While women on the internet often criticize men for being uninformed about menstrual cycles and lacking compassion for women dealing with related issues, here’s an example of a man who was criticized for handling a situation like that, and it’s unclear what went wrong.
A netizen recently asked, “Am I a jerk for not contacting my SIL about our niece’s period and instead handling it myself?”. Read on to know what exactly happened!
OP and his wife are in their mid-twenties. OP’s wife’s older sister Kate has a daughter named Payton (fake name). Kate has to travel for work every few weeks so Payton stays either with OP and his wife or with her grandparents.
“We had her earlier this week. I had the day off but my wife had to work so Payton and I were just having a chill day around the house.”, says OP.
Surprise Visit By Aunt Flo
Payton went to the bathroom and shortly after started crying which freaked OP out. OP went to the door and asked if she was sick or hurt. She said no.
She Started Her Period
After some questioning, OP was able to deduce that she started her period and just didn’t know what was going on. OP made sure she got decent, new clothes, showered, and such, and then explained (as best as he could) that she was going through something natural.
“I got her some of my wife’s pads and explained how to use them. She was clothed and clean for every interaction.”, says OP.
Why Didn’t OP Inform Kate?
OP didn’t really feel the need to inform her mother. OP figured Payton would text her or call her or tell her when she got picked up the next day. OP’s wife got home and explained more things and apart from feeling physically unwell, Payton did fine.
What Happened Yesterday?
Yesterday (two days after she got picked up) Payton’s mom called OP screaming at OP for (A) not calling her immediately and (B) not waiting for his wife or another woman to explain things to her.
“It’s not uncommon for Kate to be… explosive… but this was extreme even for her. She’s saying I’m inappropriate and a jerk, and that Payton doesn’t feel safe staying at our house unless my wife is home, which I don’t believe is true.
Payton and I get along great. She reminds me of when my own tom-boy sisters were teens. Did I do something wrong? Am I a jerk for not calling Kate and not letting a woman handle this?”, asks OP.
Some More Context
OP later edited the post and added the following information:
“A couple of people have said I should clarify a few things. First, Payton is a pre-teen. Second, after she stopped crying I asked if she’d feel better if she called her mom and grandma and she said no.
This surprised me because she usually wants to call one of them over anything she’s upset about. I didn’t want to overstep her decision. Also, I didn’t explain anything too in-depth.
I just told her as a young lady her body is going to get rid of extra blood it doesn’t need once a month and that it is perfectly normal.
She thought periods only happened to older girls and that it would be more like getting a cut on your finger. I think she was scared by the timing, the amount, and not knowing what to do to get herself cleaned up.”
Leaving Her Stranded Would’ve Been Better?!
“Not the jerk. What you did was ensure Payton sees this as a normal bodily function, nothing to hide or be ashamed of. It would have been better to leave her stranded on the toilet until a woman came by. THAT’S a weird message.”
You Handled It So Well!
“I am very impressed at how well you handled it and even explained how to use the product. She was probably mortified and scared but it sounds like you were level, supportive and kind.
More men in the world need to handle these situations like you, a father posted not too long ago about going off on his daughter for asking period-related questions and being scared!!!”
Why Does Kate Think She Needed To Know Immediately?
“Not the jerk. Her mom should have already explained and prepared this to her daughter. If Peyton had wanted to tell her mom immediately she could have.
It’s not like she had a seizure or allergic reaction. I don’t see why the mom feels like she needed to know immediately.
The only situation where I think a phone call would have been warranted immediately was if Peyton couldn’t calm down, or if Peyton is absurdly young.”
The Irony Is Infuriating!
“Not the jerk. There’s so much justified criticism that men don’t have a clue about periods and here we have a dude who helped about as well as he could. What’s worse is that the dude gets screamed at for being a pervert.
Women this is really, really not the message you want your sisters, daughters, and mothers delivering to men doing the right thing.”
You Actually Did A Great Job
“You actually did a great job. I can’t believe Kate wanted her kid to suffer until a woman came and talked to her.
What does she think single fathers do? Men can know about periods too and talk about it to a teen without being a jerk.”
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