Sammy Nickalls
March 10, 2015 3:33 pm

Remember when Ashton Kutcher wore a trucker hat and Punk’d people? We don’t either. Kutcher’s grown up, become a father—and now—a surprising spokesperson in the fight against gender stereotyping in the parenting world.

It all started when Kutcher went to a public restroom to change his daughter Wyatt’s diaper, but there wasn’t a changing station to be found in the men’s bathroom. So he took to Facebook and posted the following status update:

Turns out, Kutcher voiced an issue that resonated with lots of dads—the status has got almost 220k likes and over 7.5k shares in the past two days. As HuffPo has pointed out, blogger Doyin Richards has run into the same problem. Richards writes on his blog, Daddy Doin’ Work:

“It’s unbelievably sexist (against men and women) to do something like [forgo a changing table in the men’s restroom]. 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.”

Richards actually lobbied against this problem with the Potty Parity For Parents Act bill. The bill would require “facilities with changing tables in women’s restrooms must provide them in men’s restrooms as well and also require all newly constructed buildings to include at least one changing table that’s accessible to both men and women.” Unfortunately, the bill was vetoed, but dads have not stopped voicing their opinions.

“It is extremely frustrating when you’re out at a restaurant or at a public place and the bathroom doesn’t accommodate you,” Lance Somerfeld, who runs NYC Dads Group, told the New York Daily News. “Dads want to be equal and capable partners in this whole journey of parenting.”

When it comes to parenting issues like public breastfeeding and access to workplace childcare, the fight for women’s rights is a continuous uphill battle. But equality goes both ways. And men deserve a safe space to do dad things just as much as anyone, because diaper changing (and a whole bunch of other things) aren’t solely in the domain of women anymore. And that’s a good thing for everyone.

Thanks for the reminder, Ashton. Preach!

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