Something happened recently that bothered me. I’ve written about this topic a few times in the past, but I need to revisit it again because it’s time to take some action and I need your help. Let me explain.
Here’s the situation: My wife and DDW1 (my toddler daughter) spent some “girl time” together Saturday afternoon, so I took the baby out on the town. During our excursion, she pooped (5 month old babies tend to do that every now and then).
I took her to the men’s restroom of this unnamed establishment and there was no changing table. I looked for a Family restroom, but there wasn’t one. Then I noticed that the women’s restroom door was propped open due to it being cleaned and there was a changing table in plain sight (pictured here).
So what did I do?
This time I left and changed her in the back of my SUV without raising a fuss. As I typed a lengthy email to the corporate offices, I realized that this is a huge problem. Companies like this are basically saying, “Only women can change diapers here.” It’s damn near 2014, not 1914. This is not OK with me.
My old school followers know how much I dislike companies that operate this way, and as I stated earlier – I’ve even blogged about it a couple of times. The difference now is instead of complaining about it, I’m going to use my small platform to take action.
First, let’s be clear about who the enemy is. I know there are plenty of establishments that have changing tables in both restrooms or have Family restrooms. They’re our friends (more on them later).
I know there are establishments that don’t have changing tables in any of their restrooms. Basically they’re saying that they don’t cater to children and offer zero apologies for it. As a parent with an almost 3-year old and a 5-month old, I’m totally cool with this. If they don’t want my kids in their place of business, I’ll either go there without my kids or they won’t get my hard-earned cash. Simple as that. I’m not *that parent* who thinks every establishment should be kid-friendly. Shit, there are places that I enjoy going to simply because they don’t cater to children.
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). They’re fine with young children visiting their establishments, but if they soil themselves, there better be a woman around to take care of it. Do you know what’s scary? Many of these businesses weren’t built in the 1950s; actually, many are brand-spanking new. I can just picture what the owners must’ve thought when they made that decision………
“Only chicks change diapers, so we’re not going to waste time by putting a changing table in the men’s room. Only a punk-ass man would complain about not being able to change a diaper here, anyway.”
I ain’t no punk-ass man.
It’s unbelievably sexist (against men and women) to do something like this. What about single dads? What if a dad was out by himself and it was freezing cold, raining, or snowing outside and he had to change his baby in the backseat of his car? What if a dad felt that the best option was to change his precious baby on the grimy floor of a public restroom? Ladies, I’m sure many of you had your stomach turn at the thought of that, but you’d be shocked to know how many times I’ve witnessed this happen in my lifetime.
So yeah – those companies are the enemies.
Call to Action:
Every good movement requires the backing of people who believe strongly in the cause, and quite frankly – there are two types of people when it comes to this: 1) People who believe in the cause or 2) Mouth-breathing morons. You’re not a mouth-breathing moron, right? Good.
Now that we’ve established you’re firmly planted in Category #1, here’s what I ask from you. Feel free to choose one or both options.
Option #1 – Celebrate: Whenever you come across a company, business, or restaurant doing the right thing, namely, having changing tables in the men’s and women’s restrooms, let me know. Send me the name of the establishment by emailing it, Tweeting it to me (#TeamDDW), posting it on my DDW Facebook wall, etc. Also, be sure to include their Twitter handle or Facebook page link. I will personally give these companies a shout on my social media pages and/or send a personal note to congratulate them for doing what’s obviously correct.
Option #2 – Call Out: Whenever you come across a company, business, or restaurant with a changing table in the women’s restroom but not in the men’s restroom (Editor’s Note: If the company has a Family restroom in lieu of a changing table in the men’s restroom, we’ll let it slide…for now), do what I do: speak to the manager/business owner, send a letter of complaint to the corporate offices, stop giving them your money, and let them know you won’t tolerate this nonsense. Seriously, I don’t know my ass from my elbow when it comes to installing a changing table in a restroom, but I’m fairly confident that it isn’t complicated or expensive to do. If they step their game up and follow through, they’ll instantly move into the “Celebrate” category. If they drag their feet or ignore us, we’ll spend our money elsewhere.
In both situations, please be responsible. I don’t want women going into men’s restrooms or vice versa just to see what the changing table situation is. Be smart and enlist someone of the opposite sex to check for you. When a company does the right thing or the wrong thing, let me know and we’ll go from there.
The Bottom Line:
The bottom line is the “changing table problem” isn’t helping the effort to create a world of more good, involved dads. There is a sizable percentage of men when faced with the no-changing-table-in-the-men’s-restroom dilemma that would simply shrug their shoulders and walk back to their wives with their smelly kids in tow saying, “It looks like you’ll have to change little Tommy. Hey, it’s not my fault! There’s no changing table in there!” or (even worse) have the kids suffer in a soiled diaper until they get home if their spouses aren’t with them. Being about as subtle as a sledgehammer in a glass shop, society drops another crappy example of how far we need to go to level the playing field when it comes to parental responsibilities. There are plenty of good dads out there who share my outrage about this foolishness, but on the flip side – there are also some knuckleheaded dads who use these examples as proof that they shouldn’t be taking care of these diaper changing duties in the first place. That’s a problem. A problem that must be fixed.
By the way, I’m sure there are a few of you thinking, “Really, dude? Why are you focused on this? Get over it. There are bigger problems in the world.” My answer to those people?
No shit, Sherlock.
Just know that when a good dad’s baby craps himself/herself in a public setting and he has no place to change said baby that’s having a Level 5 meltdown, there is no bigger problem in the world to him at that moment, trust me.
So yes, this is a movement that I’m going to put my full force behind. I have no idea if anyone else is working on it, all I know is that they didn’t get the job done because the problem still exists.
I We will get the job done. Business owners will need to decide if it’s worth pissing off involved dads like me and the other DDWs reading this post not to have a changing table in both restrooms. What about the frustrated moms reading this? I know they’re not happy about this either. Bullshit like this sets them back 50 years. No one in their right minds wants to anger these ladies.
This isn’t about changing diapers, it’s about changing paradigms. Dads are more involved than ever, more loving than ever, and quite simply – better than ever. Don’t believe me? Read this. And when you’re done, read this. This is just a sampling of the amazing men who kick ass for their families every damn day.
Final memo to business owners: I’m not asking you to explain the Higgs boson to me. I’m asking you to put a damn changing table in your men’s restroom if you already have one in your women’s restroom. Like I said earlier, if you decide that you’re not a kid-friendly establishment and refuse to install any changing tables in your men’s or women’s restrooms, that’s totally fine by me. If you have a Family restroom instead of a changing table in the men’s restroom, that’s a great start - but why not just finish the job by installing one in all of your restrooms?
Again, this movement will never gain traction without your help. Share this post with your Facebook friends and Twitter followers. Share this post with businesses that are doing the right and wrong thing. Share this post with fellow bloggers. Share this post with your local news stations and newspapers. Share this post with your crazy uncle that you’ll see during Christmas. Share this post with anyone and everyone.
The fact that this is even an issue in this day and age is a complete joke. But with you on my team, it won’t be an issue for much longer.
So as I’ve done in previous blog posts, I’ll leave you with one question:
Are you in or out?