We are all held to biology.
We can’t breathe water and we certainly can’t go without food.
The human body has all sorts of quirks that make it just a mess to deal with and we’ve devised all sorts of ways to deal with those messes.
Unfortunately, some of those messes are more stigmatized than others, so what happens when someone lashes out because of that stigma?
This was the issue facing Redditor and Original Poster (OP) PadsInTheCar when he came to the “Am I the A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for some outside opinions.
“AITA for keeping pads in my car?”
OP began with some backstory.
“AITA I’ve (40s Male) been in a relationship with my wife for the last 11 years and 10 of those years I’ve been keeping pads and tampons for her in my car glove box.”
“She drives the car from time to time.”
“She is ok with having those products in the car.”
Everything was fine until…
“Last week, I drove 3 of my coworkers to visit a client.”
“During the drive, one of them needed a tissue and I told him to take one from a bag in the glove box. In that bag is where the pads are too.”
“He saw the pads and here is where I started doubting myself. One of my coworkers was totally chill, he is married and have a couple of teen daughters, so no problem for him.”
“The one who needed the tissue is completely sheltered.”
“A young guy with no wife, no kids, his full life dedicated to his career.”
“He said that a guy like me shouldn’t have that kind of things in my car and that I emasculated him???”
“I don’t care about his opinion either.”
“The last one is a woman who said that by having pads in my car I’m patronasing my wife and treating her like a child who can’t take care of herself without my help.”
“That’s not true.”
“She is great keeping track of her period and she doesn’t need me helping her. But sh*t happens so… why not have emergency supplies by hand?”
“She only used the ones that are in the car like twice in ten years. My wife told me to ignore my coworker but AITA and treating my wife as a child by keeping pads in my car?”
Unsure of his standing, 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
There were personal stories.
“As a married woman, if my husband did this, I’d love it and appreciate it. He doesn’t because I never drive his car, but if I did, he’s the kind of loving, chill, supportive man who WOULD do this and it would be great.”
“Honestly, the only person whose opinion on this matters is your WIFE and she seems to think it’s great and appreciates you for your thoughtfulness.”
“Don’t change, OP, because people outside your marriage are morons.” ~ Busymomintx
“I just had first aid/cpr training through my workplace and the older man training us talked about how useful pads or tampons are when having to unexpectedly deal with bullet wounds.”
“So. If a late middle age, former firefighter with a hella country good old boy accent can casually suggest their use for bullet wounds I have to assume they increase masculinity not the reverse.”
“Or something.” ~ absent_morals
Keeping supplies is never a bad thing. Pads and Tampons are useful for more than just periods. The pads themselves are usually individually wrapped and absorbent. If someone has a major cut somewhere, a maxi-pad pressed against it will absorb the blood and help until the emergency room is reached. A tampon is similar, and if a puncture or gunshot, will help plug the hole.
Maxipads are also useful for someone experiencing bladder issues.
I had a hysterectomy over 20 years ago. The kids are out of the house. We still keep supplies in the vanity of the bathroom just in case someone comes over and needs something. ~ Algebralovr
Some responses were just confused.
“I can’t believe this is real.”
“Men who feel emasculated by the mere sight of pads? Women who think it’s wrong for someone to have them around just in case?”
“Please, let this be imaginary.” ~ madelinegumbo
“Emasculated by… a reminder that there exist other men who are in relationships with women? Huh?” ~ Bartlaus
Some had specific issue with the ‘patronizing’ concern.
“Do not doubt yourself, definitely NTA.”
“Why didn’t they think it was patronizing/emasculating to have tissues in your glove box? Hmm???”
“Didn’t the guy’s request for a tissue just prove the opposite of their complaints?”
“Was it patronizing of you to think people might not have a tissue when they needed one?”
“If they can appreciate that courtesy, why can’t they appreciate the similar courtesy of having a pad or two on hand for when the need arises unexpectedly?”
“I kept a pad or two in my glove box when I used them – for those unexpected needs.”
“I don’t use them anymore, but I still keep one or two in the glove box – for my teens or their friends or anyone in need.”
“I don’t think I’m being patronizing of them. Things happen, and it’s just so much easier if you have a solution in hand.” ~ swillshop
While others were just direct.
“Alright my guy, I’ll be the first here to say NTA.”
“1. You are incredibly considerate to keep this ‘contraband’ in your car.”
“Not only for your wife, but let’s say you’re out and about and wife’s friend, or perfect stranger, is in desperate need.”
“Like you said, things happen. Cycles are not perfect.”
“Cycles fluctuate and you end up needing more than you brought.”
“You sir are a king among men.”
“2. You are in your personal property.”
“You may keep what you please.”
“Not only was that little prig projecting his own insecurity, he was being entitled to demand you feel bad for offending his soft, participation trophy mindset.”
“3. And that woman.”
“The nerve. Patronizing?”
“She said SUPPORTING your wife. I support you as a husband and consider you a friend to bleeders everywhere.”
“Quit your job and work with people who aren’t complete idiots. Or better yet, go to HR and complain about how hostile and discriminatory they are.” ~ whopeedonthefloor
“Oh lord this sounds like rage bait…”
“But if it’s not you’re a f*cking hero. You shouldn’t be, but you are.”
“A little more than 50% of the people living on this planet menstruate, have menstruated, or will menstruate.”
“As a menstruating person, I think it’s thoughtful to keep supplies in the car bc sometimes, some of us, we get surprised. Uteri do be tricky that way.”
“So many humans are hung up on menstruation and feel so strangely comfortable moralizing HALF OF THE WORLDS BIOLOGY. So… a bit NTA.”
“While I don’t think you should be a hero for making a very minor accommodation for half the population, you are and I thank you for trying to normalize a healthy bodily function.” ~ Pippin_the_parrot
Commenters pointed out how weird the whole argument was.
“Emasculated is such a weird fucking concept. Feels weird there’s no real equivalent for challenging someone’s femininity, only masculinity.”
“Like how would his identity as a man be diminished by opening a glove box containing a second box of cotton fibre wrapped in plastic?”
“If he needs a toothbrush or toilet paper can be enter that section of the supermarket safely or does he get a staff member to help him?”
“Is there a specific distance away from pads he can be safely or is it a cumulative effect over time like with UV damage?” ~ Needmoresnakes
“That should be the last time you offer a ride to those 2 coworkers that complained. It’s YOUR CAR and they’re complaining what you have in it?!?!? RIDICULOUS!”
“Also, that is very sweet and thoughtful what you do for your wife. It’s not treating her like a child at all, it’s actually being a great husband who treats his wife well, and anticipates her possible needs.”
“And you’re right, no matter how prepared you are, sh*t does happen!” ~ silly_vengeful_sloth
“NTA – you sir, are a gem.”
“Your co workers suck.”
“I love how your male coworker made menstruation about him.”
“I’m willing to bet he doesn’t feel emasculated around a pair of womens ‘sexy’ underwear (news flash, she prolly bled while wearing them at some point – it happens).”
“And I’m surprised the female coworker judged you as well. How is making sure your partner has what they need patronizing?” ~ Batty_Britt
OP did return with some final thoughts.
“Thank you so much for your kind and reasuring words.”
“My wife is here with me reading all the comments and telling me ‘Told you so’.”
“Usually I don’t listen to what other people say about these kind of things, but I suppose that last week I was a bit less confident than normal.”
Biology rules us all.
The idea that proximity to a menstrual pad is emasculating, or that preparedness is infantilizing is not at all adhered to reality.
Be wary of anyone in your life that can’t get a grip on the basics of humanity – like a uterus has to shed eggs or that it’s better to have something and not need it than the reverse.