Tesla Driver Dragged for Using Car Feature Against Son's Partner's Wishes

Online commenters have backed a woman who got into an argument with her "sexist" boyfriend and his father after the latter made her feel uncomfortable while in his car, disregarding her wishes.

In the post, shared on Reddit in January under the username u/denisennp, she said that after a dinner with her boyfriend and his parents, the father was driving her home with his family when he decided to impress her by showing off his new Tesla's autopilot feature.

Because she works with automated cars and knows about autopilot's faults and dangers, she asked him not to use it while she was in the car. But he disregarded her and used it anyway, although he later resumed driving normally.

woman backed for arguing with father-in-law
Stock images show two people arguing in a car and a finger pressing a car's autopilot. A woman on Reddit said she told her boyfriend's father not to use autopilot while she was in the car, but he didn't comply at first. Getty Images

According to a report by the Insurance Institute for Highway Safety, 53 percent of Cadillac Super Cruise drivers, 42 percent of Tesla Autopilot users, and 12 percent of Nissan ProPilot users treat their cars' driver-assistance technologies as fully capable self-driving systems.

However, the report said that about 40 percent of Autopilot and Super Cruise drivers said their systems switched off automatically after their cars decided they were not paying sufficient attention.

The poster wrote that she felt very unsafe and uncomfortable in the car and asked the father to stop and let her out of the car, but he would not do so. She couldn't get out of the car because the doors were locked.

Her boyfriend did not take her side in the argument. Instead, he told her that she was "overreacting" and that his father had used the car a lot so "it was fine."

She wrote: "I asked him (since we're both rock climbers) would he ever get on a route with his carabiner that doesn't lock? What if someone says they do it all the time and it's fine? He was like 'absolutely not, but that's different' and I was like it's literally not, just like we don't know any climbers who'd do that s***. Nobody in my field that I know would stay in that car."

Life coach and author Marni Goldman told Newsweek that it's very unfortunate that bullying is just as prevalent among adults as it is in children.

She said: "This entire scenario has so many disturbing, disrespectful elements to it. This was a huge trigger for you, and your feelings were completely invalidated. To make matters worse, not only did you feel the invalidation, it must've felt like torture being mocked and teased for your fear. Your boyfriend, unfortunately, was not concerned with you feeling frightened and petrified."

She went on: "He allowed his father to basically torment you (prioritizing his dad's feelings over yours). Of course your pressure cooker popped and you exploded. Turning that against you is textbook and very cruel gaslighting. You were disrespected to the core.

"If this were a baseball game, 'Strike, you're out!' Part of self-love and self-care is knowing that you are a queen, and don't deserve to be treated any other way. I hope this was the first and last time you'll ever have contact with that man," Goldman said.

The post, shared on the r/AmItheA****** subreddit, where people discuss their actions with online strangers, has gone viral, receiving over 18,300 upvotes and 2,900 comments.

One user commented: "[Not the A******]. They crossed a boundary you very respectfully put in place. That's not okay no matter what your boundary was. Also, unrelated but what is going on with the self-driving feature that nobody who works on it will be in the car with it on?"

Double-Watercress-85 said: "So an incident came up involving your specific field of expertise, and a group of men with no knowledge of that field, except for what they were told by a car salesman (who also has no specialized knowledge of that field), accused you of being hysterical when you voiced your concerns. Sounds about right."

Throw05282021 wrote: "[Not the A******]. Your boyfriend's dad ignored both your feelings and your expertise. That's an [A******] move. It could also be abusive and sexist. Your [boyfriend] pushed back on you, not his dad. That's an [A******] move. It could also be abusive and sexist."

And Sea-Value-0 said: "100% it's misogyny. I didn't read a single word from the one other woman in this story, the mom. The whole thing was driven by the whole "my car is an extension of my penis" from the dad, backed up by the fanboy sons thinking women being afraid is varying degrees of silly, annoying, or hilarious. I hope OP breaks up with bf because this is who he was raised to be and I'll bet this situation is just the tip of the iceberg."

Newsweek could not verify the details of the case and reached out to u/denisennp for comment.

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