You May Not Realize How Sexist Public Bathrooms Are Until You're A Parent

It's a bigger problem than you think.

Every parent needs space to care for his or her children, but currently, only about half of those needs are being met.

Go into any public men's bathroom, and you'll be hard-pressed to find a table for a dad to change his child's diaper. Not only does this make caring for kids more difficult for millions of loving fathers, it reinforces the gender stereotype that women are the only caregivers in a household with children. It's a simple problem, with a simple solution.

Just last week, actor and new dad Ashton Kutcher revitalized a national conversation on gender equality and the growing number of single and two-father homes in America. Now, and Kutcher have stepped up to support millions of families across the country and ask some of our most trusted corporations to lead the way. 

"I would like my daughter to experience a world where gender doesn't dictate one's responsibility or limit one's opportunity," Kutcher told A Plus. "Having changing tables in men's rooms is just a tiny step in the process of rectifying legacy gender discrimination. Men who are aware of this bias want to participate equally in the child care process and our society should support that. It's time to get our hands dirty."

Want to help? You can sign this petition and get onboard.

The push for gender equality and changing tables in men's bathrooms is nothing new. From California State Senator Ricardo Lara to Doyin Richards, the founder of Daddy Doin' Work, this has been a problem receiving national attention for years. Lara made the headlines last year advocating for SB 1350, the Potty Parity For Parents Act

And now, the opportunity has arisen to take the next step nationally. 

In their petition, will be rallying the 2.5 million single dads in America, more than one million two-father homes, and anyone who stands for gender equality, to ask Target and Costco to "provide universally accessible changing tables in their stores." They have chosen Target and Costco because both have proven themselves to be "companies that honor diversity, support families, and provide great services to kids of all ages."

The hope is, with these two well-known brands participating, others will quickly follow suit.

Want to help? Sign the petition here

"We've seen that the American family continues to evolve," Senator Lara said. "Men are taking a much more proactive step in the rearing of their children, and that includes changing diapers."

If you are in for equality, then sign the petition and share this story with the hashtag #LeanInTogether. 

Cover image via iStock / Jill Lang.