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Men Change Diapers Too!

March 14, 2010

I was at the hospital today waiting to see the doc. The wait was so long that when the nurse called out Olga and then paused before saying the last name, I took it for granted that she was calling me. I had already seen the triage nurse, but I thought it was my time to see the doc. I was wrong, by the time I was standing in front of her she was still struggling to say the last name of the prospective patient and when the nurse saw me she looked confused and stammered “I already saw you didn’t I?” She called out asking for another Olga all together. Surprised, I looked at her and all I could say was “there’s two of us?” before sitting my ass back down. 

Two Olga’s waiting in the same emergency room, what are the odds of that? She was an older woman, short with purple tinged dyed hair. Not exactly a reflection of myself. I don’t know what I was expecting, maybe for a second I thought there were actually two of us in the world. I always feel strange when people tell me I look like someone they know. For a second, I feel like my identity is being threatened. I wonder if I might have a doppelgänger floating around in this big wide world. 

These were the thoughts floating around in my mind when I headed for the bathroom. Thankfully the women’s bathroom wasn’t very far, I was afraid I might miss my turn while taking a piss. When I was in there I noticed a baby changing table. The reason I paid special attention to it is that about an hour earlier there was a couple with two kids waiting to see the doctor and the father asked the nurse if he could use one of the back rooms to change the baby’s diaper. Nothing strange there, only I wondered why he didn’t just use the baby changing table in the bathroom. Of course, I figured he might not have been comfortable coming into the woman’s bathroom or maybe he just didn’t know it was there in the first place, which led me to think that men don’t have diaper changing tables in their bathrooms, do they? I’ve seen a few men’s bathroom’s over the years and not once do I recall seeing a baby changing table. 

Isn’t that odd? Well, I suppose it isn’t when you consider that women have been considered to be the primary child takers for a very long time. Changing a kid’s diaper is a chick job after all, right? Were not supposed to say that anymore or that’s not the way things are supposed to be anymore is the story we’re told. Fathers ARE taking a more involved role in child rearing these days. After all, no one can do it all, no matter how much they wish we would, and since women are no longer relinquished to the kitchen, at least in theory, they can’t be expected to rear children all by themselves and also lead well-rounded existences outside of the home, which means that men have taken up a bigger role in the home. Shouldn’t it follow that these changes also be reflected within our infrastructures? 

It’s clear that there’s still a lot of change to be achieved before these very notions are ingrained into every facet of society. We still live in a world where someone has to come along, take notice, and tell whoever designs public bathrooms that men change diapers too!

10 Comments leave one →
  1. March 14, 2010 1:22 pm

    Here in the United States, I have been in many men’s rest rooms with changing tables facilities. I think this is a good idea and only fair.

    It’s now too late for me to use them with my babies, but I did change plenty of diapers when my kids were little.

  2. March 14, 2010 1:33 pm

    I’m glad to hear that there are changing tables in men’s bathrooms. It is only fair and much more practical, I think. Now, let’s hope the rest of the world follows.

  3. March 14, 2010 1:42 pm

    Maybe you could check out the changing stations in men’s restrooms if you ever get to the U.S. While you are in the restroom, you might want to enjoy an “adventure.” ; )

  4. March 14, 2010 1:47 pm

    Ha! I’ll keep that in mind.

  5. Wayne permalink
    March 14, 2010 3:58 pm

    Like Bill said, Diaper Changing Stations are common in Mens rooms here in the U.S. I think it may even be a law that if they are provided for womens rooms in a building they have to be provided in the Mens as well, lol. Bills second idea is pretty cool, be sure to keep “us” informed if you ever go that route!

  6. March 14, 2010 6:24 pm

    Ah man, I guess my revelation was so TRUE after all. The world isn’t so fucked after all.

    AND you guys are such pervs! Lol!

  7. naturegirl1 permalink
    March 15, 2010 8:49 am

    Here in the UK too! Go to any department store, modern public toilet & hotel rest room & you will find baby changing facilities in both male & female toilets.
    As for your comments about guys not being comfortable using female toilets….I think not!! Or maybe I just keep the wrong sort of company……
    On a similar note, back in 2007 Phil & I went on a camping trip in the Pyrenees & we based ourselves in a lovely campsite in the foothills of the main mountain range. It was a fairly large site with an old part & a newly modernised section with a brand new toilet block. What was interesting was that the new one had female facilities and unisex facilities. The thinking was that modern european women are happy to share facilities with men, the female section was there for the olderfashioned women who might prefer to pee in a toilet well away from men! Even the shower facilities were unisex, although you could lock yourself in a “family” shower cubicle that was big enough for 2 adults & a couple of children if you didn’t want to be in the communal shower.
    Times are changing in Europe, I can’t wait for the same attitudes to spread to the UK.

  8. March 15, 2010 5:58 pm

    Here, I thought I had stumbled upon some genius realization about changing tables being solely in women’s bathroom, but helas I was totally wrong. Maybe, that’ll teach me to do more indepth research before letting my mouth go on and on.

    I’ll go to the bathroom in front of anyone, but I like taking my showers alone. Maybe I’m oldfashioned.

  9. naturegirl1 permalink
    March 21, 2010 11:36 am

    In fact, Phil has pointed out to me that as far back as the 1960s he can remember going to rural restaurants in France where there were just toilets. No separate men’s & ladies, there were a couple of urinals on one wall & a couple of closets on the other wall & both sexes used the facilities. It wouldn’t have been unusual to be stood at a urinal while a strange woman was washing her hands at a basin next to you! It was just the accepted way in some parts of Europe.

  10. March 21, 2010 12:11 pm

    The first time I saw unisex bathrooms or at least the concept of them was on the tv show Ally Mcbeal. The law firm where her character worked had a unisex bathroom. Personally, I’ve always liked the idea, but to be honest sometimes I like the privacy of an all women’s bathroom, especially if I’m in there to get away from some guy. It’s like our own little escape pod, but I definitely don’t mind sharing a bathroom with a man. A few weeks ago I was at a cafe and the women’s bathroom was occupied so I used the men’s bathroom without a moment of hesitation (not the first time either) and while I was in there a man knocked on the door impatiently and he was a little taken aback when he saw me come on. He was a little flustered and had to double check that he was in fact waiting for the men’s bathroom and hadn’t made a mistake. I just shrugged and said the women’s bathroom was occupied. He didn’t seem too pleased. As if I had broken some social code of great importance or something or somehow had invaded his privacy.

    I definitely think that Europe, in some respects, is much more advanced or liberal when it comes to these things. I’ve never been though, but that’s my opinion anyways. I would really like to go for a trip in Europe. Definitely something I will consider saving money for soon.

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