It may be 2023, but debates about menstruation and feminine hygiene are still a common occurrence.
Some have attempted to argue for a woman’s right to describe and diagnose the symptoms of her own period. But there are still those who think they know more about a woman’s body than the woman does, cringed the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit.
Redditor Dawn_In_Danger was surprised to see her brother-in-law’s reaction to her starting her period while at his home.
But when her period caused a serious argument about what she could acceptably do while on her period, the Original Poster (OP) was beyond furious.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for leaving when my BIL (Brother-in-Law) wouldn’t let me in the hot tub?”
The OP and her husband went to see her brother-in-law’s new place.
“My BIL just bought a new house. He lives about four hours from us.”
“Last weekend, my husband and I went to visit him for a few days and see the house for the first time.”
There was a small incident during the visit.
“Long story short, I got my period while I was sleeping and the guest room sheets had a small bloodstain (about the size of a quarter).”
“My husband helped me strip the bed, and I went down to the laundry room to pretreat and then wash the sheets.”
“When they were done, the bloodstain was 100% gone, but when we told BIL (he asked why we were using the dryer), he looked completely disgusted.”
“He inspected the sheets super closely for a very long time and finally, I was like, ‘Je**s, BIL, if you’re looking that closely and can’t find a stain, can’t you trust me that I got it out?'”
“He seemed really put out by the whole thing.”
The OP’s brother-in-law took what happened harder than the OP would have expected.
“That night, we had plans to hang out in BIL’s hot tub in the backyard, but after dinner, he told me that I wasn’t allowed in the hot tub because of my period.”
“I was shocked and explained that the nighttime leak was because I hadn’t been expecting my period and had been fast asleep all night.”
“I explained that it was perfectly safe and sanitary for me to put in a tampon and sit in the hot tub for an hour.”
“But he wouldn’t budge.”
“My husband had my back and told him that he was being ridiculous, and it ended up turning into a big argument.”
The couple decided they’d had enough of the brother-in-law’s opinion.
“Eventually, my husband and I decided to pack our stuff and stay at a nearby hotel, and then we drove home the next morning.”
“Now BIL is p**sed at us for leaving and for not respecting his home.”
“He also Venmo-requested my husband $100 for new sheets, which he is refusing to pay (but trust that if the stain hadn’t come out, we would’ve been happy to replace them).”
“He told his whole side of the family, who’ve decided to fully stay out of it (I wish they had our backs more, but at least they’re not piling onto us).”
“Are my husband and I AHes for leaving and not paying for the sheets?”
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 agreed with the OP that the brother-in-law was misinformed.
“Some parents apparently do a really bad job teaching their sons about women’s periods. It’s a normal, routine biological function.”
“BIL’s disgust is ignorant and misogynistic. It’d be bad in a 13-year-old boy, but in an adult, it’s simply gross. He’s a bad host and a bad person.”
“NTA, OP. At least you got the good brother.” – Curious-One4595
“NTA. The BIL is such a horrific misogynist. I’m only a trans woman, so I can’t claim to understand fully what it’s like to be on your period, but what I do know is that it is out of your control. And the stuff that was in your control, like cleaning up, was done correctly.”
“If you left it stained, I could understand him getting angry, but you cleaned up, and honestly, I think if you had it in the hot tub, it would’ve been much easier to clean. When will people learn that periods are a natural occurrence and stop demonizing people for having them?”
“Kudos to your husband for sticking up for you. Usually, the complaints come from the husband, so it’s a nice change of pace.” – Jackninja5
“The thing is though, I’m fairly clueless about how periods and tampons work. I’m a dude, and it doesn’t factor into my day-to-day routine (what a #blessed life).”
“So know what I would do in that situation? Trust the grown woman who does deal with them regularly that whatever action she is comfortable with is the one to go with. She’s the guest in my home, and she’s happy? Then it’s all cool.”
“It’s super simple stuff.” – Boulder1983
“NTA. I suppose there’s an argument to be made about the sheets if the strain hadn’t come out. But this definitely feels more like an ‘Ew, women are gross. Stop being gross,’ sort of tantrum.” – BigBayesian
“I still can’t believe that in 2023, some people react this way to periods. Even as a teen, I truly never ever understood these types of reactions to menstruations (or let’s say, people being grossed out or legit angry at women with hairy legs??).”
“Periods happen and have always happened every month to half of the population. Honestly, I’m more puzzled than angry about this topic. I’d gladly empty my menstrual cup in BIL’s face, lol (laughing out loud).” – ysekh
“Just in case it’s not abundantly clear, you are NTA.”
“Thank you for not putting up with his nonsense. He can be a pr**k in his own home all he wants, but good on you for not internalizing the shame or staying and apologizing. It is hard not to just placate in the face of anger sometimes. His behavior was immature and ignorant.”
“Also, why do so many AHs think provoking someone who has JUST proven they can quickly and efficiently remove blood evidence is a good idea…? Purely from a self-preservation standpoint, maybe don’t do that.” – AugustNClementine
But others challenged the OP for disclosing her period and trying to get in the hot tub at all.
“YTA. It is gross to come into contact with period blood, especially if he’s not your SO. Clear YTA.” – Alacran_durango
“PERIOD blood is grotesque. If you had an accident, it would be disgusting. If you know your body so well, why did the accident happen?”
“Also, why did you have to tell your BIL? That’s weird to discuss your period with the entire family.” – Cleaver-Tower612
“YTA. Ewww. I’m a woman, and even I wouldn’t go into my own hot tub while on my period.”
“As tens of millions of women can attest to, periods are unpredictable, despite wearing a tampon. It doesn’t matter how well you know your situation. It’s a no. No, I’m not a prude, just sensible to not wanting to do extra cleaning of the tub.”
“Now, the sheet thing makes the BIL the AH.” – pleetis4181
“YTA. I am a woman, and once I was at the beach with my husband and children. My period started, so I put on a tampon and sat down. Playing in the water puddle that the kids dug up. I still leaked into the pool even though I had on my correct size tampon, and no, it was not soaked or on for too long.”
“Your BIL is right. His house, his rules. If he felt that it would be unhygienic, let him, because I felt that it was unhygienic for me to continue to sit and a water puddle when I could clearly see pink-tinged water because of my tampon. He set a boundary and hoped that you would respect it.” – Trying2BBetter2023
“YTA if for nothing else then not respecting the rules at someone else’s house.” – Speeddemon12344
After receiving feedback, the OP shared a few clarifications and an update.
“For everyone asking why I even told him, it’s because my period isn’t a dirty little secret. It’s a natural thing that happens to half of the adult population. And because I’m not going to sneak around like a cat burglar to do laundry. He heard the dryer buzz and asked about it, and I told him.”
“BIL has a girlfriend who doesn’t live with him. She hung out with us the first night (that was the first time I’d met her) but had to work the night of the argument, so she wasn’t around. I don’t know what she thinks of the whole situation, and I’m not going to reach out about it.”
“And BIL isn’t on the spectrum, he doesn’t have OCD, and he’s not a germophobe. He just thinks it’s gross.”
“Anyway, please trust that I know my body and my flow and that on the first full day of my period, I know I can wear a tampon for a while without leaking.”
“For the record, we did go to the hotel hot tub after we checked in, and I stayed in for 90 minutes. When I got out, there was nary a speck of evil dirty vagina blood on my bathing suit.”
The subReddit was thoroughly divided on this one, based on hosting someone and personal feelings about menstruation. Some thought the OP was wrong to insist to use an amenity in someone else’s home or to continue to insist after one accident had already happened.
But most sided with the OP, citing facts about menstruation and the unlikelihood of something happening in the hot tub.