It can be confusing for a child growing up with parents who are separated.
Conflicting views on parenting can get complicated for an impressionable child—especially a young teenager.
Redditor PepperQueen1209 is a woman who just wanted to help out her 14-year-old younger sister when she was upset about a particular situation.
However, the Original Poster’s (OP) solution backfired, and her mother berated her for it.
She visited the “Am I the A**hole?” (AITA) subReddit and asked:
“AITA for giving my 14yr old sister a tampon?”
The OP explained:
“So heres what happened. Its been hot out lately so my family wanted to use the pool. Unfortunately, the timing is terrible for my sister whos just gotten her period.”
“She came into my room asking if she should just swim with it. I said no, the pad will just float away.”
“She was upset because she wanted to swim. So i just gave her a tampon and said she couldnt full on swim with this, but she could sit in the water at least without worrying about a pad floating around.”
“She admitted she’d never used one before so I quickly explained how. Once she had it, she went to the pool. About 30 minutes later, my mom comes rampaging into my room!”
“How dare I give my sister a tampon! Shes only a child! Itll take away her virginity! We live in a Christian household and its not gods will to have children her age to be using a tampon.”
“Shes not allowed to use tampons and why would I give her one without asking???”
“I was absolutely dumbfounded at what my mom was saying. I immediately responded ‘I use tampons. She just asked for a solution and I gave her one. They dont take away her virginity?!? What world are you living in? And how was I supposed to know she wasnt allowed to have them?!'”
“She just kept screaming at me about how I just took away my sisters innocence. When she finally left my room, I didnt know what the hell to do.”
“I called my dad and asked him what I should do and he said I should apologize because even tho he doesnt believe itll take away her virginity, its still her rules since I live with her.”
“But Idk guys….I dont want to apologize for giving my sister…a tampon. AITA?”
“EDIT: just fyi, my parents divorced when I was 10, so when I was going through that stage of my life of getting my period, I was living with my dad.”
“Thats why I had no idea she had this belief about tampons when I recently moved in with her at the age of 23.”
Strangers were asked to declare one of the following:
- NTA – Not The A**hole
- YTA – You’re The A**hole
- ESH – Everyone Sucks Here
- NAH – No A**holes Here
Most Redditors sided with the OP and criticized her strict mother for being misinformed.
“NTA – Your mom is a stupid bigot. Your sister and you have the right to use any menstrual protection you wish.”
“But one thing you’re wrong about, you can totally swim and do anything/any sport/activity you want with a tampon in, as long as it’s inserted properly.” – tahitian_kitty
“Your mom is wrong in saying that tampons take your virginity. They can break the hymen.”
“What she’s saying is a broken hymen means you’re not a virgin even if you haven’t had sex. That’s nonsense.”
“The hymen can break through different forms of non sexual activity and is not a reliable indicator of virginity.” – Fcutdlady
“NTA. And don’t apologize to your mom. Don’t give your sister the impression either of you did anything wrong, or your mom a handle to hold it over you, because you didn’t do anything wrong.”
“It actually sounds like you were there during an impressionable time and managed to catch your sister before she was poisoned by your mom’s stupidity of the old wives tale variety. Hold your ground.” – nTanjelynnb
“NTA as someone who is a devoted follower of Christ myself, WHERE IN THE BIBLE DOES IT SAY TAMPONS TAKE AWAY VIRGINITY!?!?!?”
“Yes the holy Bible prohibits sexual intercourse before marriage, but its talking ab A HUMAN BEING not a piece of plastic that girls need.”
“You are completely in the right and I want you to show this comment to your mom to hopefully knock some sense into her!” – horizen27
“Um, F*CK that. NTA, and don’t apologise because your mum is abusing you about what the man in the sky thinks. That is terrible.”
“Your poor sister. Poor you. It’s not your fault your mother is ignorant, and you and your sister shouldn’t be punished for such a stupid, backward view. Resounding NTA.” – Lizziejoyjoy
“NTA. A tampon is a hygiene product and has nothing to do with sexuality or sexual activity. There is no religious reasoning backing this up, your mom is just being awful.” – Appropriate-Energy
“NTA you did a great job being a wonderful older sister, helping out with what could have potentially been a traumatic or embarrassing memory for her in the future.”
“You’re a great sibling, and hopefully you’ll help your sister grow up relatively normal and adjusted- with some grounding in the real world.” – erossmith
“NTA. Please send your mother a link to ANY FRICKIN WEBSITE that shows tampons don’t take away virginity. Hell, she can ask any healthcare worker.”
“Your mother is a major AH here. And really really stupid.” – Illustrious-Band-537
The OP responded with an eye-opening revelation.
“Whats even crazier….is shes a nurse.”
And while on the subject of swimming, Redditors offered the OP helpful information.
“NTA- First of all you can swim , dive, float or whatever with a tampon. Also your mom is ignorant.”
“Inserting a tampon does not always break the hymen and even if it did , that is not the equivalent of taking her virginity.” – trudyking3011
“As someone who worked for a tampon manufacturer, you can use all of them for sporting activities, it just might be less comfortable depending on the activity when it is “empty” and more prone to leaks when it starts to fill up.”
“If it is just for a quick trip to the pool it doesn’t make a difference.” – Duochan_Maxwell
“You dont need the sport ones, any tampon will work.”
“Actually, the pressure of water dramatically slows the flow off your period blood anyway (I think it’s the pressure, could be something else lol but the takeaway is when in water = less flow), so even just a normal tampon is sufficient.”
“Some of my friends with really light periods have said their flow stops altogether (I wouldn’t recommend going in without one tho)” – QueenSnowTiger
Overall, a good majority of Redditors thought the OP was not the a**hole and she was being a good big sister for solving the issue. They also thought the mother needed to abandon her outdated views and misconceptions about the use of feminine hygiene products.