My SO of 1.5 years and I work at a boarding high school. My SO interviewed two prospective sixteen years old female students yesterday and remarked to myself and another colleague that “they're going to be heartbreakers” because they're “blonde and pretty”. The school is 2/3 male. The remark troubled me because it seems like an inappropriate thing to say about sixteen year olds. When I brought it up to him later, he blew up at me. He got incredibly angry and defensive. I have not heard from him today.
I have an anxious attachment style and unfortunately, my relationships (and moods), tend to be like a roller coaster. I feel really down and erratic today.
Was I right in thinking this behavior was weird? What should I do now? Any advice appreciated. Thanks!
Tl;Dr: My (28F) SO (32M) called two sixteen year olds “heartbreakers” and blew up when I told him I was bothered by it. Advice needed.
I think that you were right to say something to your SO, because even if he didn’t mean anything by the comment, it could easily be perceived as inappropriate. Adults and especially teachers should avoid sharing opinions about students’ attractiveness.
It sounds like he was defensive and overreacted when you mentioned this to him. I don’t think you did anything wrong though, and I would just wait until he feels like talking again.
It’s in his best interests to ensure no one ever hears him make such a comment again. Like come on. It’s creepy. First rule of working with kids or teens: do not comment on their attractiveness.
How did you bring it up? Was his severe reaction because you’ve bought it up in an accusationary way? Or did he overreact for no reason?
I would be taken back by that remark, more because he works in a school environment and that shouldn’t be something he even considered.
I’ve been a teacher for 20 years, and I’m on the fence because it really depends on the tone your SO used in the comment. I’m female, and we talk about the kids all the time, and as staff we often talk about getting a new student who is attractive…in the context of “oh goodness, there’s going to be drama as all of the $Group notice the new kid”. And, honestly, it’s often true no matter whether the new kid is a boy or girl (because everything new with teens is a source of drama).
Unfortunately, the long and short of it is that men need to be more careful of what they say about and to teens, because it’s more likely to be take out of context. It sucks, but it’s reality.
So…I can honestly see how your SO could have thought he was making a comment that wasn’t creepy or inappropriate, and I can see how it still could have been delivered badly. It’s very possible he was defensive because he’s embarrassed. If you think he wasn’t creeping on the girls, then make sure the conversation is actually about tone and protecting himself, because he unfortunately needs to be more cautious than you do.
He made an innapropite comment & you pointed out his creepyness. He shouldn’t be sexualizing his students. Gross.