The United States is experiencing a housing crisis.
Shared housing—two or more people who live in one permanent rental housing unit, sharing costs associated with maintaining housing such as rent and utilities—can be the only way some renters can obtain and sustain housing in a high-rent community.
Reducing the rent burden is often the most important benefit of shared housing arrangements.
But sharing a living space with others can be interesting.
And by interesting, I mean a complete nightmare.
Like how about a roommate who wants to regulate your bodily functions? Or your personal hygiene?
That’s the dilemma one woman recently faced. So she turned to the “Am I The A**hole” (AITA) subReddit for feedback.
“AITA for laughing at my housemate when he suggested I not shower on my period?”
The original poster (OP) explained:
“I (31, female) live in a share-house. One of the housemates Jack (30, male) has never lived with a woman outside of his mother but likes to say that he is ‘aware’ of women’s issues and calls himself a feminist.”
“For instance, he doesn’t agree with the saying ‘no uterus, no opinion’ because ‘It’s my job to be informed about any issues that could affect me if I become a father or husband’…”
“Which is fine until it came to this issue.”
“So, like most biological women, I have periods. I, however, cannot use tampons or cups due to a condition called vaginismus. It’s pads all the time for me—yay.”
“I also (I know, the shock!) shower during this time! Wow!”
“I prepare a new pad onto a clean pair of undies, shower as normal, dry myself off in the shower, and then step straight into the undies. And obviously, check the bathroom for mess.”
“Jack’s never complained—nor has anyone else, so I figured my ‘system’ was working.”
“Cue today; and I can’t shower for 48 hours due to a heart monitor test. I was jokingly complaining about how I was going to ‘survive’ without my nightly shower, and Jack looked up confused and said, ‘How is this any different to when you’re on your period?'”
“I asked him what he meant, and he said, ‘well, you can’t shower on your period unless you use a tampon’ and I laughed because I thought he was joking—he has shown before that he was at least SEMI educated on women—which he got angry at.”
“Jack said, ‘wait—well what do you do?’ and I said slowly, ‘I shower?’—I wasn’t getting it, I’m afraid.”
“Jack said, ‘without protecting MY bathroom?’ (he does not own the house) and then went off. Apparently, my period is unhygienic, it can cause infection if left on the shower floor, and he was under the impression I hadn’t been showering for a week when I had my period or using tampons.”
“I said that due to reasons I can’t use tampons, and he told me then I’m ‘banned’ from showering when I’m on my period, which I laughed again at which I did apologize for and say ‘I’m sorry for laughing—but the audacity of that statement.'”
“I told Jack he has no way of enforcing this – nor would I be sticking to this, and he said ‘fine. Then every time you shower, you need to bleach the bathroom afterwards,’ to which I couldn’t help but laugh again—apologizing—but saying ‘We’re in a share-house. That’s not reasonable when other people need to shower/use the toilet, and considering I’m sure at least SOMEBODY else pees in the shower, is ridiculous to only enforce on me’.”
“I brought that up, and he said, ‘nobody does that—I’ve never heard of that in my life.'”
“So I just had to walk away. Jack’s been complaining to other housemates about this and saying that we need to ‘watch out for me,’ and we all just think he’s absurd for ‘banning’ me, but a couple think that I should just at least try and compromise, so I’m confused.”
Redditors weighed in by declaring:
- NTA – Not the A**hole
- YTA – You’re the A**hole
- NAH – No A**holes Here
- ESH – Everybody Sucks Here
Redditors were completely unanimous in declaring OP was not the a**hole (NTA).
“NTA. Get him a sex ed book for little kids because that’s how he’s behaving. Like an uneducated, entitled little kid.” ~ gloomyforces
“NTA obviously. For someone who’s so informed on ‘women’s issues, ‘ Jack certainly is clueless, and the fact that he’s 30, knows so little, and yet spouts so much nonsense is just embarrassing.”
“Also, I can’t even imagine the stench that would form if I didn’t shower for a week while on my period only using pads.”
