It sounds like this Redditor’s husband needs a lesson in empathy — and basic gynecological health care.
/AmITheAsshole user QueenBumbleBrii took to the classic Subreddit to gauge whether she was in the wrong for calling her husband “stupid and ignorant about my uterus.” In her post, the Redditor explained that she has been experiencing increasingly uncomfortable menstrual periods since turning 30. She’s taken to discussing her symptoms — “fatigue and cramps,” to name a few — in a group chat with some friends, who understand her pain firsthand, instead of her husband.
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The topic also came up in a conversation with QueenBumbleBrii’s mother, who suggested that she look into getting her “tubes tied” since she and her husband don’t want kids. (This procedure, formally known as a tubal ligation, has gained newfound popularity amid attacks on abortion access throughout the United States.) The Redditor said she was looking into hormonal birth control options to manage her symptoms instead.
Enter her husband: “He butts into the conversation to say I 100% do not need surgery or any hormonal treatment because ‘you are fine, only 4 days a month you suffer, and you always get through it just fine,’” she wrote. “‘There’s nothing wrong with you, you talk to your friends and think you have the same medical issues and think you need to get the same procedures or pills to fix a problem you don’t have!’ (Paraphrased)” Ouch. Invalidating much?
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Needless to say, the Redditor was upset: “I got angry and told him again he doesn’t know what the fuck he’s talking about and tried to educate him, but he just [cut] me off and [claimed] I only THINK I have issues with my period because I’m being influenced by other women’s stories like I’m some kind of menstruation hypochondriac.”
To make matters worse, her husband tried to school her by insisting that if she did have valid issues with her period, her gynecologist would have detected it “when she examined me/gave me a pap smear.” Newsflash, sir: Pap smears are conducted to screen for abnormal or cancerous cervical cells, not issues related to one’s menstrual cycle. And there’s few things worse than a cis-dude being loud and wrong about gynecological health.
He then accused her of “wanting to take the pill out of ‘spite,’” and not the very real medical symptoms she was experiencing. That disagreement quickly devolved into yelling.
In the comments, QueenBumbleBrii expressed guilt for not “[trying] harder to educate him.” But commenters had her back. “If [your husband] wasn’t willing to be open to what you were telling him, then it’s not on you to better rehearse your teaching method,” one user wrote. “You do not bear the responsibility of explaining periods to this man. That is not your job.”
“NTA,” added another commenter. “He completely is, though. You tell him how you feel physically, and he tries to do a ‘gotcha’, or argue against your own body? He is basically saying he knows more than you, and has no respect for your feelings (physical or emotional), how dare he?!”
Consider this your periodic reminder that “mansplaining” is unacceptable — especially when it comes to reproductive health issues — and no one knows a person’s own body better than they do.
Before you go, check out the period products we’ve totally fallen in love with (there’s a lot of them):
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