Tuesday, February 24, 2009

Discrimination in the Men's Room

I feel discriminated against. I had to endure one of the most humiliating experiences and I think I need to start an organization so that this kind of thing never happens to anyone again. It's so horrible I have to write about it. What is it? There was no baby changing table in the Men's Room at JCPenney. Can you believe it?!

How in this post-feminist world can we have stores that only have baby changing tables in the women's restroom. What ever happened to equal rights and liberation? Are men not man enough to change a diaper that all of corporate America thinks we will pass this task off on our wife's? Come on let's get a grip with reality here.

In all seriousness, I thought it was rather funny. As I was walking to the restroom I clearly saw a sign on the women's bathroom that it had a changing table. There was no sign on the men's restroom door. I went in anyway, looked around and sure enough, there was no changing table. There wasn't even a sink counter that I could improvise with. For a fleeting moment I thought of sneaking into the women's rest room to change my daughter (at least it wasn't my son), but I decided that my wife wouldn't like bailing me out of jail.

So I changed her on the floor. I used a wetwipe to clean it off, laid her down, and got her diaper changed without incident.

I have noticed that these koala tables are frequently not in men's restrooms. (For the record, them may also not be in women's restrooms, but I don't check.) If they do have them, the container for paper cloths to lay down under your kid are invariably empty. In fact, I have only seen them full one time. When our new church building was completed, they had them the first Sunday. It has since been emptied and never restocked. I have grown so used to not using them that I never did that Sunday. So to this day I still don't know what they look like.

Another thing that has always confused me is the buckle. I know this is some safety device that is probably mandated by law, but who actually uses them? I never have. I figure if the kid wiggles around enough to fall off, then hopefully he will learn his lesson and stay still the next time. I know I am not alone in this because I haven't seen anyone else use them either.

Changing tables in airplane restrooms are silly. The bathroom is barely big enough to turn around in, try wrestling a kid in there. (I don't now who came up with the idea of a mile high club, but he must have been a masochist.) I would much rather wait and change at the terminal. Besides, if your kid has a real stinky mess, the rest of the passengers might be inclined to let you off first.

Something else that probably rarely gets used is the urinal in port-a-pottys. Why did they bother putting it in? More than likely the last person left the seat up, and having the bigger target is easier. Maybe the designers thought that it would smell less with the toilet seat down, so a man could use a urinal in there without having an olfactory assault. Here is a hint. All port-a-pottys stink. They always will, whether from human excrement or the chemicals used to cover the stench of the excrement. If I was a woman and I ever used a port-a-potty with a urinal I would be sure to leave the seat up just to spite the men who might think they could use it with less stench.

So just because men can use urinals or toilets doesn't make us any better than women. We have to live with the humiliation of changing our kids on the floor. Although, my daughter didn't seem to mind.

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