Sex ed and human biology can be uncomfortable subjects for some and there is a huge disparity in knowledge from person to person.
But when you’ve grown up in the same environment and had the same education as someone, is it understandable to be caught off guard at something they don’t know?
What if it’s a “biggie” like menopause?
Reddit user “donuts_are_tasty” found herself in the middle of some family tension after realizing her older sister didn’t understand menopause.
She asked the AITA (“Am I The A**hole?”) subReddit about her drama-inducing reaction:
“Aita for being surprised my sister didn’t know how menopause happened?”
Before we get into the details, let’s briefly talk about the AITA subReddit.
The format is simple. Someone who has a “grey area” moment shares it as a post.
Other people respond to the original poster (“OP”) in the comments and cast their votes.
Voting Options Are:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
Now that you’ve go the basics, let’s get back to the post.
“So me (16f), my dad (45m), and my sister (23f) were watching this show (fictional) where there were firefighters who were rescuing a baby that was trapped in a house after a mudslide.”
“Well when they walked in an elderly lady was deceased and there was a 3 day old baby in a crib. My dad made some comment about how the lady was the mother of the baby.”
“Once it became clear the baby was a couple days old I said something like ‘welp she’s obviously not the mother’ because this lady looked like she was in her 70s or 80s.”
“My sister was like ‘well she could be, anybody can have a baby at any age as long as they’ve gone through puberty’ “
“and I was like ‘unless they’ve gone through menopause’ and she was like ‘you can still have a baby after you go through menopause. ‘ ”
“I laughed because I thought she was joking, then she asked why I was laughing and I told her: “
” ‘You know why women go through menopause right? Like you know it’s not just because they hit a certain age and just randomly go thought it, you know what happens to their uterus when it happens right?’ ”
“She said something like ‘I thought it was just hormones’ and I told her ‘it’s because a women runs out of eggs and you obviously can’t make a baby with no egg’ ”
“She got all pissed off at me and said ‘Well I didn’t know, you don’t have to treat me like an idiot.’ ”
“I genuinely thought she was kidding. We usually joke this kind of way where we will act uneducated on certain topics. She is also a very educated person so it really felt like she was joking.”
“If I would’ve felt like she was actually serious I would not have laughed at her and I would’ve taken the time to actually educate her.”
“Am I the a**hole for assuming she already knew why women went through menopause?”
Responses broke down into one of a few categories.
The people who pointed out that OP was incorrect about menopause also…
“NAH, you thought she was joking so you laughed – fair enough.”
“I do, however, want to call you out on YOUR lack of knowledge regarding the menopause.”
“Menopause doesn’t mean the eggs have run our, it just means the ovaries have stopped releasing them.” – DonCinimella
“NTA. You don’t understand why menopause happens either.”
“Your ovaries produce less estrogen. You don’t ‘run out of eggs.’ ”
“But you’re 16. A lot of people that age don’t care about menopause because they figure it’s a million years in the future.”
“At least you know more than your sister does.” – Barn_Vivant
“I almost feel like OP is also TA for so confidently asserting incorrect reasons for a correct conclusion.” – yifrancisren
“I can understand that she may have felt you were laughing at her. In the future, maybe try to curb that.”
“But to be fair, you are both wrong.”
“Menopause does mean a change in hormones, and you can no longer have a baby, like you said. But it’s not because you run out of eggs.”
“Menopause (which is a temporary situation) means that women can no longer get pregnant naturally and may need help if they want to have a baby in their 40s or 50s.”
“It is still possible to carry a baby to term, but you would need a lot of treatment and therapy.”
“You don’t run out of eggs. Women are born with about 1 million eggs.”
“At puberty, this number goes down by about half. I don’t know why, but that’s what I’ve learned.”
“During each period one egg is prepped for fertilization. If nothing happens, the egg is reabsorbed into the body, and your uterine lining is released (that’s the blood.)”
“There is no way that you can release half a million eggs over the course of your life. Running out is not what happens.”
“The fertility window for women is varying. Some have 20 years, some have closer to 40 healthy fertile years.”
“Even if you have 40 good years (very unlikely, the older you get, the more at risk you are for genetic problems), with an average of 12 periods per year (some women get more, some less), that means only 480 prepped eggs.”
“You don’t run out of eggs, your body just stops producing the necessary level of hormones required to cause your cycle. The eggs are still there, although their viability is also diminished because of the age of the eggs.” – NotSoAverage_sister
The people who could absolutely understand how OP’s sister got to where she is…
“As an American who went to a regular public school, nope. Biology is taught, but I understand more how chicks are made than I do about the end stages of female fertility.”
“When it comes to biology in humans we learn the cells, be abstinent or you get STD/consequence baby, and what time puberty commonly happens.”
“Menopause isn’t something 99% of us learned until college and only if you’re going to be a nurse/doctor.” – Neravariine
“OK, I had to create a throwaway to post this comment. NAH.”
“At 30 I went to an ob-gyn for the first time because I had lumps in my stomach that I was pretty sure were tumors of some sort.”
“The doctor did an exam and determined that they were tumors and I needed a hysterectomy. I had no clue what that actually entailed.”
“When she said it meant I wouldn’t be able to have children I had to ask why.”
“She politely (without making me feel dumb) explained removing my uterus was part of the process. I still didn’t get it.”
“She then said I would no longer have my period and I said ‘Great, let’s do this!’ “
“This is what happens when your parents refuse to allow you to participate in Health class (seriously, they contacted the school and said I was not allowed in the class), never took you to the doctor, never educated you on anything health/body/sex.”
“I had never been to an OB-GYN before.”
“All these comments saying it’s stupid for a woman to not know how her body works are coming from folks operating on a level that some of us simply never attained.” – Mammoth-Insurance730
“NAH. Everyone has a blind spot.”
“I get why she was defensive and why you laughed at her.”
“I was horribly bad at geography and legitimately laughed when I heard there was a New Mexico; I said, ‘What the heck happened to Old Mexico?’ ”
“I had a friend who thought nipples had a bone in them. If you talk to someone long enough, we all have a stupid, stupid thing we didn’t know.” – Lulu_42
And the folks who were just kind of horrified.
“the REAL a**hole here is the educational system that’s apparently not covering this (very important) information.”
“Holy crap. I’m so glad my mom was a nurse who covered everything in excruciating detail.”
“…Even if I desperately wished she wouldn’t at the time.”
“Anyway, this is kind of a silly post, but sometimes those are refreshing on here.”
“No giant, family destroying revelations. No huge moral dilemmas. Just an awkward moment where someone maybe could’ve behaved better.”
“I’m going with NAH except school system that apparently failed these girls. Seriously, WTF.”
“She’s 23 in 2021. Which means she was born around 1998.”
“I know public sex ed isn’t great, but…the internet has existed as long as this girl has been alive.”
“I didn’t know anything about menopause from sex ed, either. Menopause is mentioned enough by our culture that someone being THIS ignorant about it is kind of laughable.”
“I wouldn’t throw her up in front of an audience so people could point and laugh, but her getting this mad about not knowing about something that no one is hiding and when all the information known to humanity is at your fingertips is…pretty a**holey to me.” – merramac
How are you feeling about the situation?