He may have won over viewers as the most recent resident Bachelor, but Colton Underwood isn’t winning any new female fans this week. During a round of “Ask Me Anything” on the LadyGang podcast, Underwood likened women wearing period panties to people shitting their pants — and, understandably, the good people of the internet promptly told the former football player to take all the seats.
So, here’s how this all played out. Underwood made the clearly conscious decision to be interviewed by Keltie Knight, Becca Tobin and Jac Vanek, the hosts of E!’s show-slash-podcast. As one might surmise by its name or any of its previous episodes, the subject matter centers on (you guessed it) ladies. In the scope of the conversation, Knight asked Underwood whether he ever notices when a girlfriend is “wearing cute underwear or, like, a period underwear.” When he appeared dumbfounded over the existence of the latter, Tobin elaborated that “girls have special underwear that’s designated for your time of the month.”
If Underwood ever gains access to a time machine, this is the point in history he should attempt to zip back to and rewrite. Because he responded, visibly disgusted no less, “You keep ‘em around? Buy new underwear! Throw them away.” And unfortunately, it only got worse from there. Vanek took the opportunity to point out how “wasteful” that sort of behavior would be, but Underwood persisted with his misguided rhetoric. “I as a husband and a boyfriend, will go buy you a new underwear,” he said. “That is so gross! So if you shit your pants, are you gonna just wash them? No you’re throwing them away.”
Knight attempted to enlighten Underwood by pointing out, “It’s not shit — it’s flesh of my womb.” Then, the re-education of Underwood fully commenced, courtesy of the internet-at-large. “@colton compared having your period leak in your underwear to shitting your pants.. this is why I’m forever grateful my boyfriend grew up with 4 sisters so he’s not an ignoramus,” wrote one disgruntled Twitter user. Said another, “I’m sorry but you talking about women’s periods is disgusting. My husband goes to the store to buy me tampons because he’s not an embarrassed 12 year old.”
Another suggested that a bachelor who’s grossed out by periods may not be marriage material. “If my husband had talked about my period being ‘disgusting,’ like @colton, before we got married I would’ve reconsidered (unless we were in Elementary school at the time),” she said, adding, “It is not ok to make us feel embarrassed about how WE choose to handle OUR menstruation.”
While there’s obviously so, so much to unpack concerning Underwood’s comments, suffice it to say that he was speaking from a place of ignorance and privilege. Mansplaining how to menstruate? Not OK. Taking a beat to listen to the women you’re talking to and learn something meaningful about female physiology? Much better. And since it might take Underwood a minute to remove the foot currently lodged in his mouth, this an ideal time for him to really hear what people have to say in response to his menstruation-shaming mentality.
See also: Somebody sit this guy down for a screening of Period. End of Sentence. STAT.