Periods are a natural and normal part of life for more than half the population. Yet, there is still such a stigma surrounding menstruation.
While steps are being taken to break down this stigma and normalise a normal bodily function, there are still some people who have an issue with it. Those people are usually people without uteruses.
Over on Reddit, user u/sadlyambitious, asked the unofficial Court of The Internet (the "Am I The Asshole" thread) if she was the asshole after her boyfriend had a horrible reaction to being asked to buy sanitary products. Read the story for yourself below.
Content warning for transphobia.
"Okay, throwaway because my boyfriend knows my other account.
I (23f) moved in with my boyfriend (24m) of two years a couple months ago. We haven’t had any problems before this argument. Things had been going pretty well.
Anyways, a couple days ago, I got my period. It came early and I had ran out of pads. I couldn’t leave to buy some because I bleed pretty heavily and I would’ve bled through my pants. So I asked my boyfriend if he could buy pads for me from the drugstore, because it was late. He immediately said no. I was shocked because I wasn’t really expecting that."
"I asked him why. He said that he didn’t want the cashier to see him buying pads. At this point I started laughing because that was hilarious.
He wasn’t joking though. He just glared at me.
I told him that the cashier would obviously know it wasn’t for him. Plus, the cashier would definitely not care what he was buying. He still refused. I told him that he could go to the self checkout machine if he was so insecure, but he said that he didn’t want anyone to see him with the pads because they’d think he was a “tr***y”.
I told him that he was childish, and that his masculinity was really fragile if he couldn’t even buy pads for his own girlfriend. He got mad and went out. I had to bunch up toilet paper as a makeshift pad, wear black pants and a long cardigan and go buy the pads myself. My boyfriend has been ignoring me ever since. I’ve been thinking that maybe I might’ve pushed it too far."
NTA. Your boyfriend sounds immature, insecure, like a transphobe, and like he can't endure slight embarrassment to help you out. Gross.
There was a stand up a few years ago who did a whole routine about how he can't understand why men are "embarrassed" to buy sanitary products. He was saying, it's like a big announcement "HEY EVERYONE I HAVE A GIRLFRIEND! WOO HOO! AND we're intimate with each other! Sex! I have a girlfriend and we're having sex!"
Also NTA and your boyfriend is weak and fragile, and absurd.
He's also prioritising his slight embarrassment over her much more reasonable embarrassment over having to go out with loo roll in her pants and potentially visibly bleeding which is so incredibly selfish
It's quite usual here for me to grab tampons once a month on the way home from work for my fiancee, or was before lockdown.
I'm fairly sure a guy at a checkout buying tampons and a chocolate is a pretty standard thing that every checkout person has seen. But if you're really embarrassed about what you're buying, use self service? The self-service machine wont laugh at your fragile masculine ego. (this is meant more in general, not directly at the person I'm responding to, I just realised that wasn't clear)
NTA - He is a huge asshole and his masculinity IS fragile. What does he think the cashier is gonna think?? 'Hahaha this man knows someone who has periods?'
Accurate assessment. Your bf sounds super crass and judgemental and yet feels like people will judge him poorly for being a thoughtful bf? Talk about projection. He's so insecure and inconsiderate and won't help someone he cares about. It's a simple ask. I won't say leave him over this but you two need to figure out why he won't help you because he's so worried about what strangers think
NTA, if he is man enough to go buy condoms, he should be man enough to buy other genital-related products.
He is more concerned what random cashier no. 34 is thinking about him than he is about doing something for you as a boyfriend.
I wonder why he is so insecure about random strangers possibly thinking he might be trans. That is quite a leap in a thought process. Did he have that happen before?
NTA. I've literally witnessed a guy in Walgreens on Facetime with his girl in the pad aisle making sure he got her what she wanted. He kept picking up stuff and pointing at stuff to show her. Your guy's masculinity is so so fragile it's almost painful. And the transphobia isn't a cute look either.
NTA— I’d throw the whole man away. Why the hell would he think people would think he’s trans? And why would that matter? Transphobia isn’t sexy
"Edit: Wow, thank you for all your replies! I’m definitely going to have a serious talk with my boyfriend in the morning about this and we’ll see how it goes
UPDATE: First off, thank you for all your awards, replies and stories, they all mean so much to me. I confronted my boyfriend an hour ago. We sat down together and I told him that I didn’t like how he acted about buying pads for me. He said that he didn’t feel like he had to, and that I could’ve “held it in” and drove to the drugstore to get the pads myself. I told him that you can’t “hold in” menstrual blood, but he insisted that I could’ve done it for a few minutes and that it wouldn’t be a big deal. We went back and forth over this so I just dropped it."
"I asked him (like most of you mentioned) what would happen when we have kids and he’d have to take care of me and buy me nipple cream, take me to the washroom, etc. He said that I would not need those things because I should be able to do them on my own after giving birth. He said that there wasn’t anything hard about using the bathroom and the only reason I’d need help is if I was a “cripple”. Then I asked him about the tr***y comment. He said that he didn’t understand why people would want to change the gender they were born in. That basically cemented everything for me. I felt completely betrayed and humiliated.
I can’t believe I spent two years of my life with a guy who holds these views, and I can’t believe I was too oblivious to it. I just feel so dumb. I told him that we need to break up. He cussed at me and told me that I was exaggerating and that I was being a bitch. I told him that I would send him my half of this month’s rent (we live together but it was his appartement so we would split the bill). Then I packed my bags and drove to my parents house without saying another word. I’m gonna be staying with my parents until I sort myself out. I’m feeling really down right now, because I really did love him, but I also feel relieved. Again, thank you all for helping me out, and sending me encouraging messages. I appreciate it all."
The whole thread is here if you would like to take a look.