None of us are perfect.
We all require some sort of outside assistance with some part of our body – whether it’s the oil on our skin, the dandruff in our hair or the dryness of our eyes.
The trouble is that some of those issues are readily accepted, and others are so taboo as to be insulting at the very mention.
How far can such a taboo be tolerated in a shared space?
That was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) milchsaeuregirl when she came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for talking about my vagina to my male roommate”
OP began with a bit of history.
“I (25 female) am not on great terms with my vagina.”
“I’ve struggled with recurring infections for about a year now.”
“Something that really helped me get things under control however is a lactic acid supplement that I take every other day.”
“It comes in a powder form and you dissolve it in water, wait for a minute and then drink it on an empty stomach.”
“About a week ago I had just mixed the supplement with water and had the glass sitting on the counter while I was preparing my breakfast.”
“My roommate (21m) came into the kitchen and asked about the mysterious liquid in the jar.”
“I replied that it’s a supplement for gut and vaginal health that I take regularly.”
“He seemed a bit confused but said ‘ok’ and continued doing whatever he was doing in the kitchen.”
Everything was fine, until…
“Yesterday I was again preparing breakfast with the supplement sitting on the counter when the same roommate entered the kitchen again.”
“He noticed the glass and said I should start taking the supplement in my room instead of the kitchen since that makes him think about my vagina.”
“Apparently he thought it was invasive that I told him what specifically I was taking the supplement for.”
“I told him that I’d continue preparing it in the kitchen and that I was also storing my tampons relatively openly in the bathroom so he should be aware of the fact that I have a vagina anyways.”
“Now I’m not stupid – I get that it’s kind of direct to say my supplement is for vaginal health.”
“I do also think however that we shouldn’t continue stigmatizing talking about that sort of stuff.”
“Vaginas are an organ like any other and I don’t think anyone would care if I had said the supplement was just for gut health only.”
“It’s not like I started talking about my history of vaginal infections in great detail when he asked about the supplement so I don’t think it was invasive or that I shouldn’t consume it openly anymore.”
OP was left to wonder,
“He did seem pretty uncomfortable however – so AITA?”
Having explained the situation, OP turned to Reddit for judgment.
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Redditors decided: NTA
Some found the roommates reaction ridiculous.
“Next up you won’t be able to use the toilet because your vagina is uncovered during it’s use.”
“The couch is right out because how dare you sit on it with only a small number of layers of cloth between it and your vagina.”
“Is it alright for the door to your bedroom be used, as behind it there could be a chance vagina encounter.”
“I would handily agree with him if you were administering the concoction via funnel and handstand in the kitchen.”
“But it is a drink, and if he is mature enough to handle the responsibilities of renting an apartment, he can certainly handle the emotional consequences of the answer to a question he had asked.” ~
“I N F O : Are you allowed to drink Metamucil, or would that make him think of your rectum?” ~ velonaut
“I agree he’s immature, probably thinks OP has to pour the liquid into her vagina and that’s why he wants her to not do it in the kitchen!” ~ Acceptable_Day6086
“The next thing he will ask you to do is carry your used tampons/pads to your room and throw them away there because (clutches pearls) vaginas exist!!” ~ Asdfsmpsdf
There were personal stories.
“I was in a situation like this.”
“we were at a bar playing pool and a man must’ve seen the patch I have on my arm, obviously curious as to what it is (everyone thinks it’s a nicotine patch, it’s not!)”
“He asked me about it, I told him ‘it’s the patch, a not so widely known form of birth control.’ and he was acting so grossed out afterward telling me I didn’t need to tell him….”
“bro maybe you’ll start to mind your own business now??💀 NTA” ~ Heavy-Cup5489
“NTA, reading that made me think about how uncomfortable I made my male boss when I started talking about menopause and hot flashes.”
“He turned so damn red and looked like he wanted to crawl through the floor.”
“Don’t know why we can listen to men talk all day long about their bodily functions but you mention anything related.to women’s health and they act like your decapitating puppies.” ~ Ok_Acanthisitta_5069
Others pointed out that he was the one who asked.
“If he doesn’t want to start down the road of an unknown medical issue, he needs to refrain from asking about the nature of your medication.”
“Advise your roommate that if the very existence of female body parts is a problem for him, then he needs to consider that he may be presently incompatible with having female roommates.” ~ Restil
“He asked a question, you answered truthfully.”
“You aren’t obligated to lie to him so he feels comfortable.”
“If I was in his situation and felt uncomfortable (I wouldn’t) I wouldn’t dare ask you to drink it elsewhere, his discomfort is his problem, if he didn’t wanna know he didn’t have to ask.” ~ fromdowntownn
“If someone asks you a question, you’re allowed to answer honestly.”
“Since he hasn’t seemingly had an issue with your tampons, it’s strange he associates a drink with your vagina more than a tampon.”
“Ask him if you should start drinking all beverages in private since liquids in a cup remind him of your vagina. And if he says yes, don’t be afraid to break the lease.” ~ beansontoast3537
Some saw this as a symptom of a larger societal problem.
“What a weak man.”
“Seriously it’s nor our problem that some men like him can’t help but see women as sexual all the time.”
“We don’t have to hide this kind of stuff because they are uneasy about our body.”
“This is a health issue, nothing sexual, he is just weak af.”
“So ready to have sex with women but as soon as we need to discuss our actual needs it becomes a taboo, because they are unable to separate vagina from sex.”
“Period should not be taboo, nor infections, UTI and so on, and we actually need more education on this, ESPECIALLY for men like him. Laugh at his nose and keep going on with your habits, NTA.” ~ Comprehensive_Fly350
“I always think that if you’ve ever received the benefits of a vagina (not even sex, just literally being alive/born), then you have a duty to be respectful about them.”
“I always think this in the vein of like boyfriends being weird about their girlfriend’s periods (like that BS of not buying sanitary products or being weird toward basic period-related stuff) but i think it applies here, too.”
“Also as a woman, it is not my responsibility to pretend I don’t have one of my organs because YOU sexualise it.”
“That’s entirely on you. if the existence of my vagina makes you uncomfortable, then you are the one with the problem.”
“In all honesty I would hate it if someone I didn’t have a sexual relationship with told me something made them think of my vagina. I would feel so sexualised and uncomfortable.”
“Sometimes just the thought that others know I have a vagina is enough to make me wanna cut it all out and become as smooth as a barbie down there, because the thought someone could be sexualising me makes me feel so gross.”
“So someone explicitly saying that to me? I dont even want to think about it. that’s what is really invasive here lol”
“edit: spelling” ~ throwawayxoxoxoxxoo
Several people pointed out the immaturity involved.
“I’m sorry but what?”
“If he’s that sensitive about the mere mention of a vagina then he shouldn’t have a female roommate.”
“That’s just beyond ridiculous.”
“I’ve bought feminine hygiene products for my friends, roommates, relatives, and significant others the entirety of my life.”
“I had a coworker who would give me detailed updates about her period problems (she tended to over-share everything). He needs to grow up.” ~ figment979
How far can such a taboo be tolerated in a shared space?
Clearly Reddit had some opinions about that.
While it is always important to help those around you be comfortable, it is not your duty to make yourself smaller to do so.
Questions deserve answers, even when those questions bring answers that make us uncomfortable.