The conversation around misogyny is developing and it’s very different than it was just 30 years ago. Misogyny is insidious, and it bleeds into our every day lives without us fully realizing.
That being said, some things just straight up are not misogyny. And Reddit user CherryChocolate13, being accused of something she did not think was misogynistic, needed help in discerning the truth.
The 15-year-old girl went to the popular subReddit “Am I The A**hole?” or “AITA” for help:
“I (15F[emale]) and grandma (72F[emale]) got in an argument and AITA?”
Our original poster, or OP, began doing monthly breast self-exams as recommended by her OBGYN:
“Last month I went to the OBGYN for a routine visit and I was concerned about my breasts, they were discolored; when I brought it up my Gyno said it was normal. But she told me to do a monthly breast self exam in case of anything.”
And while she was doing it, her grandmother intruded upon her space:
“She told me how she wanted it done and told me to do it every 30 days. So today I did the self breast exam, to do it properly you have to take off your shirt and bra. I start to do it when my grandma busts into my room to ask me about dinner.”
Immediately, OP’s grandma jumped to conclusions and had a less than pleasant reaction:
“She saw I was shirtless touching my breast and freaked out. I told her I was checking for anything weird in my breast and she told me she has never done it so it must be sexual.”
And then she continued to have a proverbial cow:
“She calmed down enough for me to explain why I was doing it, but then she said ‘Your going to get stretch marks and be ugly’ i replied ‘Rather stretch marks than breast cancer’ she again flipped out on me and basically told me I was sexist and misogynistic because her mother had breast cancer (She didn’t…she had alopecia not cancer at all) and I wasn’t a true woman for bringing others who had breast cancer down.”
So our 15-year-old OP was very confused and was looking for some answers:
“AITA for doing a breast self exam?”
“EDIT: First of all I genuinely did not know if I was an A**hole. I’m 15 I barely can barely tell my rights and lefts apart so yes, when someone has a negative reaction to what I say I think I said something wrong. Second thank you for all the kind messages I woke up to 1.8k upvotes and over 90 notifications!! Thank you everyone! Third, we contacted my great uncle (Grandmas Brother) and he confirmed no one in their family ever had breast cancer. Her mom had alopecia.”
Redditors helped her ascertain where guilt belongs by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Nobody could see how OP could have possibly been in the wrong here.
“NTA. Uhhh… That’s not how this works, grandma. That’s not how any of this works. 🤦🏼♂️ You’re definitely not the a**hole. Your grandmother is.”~Torachi
“Sometimes to grandparents it doesn’t matter. My grandmother busted into my room when I was 17 and had my bf over. Apparently she could ‘feel the sexual tension from outside’ and had to put a stop to it. We were in my room, door open, watching OWL placements for OW. She yelled at us for about an hour about how what we were doing was a sin and we weren’t responsible.”
“Mind you my parents were 1000% ok with my bf and I alone. Granny knew this. She couldn’t tell us what we were doing but would just motion between us and say she knew what we were doing. Legitimately nothing was happening between the bf and I, maybe a kiss, but we had been together 2.5 years. We wouldn’t do ANYTHING with my granny there. An hour after telling she calmed down and said we could go back to watching tv or the bf could go… He left.. parents came home 3 days later and had a long and loud conversation with my grandmother about where she was out of line.”
“OP is def NTA ppl need to stop sexualizing everything. Boobs are sacks of fat. Fun sacks of fat… But still sacks of fat meant to feed babies. Ppl need to get over it already.”~CoCa_Coa
“WTF? Your gmas argument doesn’t even make sense- she should have agreed with ‘I’d rather have stretch marks than cancer’ if she was trying to argue that breast cancer was a serious condition. NTA”~anonymous053119
“NTA. Also stretch marks come from rapid breast growth or weight gain, not from self-exams. It is neither sexist nor misogynistic to care about your own breast health. If anything it’s the opposite — an act of self-care and love for the body you reside in.”~Katt_ler
Everybody agrees that OP’s grandmother was out of line.
“NTA – your grandmother sounds like she might need an evaluation considering her just totally out of whack response to a totally reasonable issue.”
