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Teen Balks After Brother Demands She ‘Cover Up’ Used Pads In Trash So He Doesn’t Have To See Them

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We should all be able to accept that periods are a natural function and that there are products available for maintaining the symptoms.

But some people are still really grossed out by the symptoms of menstruation, agreed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.

Redditor Some_Awareness6599 was disgusted by seeing his sister’s menstruation products in the bathroom and asked his sister to cover them up when they were used.

When she insisted that the process was natural, the Original Poster (OP) wasn’t sure what to do next.

He asked the sub:

“AITA for telling my sister to cover up her pads?”

The OP was grossed out by his sister’s menstruation products. 

“I (17 Male) have a sister (16 Female) who got her period at 11, but recently I’ve been finding her pads in the trash bin, and it’s disgusting to me.”

“I don’t like the sight of blood, and the fact that it involves menstrual products is worse. It’s like me putting my s**t-wiped toilet paper in the toilet to see. If I saw that, I would vomit.”

“Also, I’m not looking in the trash ‘for treasure.’ I will just look over, and it’s there.”

The OP had a disagreement with his sister.

“I told my mom about this, and she agreed with me.”

“I went to talk to her about this and how she should cover them up with napkins.”

“She said that, ‘It is natural.'”

“So is being naked, but everyone wears clothes.”

A friend also called the OP out.

“I told my friend this, and she said the same thing and said that was stupid for me to ask for.”

“But blood is triggering, and I don’t wanna see it in the trash can.”

“AITA?”

Fellow Redditors weighed in:

  • NTA: Not the A**hole
  • YTA: You’re the A**hole
  • ESH: Everybody Sucks Here
  • NAH: No A**holes Here

Some thought the OP was the AH for shaming his sister for menstruating. 

“OP does say he doesn’t like the sight of blood, but then adds, ‘the fact that it’s menstrual products is worse’ right after saying that her pads in the trash bin are ‘disgusting to him.'”

“The OP isn’t ‘just’ saying he doesn’t like blood; the focus of this post is how vile he thinks that menstrual blood is. Not even one full sentence of his post mentions a general dislike of blood as a whole.” – introextropillow

“We don’t know anything about whether she wraps them or not, and personally, I can never wrap it up in a way to not see any blood at all. None of my friends can either, from my experience, unless they use too much toilet paper.”

“What he is saying is that she should put napkins on top of it in the trash, so he doesn’t have to see it. He’s also clear in the fact that while he doesn’t like blood, the fact that makes it disgusting to him is that it’s menstrual products.”

“So he wouldn’t be reacting that way if she had a bloody nose and threw a tissue in there. That makes it kinda misogynistic.” – joyfulnightmare

“I agree it’s gross. My dog would have a field day (gross), and it would smell, and if someone else touched it by accident, it would actually be super unsanitary.”

“So I get how it’s unsightly, but the way he worded it wasn’t that he was bothered that it’s smelly or unsanitary, but that they don’t like blood and menstrual products ‘are worse,’ which insinuates that they just don’t want to acknowledge the idea that periods happen.”

“It’s a part of life, and it sounds like they are just going to ignore it and expect to be accommodated in that ignorance versus having a genuine concern about it.”

“I had a roommate who would leave bloody tampons in the toilet…. And we were like, ‘UMM, please don’t do that, because it will CLOG and also we have a trash can in there.'”

“That wasn’t us being like, ‘Oh, gross; ew, blood; ew, period,’ it was like, ‘Ok, you’re gonna break our toilet that we all share.'” – Ohwell_genz

“But she is cleaning up after herself! It’s in the trash bin, where it belongs. He is the one looking inside and getting offended, which makes him the a**hole. If he doesn’t want to see blood, then he shouldn’t look inside.”

“Telling his sister to ‘hide’ her used menstrual products which are already properly thrown away is immature.” – joyfrulnightmare

“This situation has a pretty simple solution (though looking in the garbage can is pretty avoidable in the first place). But OP’s attitude towards menstruation puts him in AH territory.” – Heavy_Sand5228

However, others agreed with the OP and said they’d find this gross, too. 

“Honestly? I menstruate and I find menstrual blood pretty gross too.” – Amblonyx

“I don’t want to see someone else’s used pads or tampons (and tampons aren’t meant to be flushed!).”

