divorcing someone because of his/her looks was something out of a soap opera. So shallow and dramatic that no real person would do so. I guess I was wrong..." --SmilingIsNotEnough
"NTA--HE wants an apology??? For what, you having a happy marriage? If I were you I'd demand an apology. You are definitely NTA, and please don't apologize to him, it sounds like he doesn't need the ego boost" --notanazi420
The moral of the story is: Gentlemen, don't be like this.
And if you're friends are like this, please find better friends.
*If you enjoyed this article, you can read more like it by clicking on the AITA link below.*