Men’s Bathrooms are Sexist and They Know It!

So, let’s talk about Babies! And Bathrooms! And Babies, in Bathrooms!

A picture of a man trying to change his child in a public men’s room has gone viral. This man is squatting on the wall in a restroom in order to create a surface to change his child’s diaper. Why? You ask. Because apparently there are NO changing tables in men’s bathrooms.

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Photo: 3boys_1goal
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Now, there are some areas that do provide tables in public men’s bathrooms as Johnathan Church reluctantly found at a baseball game, however he was uncomfortable with the lack of privacy for his infant daughter while being placed next to urinals. A valid point in itself, but then again, he had a changing table located in there to be able to use.

My question is who even knew that this was an issue?! I am just seeing this now and the farthest back I could find of a man talking publicly on social media about this issue was a mere 3 years ago when Ashton Kutcher posted about it on Facebook.

Ashton Kutcher created a change.org campaign and New York state Sen. Brad Hoylman proposed the bill following the celebrity’s actions and advocacy efforts. Apparently, Obama passed a law called the “Babies Act” in 2016 that requires all public buildings to be equipped with baby changing facilities. I never knew ANY of this!

Babies Act
https://www.congress.gov/bill/114th-congress/house-bill/5147

As the law states though it has to be public, so there is no obligation to private buildings to do the same. The photo has sparked more activism from Dad’s who have had this issue who are speaking up about it now. This is definitely a solution to the lack of changing tables in men’s bathrooms but I still have questions regarding bathrooms in general. Although there is more of a push to extend the changing tabled farther than merely public buildings, will there be diversification and inclusiveness in the process past the men’s room?

Now that there are gender neutral bathrooms will they be required by law to provide changing tables in those to ensure people who do not identify as male or female will still have access to these amenities if they so need it.

Another issue that can arise is ensuring that changing tables continue to be in compliance with ADA. If there is to be a changing table in a bathroom stall, to ensure it is an accurate height for anyone to be able to use. In the same token if it is in the public area of a bathroom is there enough room for someone to change their child and allow for wheelchair accessibility.

I am glad we are fully breaking down stereotypes and hope they do not continue to arise past the men’s bathroom, but also smoothly transition into being inclusive with any family dynamic so everyone can feel comfortable and confident going into a bathroom and knowing they will have a way to accurately and safely care for their children.

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Thanks for reading!

@Vagibond

8 thoughts on “Men’s Bathrooms are Sexist and They Know It!

  1. I had never realized that men’s restrooms typically do not have baby tables. It is ridiculous to me that this was not a thing. Men have babies and they take care of them as well – so why was it questionable to place changing tables in restrooms? I had also never realized that Ashton Kutcher and many are advocates for this change. Thank you for bringing this topic up because I feel like many people do not think about these things – at least individuals who do not have a child. Hopefully in the future all bathrooms will have the same essentials for babies and others. There are many grey areas in this topic but hopefully bathrooms can be equal to all!

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    1. Thank you! I completely agree that it can be hard to know there is an issue with something if it does not affect you. I do not have children so I would never have thought about the lack of changing tables in mens bathrooms. Even if I did at any point, I guess I just assumed there was no issue with that.

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  2. I also never realized that this was an issue but I am happy to see that something is being done. Although the law is only for public restrooms, it is a start and allows males to change their baby’s diaper if needed.

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    1. I agree there is a start and with this picture going viral there is so much more attention than ever before so I am hopeful!

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  3. I saw both of those posts on twitter and was shocked. I guess you never really think about this being a femlale, and it is normally the women taking the child to be changed. I think this is something we should definitley be working on. I think sometimes we rag on men a little bit, but they deserve equality too. If there is a single dad who needs to change his child, without laying them on the floor, he should have that.

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    1. Exactly! I hope that when i have children at some point I will not have to worry about this issue and just know whoever needs to change our child will have a safe and accessible space to do so.

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  4. I agree with you. I think that their should be changing tables in men’s bathrooms. By not having changing tables, it places all the “baby work” on women. However, what if they’re isn’t a women who can do that. By not providing changing tables it puts men in a box. I think the law should have included private buildings too. It is easy enough to add a changing table, so I think most buildings should take initiative and do that.

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    1. I agree! There are families that do not fit the stereotypical nuclear family with a man and a woman. We need to ensure that every family, no matter their make up, has this privilege.

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