Personally, as a pad user, it's because I'm fucking nuts.
I have moderate to severe (depending on multiple factors) health anxiety and would absolutely spend the whole time believing that I'd die of toxic shock. It doesn't matter how unlikely this is, no one can tell me otherwise. The mental distress isn't worth working around in this situation, especially since discomfort is already heightened. Cups also present the threat of prolapse so pads are it.
My pad system is nearly leakproof despite my flow so it works out.
Anyway, to OP: you said it was men laughing, so disregard them. Literally worthless opinions since it's guaranteed they know nothing about periods. Just move on as if it's a natural accident, because it is.