Family dynamics can be difficult to navigate, especially with extended family. There are unspoken allegiances, secret feelings, and petty differences to deal with. Take for instance this messy family situation, confessed on Reddit’s “Am I The Assh*le” forum. To be honest, no one comes away from this looking shiny. From disability-shaming to sex-shaming, it’s an all-around terrible story.
The OP introduces his story by explaining that his wife is paraplegic and that his sister has never liked her for some unknown reason.
“She’s always had some problem with her, whether she claims it’s attitude or something else. I’ve talked to my wife about it and she doesn’t know why, and I’ve talked to my sister about it and she’s never given me a straight answer on why she doesn’t like her. I had just accepted it until now, not everybody likes everyone else, and until now my sister hadn’t said anything rude about it.”
Okay, sure. Seems logical. It’s true that families are not required to like each other.
Then the OP goes into some background about his sister, and it doesn’t sound like he respects her very much.
“Now my sister was a prostitute in college, and she claims she’s just “camming” now. She doesn’t have a job, she just does that. She told me because I found out accidentally once. She made me hide it to our family and claims she has a job at a company near us.”
First of all, sex work is work. Sex work is a job, whether you are seeing clients online or in person. If the sister does not want to reveal her work to her family, it’s understandable, because many people are so closed-minded and ignorant about the sex work industry. Like her brother, apparently.
Anyway, the OP explains that he was talking to his sister on the phone regarding possibly looking at or helping fix her sink when she made a rude comment about his wife.
“My sister then, for no reason, made a comment about my wife, she said ‘why don’t you just have her (my wife, who I had said something to) make herself useful and help, or wait, she can’t because of her disability (she said this mockingly, as if being in a wheelchair isn’t a disability).’ I had the phone on speakerphone and my wife heard. She was pretty hurt by it, and I was beyond pissed off. I yelled at her and hung up.”
Shaming someone with a disability is pretty gross. What happens next is also pretty gross.
“After consoling my wife a little bit, I decided to call our parents and tell them what my sister actually does for her job. They thanked me for telling them, and that was that. Then my sister called me again and yelled at me, saying our whole family is calling her telling her to stop, and staging an intervention for her. I told her that she should have thought about that before being a bitch to my wife and hung up.”
So, this is all awful. What did Redditors have to say to the OP about the situation? Mostly that everyone seems to suck in this situation.
“Wow. ESH. Your sister is a huge asshole for making fun of your wife’s disability. But you also had no right to out her to your parents. Camming is a job. And it’s not your place to disclose that information. Your sister is a huge asshole, but you are also a huge asshole for getting vindictive and petty. You could have cut ties with your sister rather than outing her,” wrote no_objections_here/’]/.
“I agree with you, but the only reason I’d vote ESH is because he’s taking advantage of the idea held by his family (and so many others) that sex work is something to be ashamed of. Sex work is real work. She’s not any less of an asshole, but I think it’s shitty to shame someone for doing sex work,” user swingh0use explained.
“Yeah, this is a clear ESH but I was VERY tempted to go N-T-A since I would have probably done the same as OP or maybe even worse. His sister was so incredible cruel and brutal that it’s chilling, I mean even most shitty people don’t go that far.I do want to say that their family seem shitty too, there is nothing wrong with being a sex worker (a prostitute in this case) as long as you take care of yourself (and in the same hand there is nothing wrong with the clients of the sex workers). So staging an ‘intervention’ sounds crazy too me,” said Crazy4Swift.
“The sister verbally abused a severely physically disabled person and questioned her worth to society and the relationship. He exposed her lies, and told the truth to their parents about what she does for a living. ESH but let’s not try and claim it’s equal, she is way a worse person, he’s a protective husband that responded negatively to awful comments. Wife is innocent of course,” wildersrighthand wrote.
“Personally I say ESH because while OP’s definitely justified in his anger, how he and his family treat sex work as not actually a job is the big reason why I think he’s an AH. I probably would’ve snitched too though so maybe I’m just calling out my own hypocrisy. Sister’s still the bigger AH,” said zozeebo0.
So there you go. Don’t be a***hole to people with disabilities, and don’t shame sex workers!