Nobody can tell a sixteen-year-old what to read and what not to read, especially someone with no parental rights!

An internet user asked, “Am I a jerk for telling my dad that if his wife censors what I read, I won’t visit him anymore?”. What’s your take on the matter?


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The Original Poster’s (OP’s) (16M) dad’s (40) parental rights were terminated due to abandonment. 

“He didn’t pay child support and didn’t contact me for over a year, telling us he didn’t want me to see him at his worst (alcoholism),” says OP. 


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OP’s dad said he’s going to start trying now, though. He had already started going to alcohol rehab, so OP’s mom started taking OP to visit him during the weekends.

“At first, it was going fine, though it was a little bit awkward getting to know each other again. Then my dad’s new wife and I argued”, says OP. 


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On that day, OP’s mom had decided that OP should spend the night at dad’s place. OP brought a book with him. 

“My dad’s wife (28) saw it and told me I should not read that book since the protagonist is bi, and it pushes Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender And Queer (LGBTQ) stuff. I was reading book 2 of The Trials of Apollo series.”


angry kid
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He (OP) told his dad’s wife she couldn’t dictate what he reads since he’s not a kid and she’s not his mom, and OP’s dad quickly jumped to her defense.

He said she is still his wife, telling OP he shouldn’t be rude to her in her home. So OP told him, “Fine. I’m not staying then.” OP left and went home.


Furious little boy waiting for dinner. Holding a spoon and fork in the hand
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OP’s mom said he doesn’t have to go back there if he doesn’t want to, so OP informed his father during a later phone call that he won’t return unless he talks to his wife and ensures she doesn’t censor what OP reads. His father said that OP was threatening him.


Couple fighting in front of child.
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He (OP) later edited the post and added the following information:

“They don’t intend it to be a rule just at their house. They wanted me not to read the books even when I’m not at their place.”

Is OP a jerk?


Young brunette woman with curly hair wearing glasses over isolated background crazy and mad shouting and yelling with aggressive expression and arms raised. frustration concept.
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“Not the jerk. I could understand concern if you read like Sarah Janet Maas, but Trials of Apollo? That’s perfectly age-appropriate. Dad’s wife is just a bigot.”


Portrait of beautiful young angry woman on white background
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“Not the jerk. Your dad completely blew it. What a ridiculous hill for him to die on. Is someone barely older than you trying to decide what books are appropriate? That’s laughable.”


Young beautiful African American afro woman with curly hair wearing yellow casual sweater Crazy and scared with hands on head, afraid and surprised of shock with open mouth
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“Not the jerk. She is homophobic, but that’s not your problem. I don’t think your response was rude at all. You are correct. She is in no way your parent and has no right trying to dictate what you read. I’m proud of you for reading, and I’m proud of you for setting your boundaries, even though they feel complicated sometimes.” 


Beautiful brunette young woman wearing glasses and casual clothes sitting on the table clueless and confused expression with arms and hands raised. doubt concept.
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“Not the jerk. You’re not threatening your father, and you’re setting a boundary. If his wife is going to censor what you read, you won’t go over there anymore. It’s simple cause and effect.” 


Photo portrait of unhappy girl showing italian hand gesture isolated on pastel pink colored background.
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“Not the jerk. Dad’s wife needs to stay in her lane and never get out of it. Your father has shown that he will abandon you in other ways, even if he’s still physically present. He is not showing that he is worthy of rebuilding your relationship. Your mom sounds pretty awesome.” 


portrait of a young brunette woman , wearing a pink sweater , with an irritated expression, hands in the air, isolated on white background. Negative human emotions
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“Your dad expects his wife, who you barely know, to be able to tell you what to do even when you’re not at his house? Is he the delusional one, or is she? Not the jerk. Stay far away from her! I have a feeling she’s just massively controlling, and now that you’re on her radar, everything you do will be under scrutiny, and she will want to change it all. Just don’t go.” 

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