Reddit urges woman to divorce 'misogynistic' husband for shaming her about her period

Stock image of a woman in pain clutching her stomach on the couch, inset photo of disapproving man and a tampon
"I snapped and had enough. So, I got up, stood in front of him while he was still eating, pulled down my pants, and showed him my underwear." Photo credit: Photo illustration: Newshub; Images: Getty Images

Anyone who has a period will know that aside from the crippling cramps, added costs and sheer inconvenience, the menstrual cycle also opens you up to the idiocy of ignorant men who likely still don't know the difference between the vagina and the vulva.

You know, the notion that the merest hint of a moodswing must mean you're menstruating, or the stereotype that people with periods behave irrationally and are overly emotional because of their raging hormones. It's belittling, banal, reeks of misogyny and has no place in 2023, thank you.  

This discussion recently made its way onto Reddit, when user u/Johnnnyyy111 took to the popular forum Am I the Asshole (AITA) to vent about her husband, who she said constantly dismissed and invalidated her feelings with harmful tropes about periods. 

For the uninitiated, AITA is a subreddit where people seek advice from strangers on the internet about whether they were, or were not, the A-hole in a given situation. 

In a nutshell, the original poster (OP) asked if she was in the wrong for physically showing her husband the gusset of her underwear after she snapped during a disagreement, in which he put her reaction down to 'being on her period'. 

"My husband has a habit of blaming my behaviour/reaction on my period. For example, when we argue, he'll say, 'I won't argue anymore since you tend to act crazy when you're on your period', or even say, 'I know you didn't mean to do/say that but couldn't help it since it's that time of month for you'. It's so irritating, and it prevents me from being allowed to express myself," the OP wrote. 

"It happened again last night at the dinner table. We had an argument about him forgetting to fill my car with gas after he used it, and when I expressed my frustration, he said, 'We will not talk about this now since you appear to be on your period'. I said that I was not on my period, and that this was just me feeling frustrated with him. He insisted he wouldn't talk about this then and insisted he wouldn't hear what I had to say since 'I was on my period and I was being irrational during the argument'.

"I snapped and had enough. So, I got up, stood in front of him while he was still eating, pulled down my pants, and showed him my underwear.

"He made a grossed-out face and shouted, 'That's nasty, I'm eating my damn dinner, dammit'. We had a full-blown argument, and he said I acted horribly and ruined his appetite by pulling that nasty move. He told me to grow up and stop being spiteful over nothing.

"He keeps saying I grossed him out during dinner and made him go to bed hungry. AITA? Did I overreact?"

The post has since been removed from the forum, but the responses remain visible - and the resounding reaction was no, she was not in the wrong and yes, her husband was a certified A-hole. 

"Your husband is a misogynist. He's weaponising a sexist trope to belittle your emotions and avoid treating you like a person - and it sounds like you're at breaking point. At best he has no respect for you, and at worst I'd honestly say his behaviour is crossing into emotional abuse territory," one weighed in. 

"You were 100 percent justified in doing what you did. If he doesn't like it, he can adjust himself to stop being such an asshole. Nobody can just keep putting up with that shit over and over without snapping," a second agreed, with a third adding: "He's trying to get OP to question whether her very legitimate complaints about him are fair/reasonable by calling her 'irrational' or 'crazy' and suggesting that she's not in control of her own feelings and actions because she menstruates. It's awful. It's also very dumb, because she can very clearly disprove what he's saying by demonstrating that she is not, in fact, on her period."

"Not only is he weaponising a sexist trope, he said his wife's body disgusted him. THAT'S disgusting. And I agree - the dismissing, gaslighting, and belittling is absolutely emotional abuse. Please leave this A-hole, OP. You deserve so much better," a fourth chimed in.

"Your husband is gaslighting you! Good for you for standing up for yourself. I have zero tolerance for this and would throw the whole man away, but you need to sit him down and have a serious conversation about his behaviour and put a stop to it. Go to therapy for a mediator if need be," another advised.

Some outraged readers even suggested the possibility of divorce, claiming her husband's attitude and views towards women were beyond help or resolution. 

"I rarely go for the 'divorce him now' angle on these, but this guy. Seriously. 'I know I'm in the wrong, but to avoid taking any responsibility, I'll make up a reason that's your fault as to why I can't possibly accept any blame right now.' That's the mentality of a six-year-old. He'll never change either."

"I try not to fall into the 'get a divorce' cliché of Reddit, but sometimes, you have to throw the whole man away," another agreed, with someone else adding: "He has created a reason to never have to validate or listen to your feelings and emotions. This can't be healthy for you... It sounds like he will just dismiss your perspective."

If you want my opinion, weaponising a person's period to gaslight, manipulate or shame them with harmful, sexist tropes is never okay and shouldn't be tolerated. Do I become a walking cliché on the second day by crying over dropped socks and rewatching Bridget Jones for the hundredth time? Yes, but every day women and people with periods still work, go to school, run businesses, take care of children, hold meetings (and make time for Pilates!), all while dodging the misogyny that still very much exists around the world.

What would men do if they had periods? Well, the below might give you an idea.