“Jack is so ignorant that he doesn’t know what kind of fresh Hell he’s asking for, no offense. I’m sure OP would smell lovely under those conditions.” ~ Glittering-Echo7199
“Sure, because not showering for a week on your period is the more hygienic thing to do.” ~ Reinardd
“Especially when you wear pads. Gonna smell awesome.” ~ TinyGreenTurtles
Redditors were flabbergasted anyone would suggest an unspecified compromise.
“NTA – what exactly would the ‘compromise’ be? He’s an idiot.” ~ Realistic-You9997
“Compromise? Don’t even consider that. NTA. It’s his mom’s fault he went uneducated, not yours.” ~ Stitch_Fan
“NTA. But as a compromise, you should offer he gets a bottle of bleach as his next birthday gift.”
“I’d be more concerned about a badly wiped kitchen board or a sponge that should have been replaced ages ago.” ~ FalconJaeger
“The obvious solution is Jack doesn’t use the shower when you have your period. He’s the one with the problem.” ~ bythebrook88
“My guess is the compromise they want is her cleaning the tub because this dude sounds like a pain, and they’d rather she do that than listen to him.” ~ Competitive_Most4622
“The compromise should be the enablers should clean the tub – they wanna have a dumb opinion, they should follow through personally.”
“I’m kind of scared to wonder if this man even knows how periods work… and how he might consider, you know, discovering when OP is having it. Is he getting a chart? App? How would he even know?”
“If OP isn’t the only woman in the house… I got some bad news for Jack.”
“I do so hope he tells each and every single unsuspecting woman he is even remotely interested in about his ah, ‘feminist’ opinions.”
“Speaking for all women—I think we’d all appreciate the heads up right off the bat to stay away from him.” ~ OffKira
People felt Jack didn’t have a firm grasp on the purpose of bathing or how modern plumbing contributes to hygiene.
“NTA. Poop is a lot more likely to cause infection than blood (assuming you don’t have a bloodborne disease), but he doesn’t object to people washing their a**es in the shower, does he?
“It all goes down the drain and into the sewer. It’s almost like it’s a whole system meant for…you know…cleaning gross sh*t off you and getting rid of it safely.” ~ realshockvaluecola
“I’m sorry, he wants you to NOT shower for an entire week?? And doesn’t consider THAT unhygienic? Makes zero sense.”
“If he’s so worried about it, he can wear shower shoes.”
“Another option is to have one of those daily after-shower sprays left in the shower that can easily be sprayed by anyone after each shower that he can buy, or he himself can bleach/spray before he showers. Definitely NTA.” ~ mytorchsong
“NTA. I’m surprised he doesn’t ask you to go into a special hut in your ‘unclean’ time.” ~ Expensive-Day-3551
“Maybe OP’s hut is far away. I know mine is, so I too end up committing crimes against humanity like showering during my period.”
“Seriously though, and I am very curious—what compromise should OP agree to? He wants to ban her from showering in her own home. What exactly is the middle ground here?”
“Also, he’s 30. I cannot express how pathetic that is, and anyone even remotely considering pandering to him is equally as unequipped to survive out in the wild, let alone among regular human beings.” ~ OffKira
“NTA. He’s more than welcome to bleach the tub right before he showers, though. Because he will NEVER know when you’re on your period again.”
“Keep him guessing as to whether you’re menstruating or not so he can bleach the tub every time he uses it.”
“It’s a win win. He gets to have an ‘uncontaminated’ shower, and everyone else gets a super disinfected and clean tub!” ~ Boss_Bitch_Werk
“NTA! And there is no compromise here. He’s a child, plain and simple.”
“It will always astound me the way some men (immature men) act and react to the very normal bodily process of a period.”
“News flash, guy—OP has been showering on her period this whole time, and you never had a clue! So clearly there is no problem here, it wasn’t hurting you when you didn’t know, and it will continue that way.” ~ Mrs_N2020
The OP may not have other housing options, but many suggested she seek other accommodations if Jack continues to harass her and their other roommates insist she placate him.
Hopefully it doesn’t come to that as housing can be difficult to find.