A mom who forbade her teenage daughter from wearing tampons is furious after catching the girl with a hidden stash — and now the teen is asking Reddit for help.
“My mom has had a rule that I’m not allowed to use tampons until I am 18,” the 15-year-old girl recently wrote in Reddit’s Am I The A**hole section. “This past summer I basically gaslit my mom into letting me buy a box. However, there were strings attached: I could only use them when I went swimming.”
It bears mention that no one who menstruates is too young to wear tampons, according to health experts, and tampons are FDA-approved devices for absorbing menstrual blood. Of course, tampons should be worn as directed: They’re meant for single-use, should be changed every four to eight hours, and to avoid bacterial infections like Toxic Shock Syndrome (TSS), low-absorbency ones are best.
Some parents subscribe to a false belief that tampons can somehow erase one’s virginity — but as the Tampax brand states on its website: “Tampons do not take your virginity, it’s as simple as that. The first time you have sex will still be the first time you have sex” in a lengthy explanation.
The Reddit writer didn’t explain why her mom objected to her using tampons but she did confess to sneaking a box over to her dad’s house. “…I’ve actually been using the tampons and I hide them really well in the garbage can,” she wrote. “I have more boxes that I keep at my dad’s. For many reasons, I personally prefer using tampons to pads because they are way more comfortable.
She added, “Well, my mom is slowly starting to find out the truth of what I’ve been doing with the tampons. She yelled at me for going behind her back and smuggling them between my parents’ houses. I know that what I’m doing isn’t right, but I don’t know if I’m TA here.”
The post, which currently has nearly 3,000 comments, brought back memories. “My mom doesn’t know how hymens work to this day,” a commenter wrote. “It doesn’t matter anymore but this misinformation was rampant and often perpetuated in ‘media’ by people who were very confidently incorrect.” One said that her mom “thinks that if I use a tampon once, I will die from TSS” and someone added, “In the 70s my mother told me that using a tampon would make me lose my virginity…Purely ignorance. I used them anyway. Pads in those days were like 2x4s!”
“I was 10 when I got my period,” a Redditor reflected. “My mom didn’t want me to wear them because she was sure I wouldn’t change them often enough and that I’d get an infection or TSS. And honestly? She was probably right. I was 10, after all. A few years later, when I was like 13, she judged that I was now responsible enough to use them if I wanted…”
And one mom gave her opinion. “My daughter was doing competitive swimming when she started her period at 12, so she was just supposed to miss a week of practice and/or meets every month? …Although I was uncomfortable teaching a 12 year old to use tampons, I wasn’t going to deny her swimming or make her feel uncomfortable with her own body. Not to mention, regardless of swimming, pads are uncomfortable and a pain in the ass for a 16 year old. Mom is off her rocker.”
But the majority agreed with this user who wrote, “This is stupid, nobody should have to negotiate their right to use whatever hygiene products they want.”
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