“The brother is being an immature 16-year-old, but seriously, I’d be grossed out if I saw someone else’s used hygiene products.”

“Poop is natural, but in countries where they don’t flush toilet paper, they don’t just leave poop smeared toilet paper out in the trash.” – scienceislice

“How is OP an AH, though? He spoke to his mom first and his mom agreed with him. No one wants to see someone else’s dirty pads in the trash.”

“Honestly, the mom should have talked to the sister instead of OP.” – WickedAngelLove

“It is basic etiquette. My mom taught me (with a clean pad of course) when I got mine the best way to fold and wrap them so as to reduce the amount of toilet paper used, how much room they take up, and to help stop the odour until it was time to empty the bathroom garbage.”

“We use the bathroom trash can for our ear swabs, dirty makeup wipes, hair pulled from the hairbrushes, used nose tissues, used floss and empty toilet paper rolls. Having an openly used pad or tampon sitting on top, blood everywhere, is disgusting!”

“I live with three other women, and we all know nobody wants to see that. Blood starts to rot after a while like any organic matter and can be really gross.” – sapphicsapphires

“What a sexist pig!”

“Just kidding, just kidding, he’s a 17-year-old kid who doesn’t like blood and is grossed out by menstrual blood. Leave the d**n kid alone for Ch**st’s sake, he’s allowed to think that.”

“He’s not ‘shaming’ her for having a period, he’s wanting her to not leave her crap out in the open for him to see. Stop making this something it’s not, people are allowed to feel how they want about stuff like that.” – JudgeJudyScheindlin

Some also confirmed the sister could likely do a better job of cleaning up after herself.

“Menstrual blood is worse than blood to me, it smells and has clots and stuff. I’m okay with seeing my own (as I’m cleaning it up), but I definitely don’t want to see other people’s bloodstains or smell them.”

“If it’s not a personal wastebin, then it’s just common courtesy to wrap it up, right? I mean, who wants to see a whole bin full of bloodstains anyway??” – diktat86

“Pads smell and I’m sorry, but I’m female and have a period, and I have the common decency to wrap my bloody pad in toilet paper before throwing it away.”

“It’s polite. Nobody wants to see and smell someone’s dirty pad. Just stop.”

“It’s immature to think that it’s OK to leave dirty pads out in a communal bathroom.” – soullessgingerlol

“I was taught to wrap my pads up, and it seems to be the common practice. It sure won’t be appreciated if the younger sister goes to someone else’s home and doesn’t bother to do that.” – wayward710

“I don’t even want to see my OWN used things in the trash! I fold or wrap them up at least a little, AND have cans with lids in my bathrooms. Besides, the blood may attract insects. It gets that rotten meat stink after a day or two.”

“There’s no reason not to make an effort to cover it up. Put some newspaper or junk mail in the bathroom if you don’t want to waste a lot of toilet paper or other paper products.” – PirateJenny4242

“I think menstruation is natural and shouldn’t be treated as shameful, but so is pooping. You wouldn’t leave a sh*tty piece of toilet paper face up in the trash can out of courtesy to others, so why not just roll up the pad in some toilet paper, so nobody has to look at your bodily waste?”

“It takes ten seconds to roll up a pad in a wrapper. Been doing it for 25 years as a courtesy to anyone else that uses my bathroom. Courtesy costs you nothing.” – cherrymoya

While the subReddit could agree that period blood and products could be gross, they disagreed over how the OP handled the situation and what he had asked of his sister.

On the one hand, it sounded like he was making the request because of shaming the act of menstruation, but on the other hand, it’s not that hard to wrap and cover up used products or to use a trash can that has a lid.

Written by McKenzie Lynn Tozan

McKenzie Lynn Tozan lives in North Chicago, where she works as a poet, freelance writer, and editor. She received her MFA in Creative Writing from Western Michigan University, and her BA in English from Indiana University South Bend. Her poems have appeared in Rogue Agent, Whale Road Review, the James Franco Review, Thank You for Swallowing, and elsewhere; and her essays and book reviews have appeared with Memoir Mixtapes, The Rumpus, BookPage, and Motherly, among others. When she's not reading and writing, she's in her garden or spending time with her family. For more, visit www.mckenzielynntozan.com.