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Dad Tells His Son He Should Start Wearing A Shirt Because He's 'Uncomfortable' When His Teenage Sister Doesn't Wear A Bra

Photo: Roman Samborskyi / Shutterstock
dad having a conversation with his young son

A father is questioning if he should apologize to his son after trying to teach him about respecting other people's bodies and autonomy.

Posting to the subreddit "r/AITA," a 33-year-old man revealed that his 16-year-old daughter and 15-year-old son got into a disagreement about how the other dresses in the house.

He told his son that if he's 'uncomfortable' with his sister not wearing a bra, he should start wearing a shirt.

In his Reddit post, the man explained that his two teenage kids got into an argument because his son found it to be an issue that his sister doesn't wear a bra around the house. He claimed that his daughter is still covered, but chooses to wear a shirt with no bra because she finds them painful and it makes her uncomfortable.

However, his son recently started expressing discomfort with his sister's lack of a bra and argued that she should start wearing one because of how he felt. "My daughter heard this and got upset, saying that she wasn't bothering anyone," he explained. 

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The father then suggested that his daughter put on a bra when she left her room, but she was rightfully unhappy with this so-called solution.

"She got upset and told me that it's unfair that she has to wear a bra when her brother doesn't have to cover his 'man boobs,'" he recalled. At his sister's words, the son became upset and accused her of making fun of him.

The father interjected then, clarifying that it was a fair statement to make. He told his son that if he was uncomfortable with his sister not wearing a bra, then it would only be right for him to start putting on a shirt whenever he left his room.

Immediately, his son burst into tears, feeling as if both his sister and father were ganging up on him and calling him "fat."

Confused, the dad tried to remedy the situation, instantly feeling bad that his son was this upset. He wanted to let his son know that the entire situation was taken out of context, but his son didn't want to speak with him.

"I decided to give him some space. My wife told me that I know how sensitive our son could be about his weight and I should've been nicer about it," he continued. "This made me feel extremely bad and I tried to apologize to him again but he just ignored me and wouldn't even speak or look at me."

As a parent of teenagers, it's crucial to instill the importance of respecting another person's body.

The father had a chance here to speak with his son about what exactly bothers him about his sister not wearing a bra and correct the behavior instead of initially agreeing and trying to play the middleman between his children.

Women are not responsible for men sexualizing them, and should never be told to "cover-up" or wear "less revealing clothes" just to make someone else feel comfortable. As siblings, the idea that his son felt discomfort around his sister's body proved that he doesn't understand autonomy — an issue that his father should address. 

   

   

Rather than asking his daughter to constantly wear a bra in her own home, the father should have encouraged his son to consider his sister's feelings and the impact that his comments would have on her.

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People were torn about whether this father handled the situation correctly. 

"Maybe there were mean words thrown around but your point stands. No reason for your daughter to have arbitrary rules and not your son," one Reddit user wrote.

Another user added, "You are a dad balancing two teenagers. You are right about pointing [out that] this rule should be for both not just one. She has [the] exact same right to feeling relaxed in her home and [around] her brother."

However, other users pointed out that the dad should've taken more time to explain the problem to his son, instead of requesting his daughter wear a bra and making the off-handed comment about him wearing a shirt.

"Tell your son that it is not any woman's job to make him comfortable," one Redditor advised. "He shouldn't be looking at his sister's boobs anyway."

A fourth user agreed, writing, "This was a teachable moment that was missed. Your daughter's body was just sexualized by her brother for just existing comfortably in her own home. Go apologize to your daughter and teach your son that women have a right to exist as they are. His problem is with himself not her and it shouldn't be made her problem."

Dad Tells Son He Needs To Start Wearing A Shirt Because He's Uncomfortable When His Sister Doesn't Wear A BraPhoto: Freeograph / Shutterstock

In a time when women's bodies are being heavily policed and scrutinized, it's vital that young boys are taught that a woman has the right to dress however she sees fit. No girl or woman should be forced to cover up or alter her personal style to fit the likes of outdated ideologies held by society. 

Parent must teach their kids about both autonomy and consent, especially when it comes to making sure that everyone in their household feels comfortable and respected. By addressing these issues openly and without judgment, families can come together and support each other.

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Nia Tipton is a Chicago-based entertainment, news, and lifestyle writer whose work delves into modern-day issues and experiences.