“Let’s look at it like this:
- you have concerns over your health
- your OBGYN gave you medical advice
- you were following that advice”
“Your grandmother freaks out because you are doing something to PREVENT THE ILLNESS HER MOTHER HAD!!!”
“How is you taking preventative steps bringing anyone down?”~HunterRoze
“NTA WHAT? Nothing she said makes any sense. I’m sorry she’s shaming you because 1. even if it was sexual, who cares? It’s your body. You’re not hurting anyone. 2. You don’t get stretch marks that way. That’s just not how skin works. and 3. You did nothing wrong and said nothing wrong. You just said you’d rather not have breast cancer. Nothing you said has anything to do with anyone but yourself.”
“She over reacted and instead of apologizing she’s doing anything she can to make you the bad guy. Don’t give her the satisfaction of engaging with her nonsense.”~HighPriestoftheBog
“NTA for all the obvious reasons. You are looking after your health and your knowledge of your own health is two generations more advanced than hers.”
“Just a question though – how certain are you on the diagnosis on your great grandmother? Was this something explained to you when you were younger and as such perhaps ‘spared the truth’? Or was this explained to you clearly as an adult (which makes me start to worry about your grandma’s mental faculties)”~mikey_weasel
“NTA….my brain hurts.”
“Even if it was sexual, you were in your room door closed alone. You are doing what is literally routine for most women these days, and the fact that she’s suggesting you /should??? Get breast cancer ‘over’ stretch marks is… I want to say something else but will settle on bonkers.”
“CoD of her mother aside, if she had died of breast cancer that’s even MORE reason you should be doing a breast check as it’s often genetic.”
“But seriously if anyone made a sexist comment there it was grandma. You’ll get stretch marks and be ugly!?!”
“Grandma needs a dictionary for Christmas and a few lessons in knocking.”~Aradene
Furthermore, all OP was trying to do was pay attention to her own personal health. And even if it was sexual, who cares?
“NTA, clearly, but… so many things to unpack here.
- You are allowed to touch yourself sexually however you want in the privacy of your bedroom and she should learn to knock. I detest people who burst into other people’s private space unannounced.
- You are going to get stretch marks… how again? From a breast self-exam? I am baffled by her reasoning.
- Also, stretch marks are a natural part of your body, if you get them, you get them, there is nothing ‘ugly’ about them and society really needs to stop shaming young women for their natural skin. We do not come with Photoshop installed in our genes.
- How are you sexist and misogynistic for that comment. Does she even know the meaning of those words? If anyone is sexist and misogynistic here, it’s her, shaming you for touching your own body and telling you stretch marks are ugly. Body shaming at its finest!”
“In conclusion, she has issues and she has no idea what she’s talking about, and that is before we even get to her absolute lack of manners and boundaries for bursting into other people’s rooms unannounced.”~That-Significance150
“NTA heck even if you were doing something sexual your grandma didn’t even knock and you still wouldn’t be the a**hole. And your great grandmother having breast cancer is even more reason to check so you can catch it early.”~Notquite_Caprogers
“So it’s sexist to say that you’d rather have stretch marks than cancer, but it’s not sexist to say you shouldn’t touch your own breasts or else you’ll get stretch marks? Or to freak out that you’re touching your breasts in the first place.”
“NTA. Your grannie needs to get a grip on reality. Nobody wants to have breast cancer. There’s nothing wrong with not wanting to have breast cancer.”~ThisIsKubi
“NTA! I found a golf ball sized lump in my breast when I was 16 (benign, thankfully, as most lumps at that age are) and had to fight to get a doctor to check and confirm. Two weeks later they whipped it out and it’s all good. Most of my female friends had a feel (They asked first!) So they could tell what it felt like. Trust me, nothing sexual about that.”
“Girls and women should be checking their breasts every month from when they start growing. Its basic maintenance.”~Narcdoff
The good news is, in no universe is OP the a**hole.
The bad news is, it seems like OP’s grandmother has some work to do in order to maintain a healthy relationship with her granddaughter.