It may be 2022, but there are still plenty of stories out there of people taking issue with the female body and feminine hygiene products.
Though the process is totally normal, it’s still viewed as something shameful, the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit sadly pointed out.
Redditor TheRandomRedditRat was furious when her stepdad used her bathroom, only to demand that she reorganize it so that her feminine products were hidden from sight.
After she was criticized for saying no, the Original Poster (OP) wondered if she was being too stubborn.
She asked the sub:
“AITA for telling my stepdad I wasn’t going to conceal my pads and panty liners?”
The OP felt her stepfather controlled most of their house.
“I (15 female) live with my mom and her husband. They got married a few months shy of a year ago, I think (July 2021 if I remember correctly).”
“My mom (41 female) is a very conservative Christian woman and she had a bad experience with my dad, so she kind of rushed into marriage, finally finding that perfect Christian man, AKA: my stepfather.”
“My stepfather, I’ll call him SF, moved in in early October 2021 and took over most things in the house. The kitchen, living room, office, main bathroom, master bedroom, etc., were changed either partly or completely to his liking.”
“I, of course, did not let SF touch my room nor my designated bathroom, but he still uses my bathroom occasionally when my mom is taking too long in the master bathroom.”
An argument started after the stepfather used the OP’s bathroom.
“3 days ago, SF came to me with an ‘issue’ he had.”
“I usually keep my pads/daily liners out in the open. Not the nasty used ones, just the packaging. I keep them on the back of my toilet as I feel it’s most convenient for me, and I never really planned to let people in my bathroom.”
“But SF said he’s uncomfortable seeing my ‘womanly products’ and asked I move them.”
“I said no and argued that I wasn’t going to make things inconvenient for me and said he could use the guest bathroom.”
“SF said that he didn’t want to as my bathroom is closer and that he ‘is now my father and I should listen to what he says.'”
“What followed after was the classic Rebellious Teen vs Stepdad altercation.”
“I at first thought I was completely in the right, but after talking to a few male friends and my mother, I am now considering otherwise.”
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 were concerned about the stepdad trying to control the OP’s feminine products.
“NTA. Do not let this man use your feminine products as a way to shame you.”
“It’s your bathroom and you should be allowed to keep what you need where you need it. You obviously have other bathrooms he can go to if it bothers him so much.”
“And your stepfather just sounds like a jerk assuming he’s your father now. Some things are earned, not given.” – Red_enami
“He is not your father; he is your mother’s husband. And he shouldn’t be trying to shame you about your feminine hygiene products.”
“Personally, I would go to the youth minister or the regular church minister or your school counselor and let them know that your mother’s husband is making you uncomfortable in your own home.”
“See how he likes that kind of unwanted attention on him, but then again, I tend to be super petty and vindictive against misogynistic male behavior.” – Wisdomofpearl
“It would be different if there was only one bathroom but from the sounds of it, OP’s home has the main bathroom, her bathroom, and a guest bathroom. The SF can haul his entitled a** to the guest bathroom if OP’s mother is occupying the main one.”
“As a teenage girl, OP should have her own bathroom as long as there are enough bathrooms in the house, which it seems there are. The SF wants everyone to consider his needs, but he couldn’t care less about anyone else’s.” – WarLazy7979
“I do want to add that I think it’s super creepy that he chooses to use HER PRIVATE BATHROOM over the easily accessible guest bathroom. A powerplay, I’m the boss or a pervert, it’s one or the other, if not both, in my opinion.” – GoldBench5795
“He’s also being controlling for the sake of it. He has many options, none of which are using your bathroom AND shaming you for your normal use of it.”
“The Bible says not to provoke your children. So even if he was your father (he is not), he would be in the wrong here. I am hoping somebody who is not biased (I.e. your mother) would easily be able to see this.”
“I think it’s also important he did not become a parent simply by marrying one. NTA” – Catfactss
Others agreed and found the stepfather’s concerns about periods to be troubling.
“If feminine hygiene products make this man uncomfortable, he needs to get a grip.”
“I’m the only female in the household and I have never had to hide these products. I keep them in a basket on a shelf within plain sight and have never had an issue.”
“If anything, my sons’ friends have been over and if the girls needed products, they would ask me. If I was out, the boys would say, ‘Mom keeps them in the basket on that shelf. Help yourself, mom won’t mind.'”
“We’re quite a religious family but we also know how biology works. Pads and periods are part of female biology.”
“We never made a big deal of it, but we also made sure the kids knew this was a normal bodily function so there was no reason to make a big deal of it. In our home, it’s no different to asking where the toilet paper is kept if the roll on the holder runs out.” – WarLazy7979
“It’s also super creepy that stepdad is even talking about her hygiene products. Totally inappropriate.”
“I keep hygiene products in my Guest toilet in case my Guests ever have a need for them. No guy has ever complained about it.”
“Super creepy, inappropriate Stepdad – OP should put a lock on her bedroom door. OP is NTA. Stepdad is a real worry.”
“Can OP live with her Dad? I have Daughters – I would not let this creep anywhere near them.” – V-838
“Man here old enough to be the stepfather.”
“He is wrong, in so many ways.”
“He’s uncomfortable with basic body function. That’s his issue, not yours.”
“And he is not your father. He’s your mother’s husband.” – Feisty_Bag_5284
“Even if you had a shared bathroom you shouldn’t have to hide them. It’s a completely natural process and I’m guessing your mom is still using them too.”
“If you guys run out, is he unable to get them from the store? REAL men aren’t afraid of period products. Period.” – Becca22597
“I don’t understand SF’s reasoning. It’s a teen’s bathroom. They’re on their period. Does he expect women to walk across the bathroom while they’re bleeding?? Period blood is uncontrollable.”
“I feel like SF will complain about the pad box, and then if OP moves it, and may take longer to grab the box because if she’s walking across the bathroom without a pad, things get messy, and she’ll need to clean it again.”
“Also, she may need to keep new underwear in the bathroom each time because of SF’s complaints, and then SF will complain EVEN MORE.”
“Also, does the SF sound really controlling to anyone else? First, he adapted nearly the whole house to his liking when it wasn’t even his own home. And then just invites himself into OP’s bathroom, which is meant to be a private place. And then complains about her having something that she NEEDS close by? Red flag.” – IneedaL0Tofhelp
After receiving feedback, the OP felt more upbeat.
“THANK YOU GUYS SO MUCH!! I am very thankful for all the nice people out there backing me up and even pushing me to see how weird it was for my stepdad to be concerned with my hygiene products.”
“I will be talking to my mother about this issue again and possibly showing her some of the comments, although it’ll likely get me in a bit of trouble.”
“Either way, thank you again for all the kind words and suggestions of malicious compliance that I quite likely will be taking into consideration.”
While the OP was second-guessing herself after talking to a few other people, the subReddit not only felt she was right to stand up for herself, but they were also concerned about why this conversation with her stepfather had to happen at all.
The stepfather’s concern about feminine products, in a teen girl’s bathroom no less, was concerning at the very least, and his demands to transform her bathroom to his liking and to use her bathroom instead of the guest bathroom were even more so.