If you are a grown man and you can’t handle a little period blood, you need to get over it. Stat. That’s the lesson of this Reddit “Am I the A-hole?” post. In it, the father of a blended family explains his situation.
He and his three sons (ages 18, 16, and 15) have been living with his new wife and stepdaughter (age 19) for about six months now. He says she’s a really great kid and he loves having her around. However, all four of the kids share one bathroom, and it’s been causing one, specific problem.
He writes, “My eldest son, 18, came to me last week and told me that his stepsister disposes of her used sanitary products in the trash can they share but doesn’t use toilet roll or sandwich bags to disguise what they are, and it makes him uncomfortable.” In a later comment, he clarifies that she does wrap the used product in the packaging before throwing it away and that the garbage can has a lid.
So it’s not like a fully-soaked bloody tampon is just hanging out willy-nilly in their garbage can. In any case, OP told his stepdaughter about what his son had said and asked her if she could put the used products in a bag or flush them down the toilet. That last bit clearly indicates he has no idea how this works — you cannot flush those things unless you want to do major damage to your pipes.
In response, OP writes, “She laughed and told me it was rich coming from a man who ‘sheds like a gorilla’ and has produced ‘three skid-marking sons’ which I thought was an unnecessary attack.” I think she’s awesome. She went on to school him in the problems with flushing tampons and rightly told him it would be bad for the environment to use a new bag every time she has to replace a tampon.
So, he did the authoritative thing and complained to his wife, who told him he was being ridiculous, that “her daughter has had her period for ten years and knows what she’s doing.” I think his wife is pretty awesome, too.
But he couldn’t let it go. He brought it up to his stepdaughter again in the morning, and she totally dismissed him. Plenty of commenters jumped in to tell him that he and his sons need to get over themselves.
They’re grossed out by seeing a used tampon, but the women in their lives are the ones actually bleeding every month! What does that tell you about male fragility?
Pretty much every comment can be summed up by this all-caps exclamation from one person: “LISTEN TO YOUR DAMN WIFE, AND STOP TRYING TO MANSPLAIN HOW TO HANDLE PERIODS.” Yup. That says it all.
Luckily, that’s not where this story ends. The father posted an update that’s truly unexpected and actually kind of wonderful. “Not even two hours after I posted this,” he wrote, “my wife and stepdaughter gathered my sons and I and gave us a full intensive ‘periods for pricks’ course, Powerpoint and all. It was a hoot, they made an interactive quiz and everything. My sons and I learned a lot and apologized to my stepdaughter. Thank you for your input.”
What is this? A bunch of men, actually listening to the women in their lives? Changing their minds and apologizing for their ignorance?! What a novel concept!
I’m glad these women were able to educate the men they live with about period stuff, but they also shouldn’t have had to unite together and create an entire Powerpoint presentation for them to take their words seriously. Also, periods are a fact of life. Period.