The stepdad justified his actions saying that he and his sons hadn't lived with a woman for much of their lives.
Editor's note: This article was originally published on June 26, 2020. It has since been updated.
We don't live in the 1950s anymore men should turn their heads the other way when it came to topics like menstruation. Being a dad, if you are unable to support your daughter or teach your sons about it in a healthy manner, and instead shame your daughter for it, that's what your other kids learn. Instead of learning to support their sister and friends, and future partners or daughters, they learn to shame women for something that is completely natural.
So when a father went on the Reddit group AITA to ask if he asking his stepdaughter to dispose of her period products in a way that's not uncomfortable for "his sons," the man got schooled for it.
"I have been living with my new wife and stepdaughter for about 6 months now. She’s 19, almost 20, and I have three sons aged 18, 16 and 15. She’s a really good kid and she’s a good influence on my sons, I really enjoy having her around. My wife and her daughter moved into my house and sold theirs. My stepdaughter's father isn’t present in her life, nor is my sons’ mother. All four children share a bathroom. My sons have never lived for a long period of time with a woman, nor have any of them had long term girlfriends. They had short visitation periods when they were younger but never longer than an hour, so living with two women has been unusual for them," the father starts off.
His eldest son, 18, told him that his "stepsister disposes of her used sanitary products in the trash can they share, but doesn’t use toilet roll or sandwich bags to disguise what they are, and it makes him uncomfortable which I think is reasonable. My sons are teenage boys and don’t want to see their stepsisters period products on full display."
This dad thought he was being reasonable when he decided to speak to his stepdaughter. "My wife had mentioned that she knew she was on her period so I took it as an opportunity to have a word with her. I told her my sons were uncomfortable and asked her if she’d mind putting her used products in diaper bags or flushing them down the toilet."
However, the response he got from his daughter was scathing. "She laughed and told me it was rich coming from a man who 'sheds like a gorilla' and has produced 'three skid marking sons' which I thought was just an unnecessary attack. I’ve been nothing but nice to the girl and it’s hardly a comparison. My sons shouldn’t be subjected to her unhygienic products if it makes them uncomfortable. She went on to lecture me about how tampons can’t be flushed and that it’s bad for the environment if she uses diaper bags for everyone which I think is just an excuse. I called her a scruff and told her that this was my house and that what I say goes," he wrote. Instead of trying to consider her point of view, he just dismissed her.
When he spoke to his wife and asked her to speak to her daughter, she told him he was being "ridiculous and that her daughter has had her period for ten years and knows what she’s doing."
"When I told her it was making my sons uncomfortable she said my sons needed to get a grip... Both of them have told me to stop being so silly but I don’t see how I’m being unreasonable when it makes my sons uncomfortable," he said.
Only two hours after writing the post, he added an update, saying that his wife and stepdaughter "gathered my sons and I and gave us a full intensive 'periods for pricks' course, Powerpoint and all. It was a hoot, they made an interactive quiz and everything. My sons and I learned a lot and apologized to my stepdaughter."
Meanwhile, he had also received "input" from commentators on Reddit. "I'm a guy and realize this is ridiculous. You need to help yourself and your son's become better men and accept that it's a natural process. Are you uncomfortable with your wife's use of the same? I assume not so teach your sons to be better," said one person. "He said in his replies that she wraps the pads/tampons in the packaging before throwing them away. So the sons can’t even see any blood! And the garbage bin has a lid. This is beyond ridiculous. I’m not surprised the stepdaughter snapped," said another one.
It's good to know that this situation was resolved in a healthy manner.