Some men have taken it upon themselves to call out a certain gender stereotype when it comes to parenting: when a child soils himself, it is the woman’s job to clean up after the kid because while most, if not all, women’s bathrooms have diaper changing stations, there are little to no changing stations in the men public bathrooms.
It can be recalled that last year actor and new father Ashton Kutcher took to social media to say “There are NEVER changing stations in mens (sic) public restrooms.”
Another dad, Huffington Post blogger Doyin Richards, expressed similar sentiments when he wrote, “The source of my ire is solely directed upon the businesses that consciously decide to install changing tables in women’s restrooms, but not in the men’s restrooms (and have no Family restrooms, either).”
As a matter of fact, a 2013 study by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services said that about 90 percent of fathers, who live in the same household as their child, say they diaper, bathe, and dress their children every day or several times per week.
So why aren’t there convenient changing stations for men to take their kids? One father has found a way to help make a difference in the issue.
Scott Schrier is the creator of Dads Who Change Diapers, a website that helps men in their “daddy duties” by providing a list of changing stations around the United States.
As ABC News described in their report, “[t]he site features a map that details restaurants and stores that have changing stations accessible to men via men’s restrooms, unisex bathrooms or family restrooms.” Site visitors are also invited to add locations to the map.
There are over now 1,000 locations on the map. Among those locations is Los Agaves Restaurant in Sheridan, Wyoming, which was recently added by its owner Ed Gnehm. In an interview with ABC News, Gnehm cited concerns over sanitary conditions and food safety as among the reasons for offering a changing station that isn’t just in the women’s room.
“If you do not provide a location to change diapers, people are going to take into their own hands where to change it,” Gnhem said. “Offering a changing station seems like common sense.”
A Macy’s store in Hyatsville, Maryland, is also taking a step into the progressive direction by adding a changing station after it received a complaint.
In an opinion piece for The Guardian, Schrier said his cause has been met with support and perplexity from both men and women. “Some people respond with ridicule, ignorance or outright hostility when inspeak to them about this,” he wrote.
But he says he and the people who believe in the cause of breaking gender inequality in parenting are “making progress. . . one bathroom at a time.”
Follow Dads Who Change Diapers on their Facebook page here.