Dad's exist, and they change diapers too

One of my biggest pet peeves in the parenting culture of today's society is the erasure of dads as caregivers for their children. If you take the time to look, you'll see that there are subtle and not-so-subtle messages that women are caregivers and men a bumbling idiots that should never be left alone with children. The most glaringly obvious are the things that the advertising and entertainment industries pump out, like commercials featuring fathers barely able to take care of their own kids (this article does a great job discussing the "dumb dad meme" in commercials). There are also all those "funny" little pictures people share on facebook putting down dad's and raising moms to goddess or martyr status. Well I'm sick if it all, but the way that this inequity manifests itself that really gets under my skin is the issue of bathroom changing stations.

Sweet Pea's in St. Paul, MN. No there wasn't live music in
the men's room, but there wasn't a changing table either.
My kids have been out of diapers for years, but every time I walk to the bathroom in a restaurant, store, or other public place and see a sign indicating that the women's room has a changing table and indication that then mens' room does not, I burst in to flames of rage. I flash back to all the times my husband had to return a poopy baby to me because there was no place for him to change her. I think about dads, brothers, uncles who don't have a woman to hand their child off to, who end up changing the baby on a pee-spattered floor or on the tiny edge of a sink, and I have to ask: what is wrong with our society??

Surly in this insanely cisgender heteronormative world we live in, we must at least realize that many, if not most babies come with FATHERS. And that these fathers are also PARENTS. And that a parent may need to change a baby's diaper in public regardless of genitalia or gender identity! I'm not even talking about the complete ridiculousness that is gender specific single-user bathrooms (wtf is even the point of that?). I'm talking about businesses spending the measly $170 (Amazon, bitches) to put an extra changing pad in the MEN'S BATHROOM. And if you're a man without a baby you might thing, hey, I've often seen changing pads in men's rooms, consider what my husband says: "You can often find one, but just imagine if I said that the men's bathrooms often had a toilet. To someone who didn't need one, you would notice that men's bathrooms have toilets. When you need one, the fact that many other bathrooms have toilets isn't much help."

Kudos to Grand Central Restaurant in St. Paul, MN for
having changing tables in both bathrooms! I'll be back here!
Men deserve to be recognized as parents. Women deserve to sip their drinks while Dad takes care of business now and then. Babies deserve clean butts. So here's my throwdown: call them out. Call out all the places you visit that blatantly make diaper changing a woman's job. Call out places that ignore a father's right to be a full parent to his baby. Tweet #DadsChangeDiapers when you are out there and see this BS in action. And tweet props to the good guys too! We need to reward forward thinking (father thinking?) businesses too!


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