We know that young student moms face the frustrating situation of not having enough parenting resources on college campuses. But what about our dads? Too often, we forget to acknowledge the great role that our men play in raising and caring for our children. Increasing resources for both parents provides greater opportunities for our parenting students to properly care for their kids—and to get an education!
Now let’s take a moment to consider this issue beyond our college campuses. How often do you see changing tables in public women’s restrooms? Pretty frequently, right? But what about men’s restrooms? It seems that many stores and public venues forget that dads also have to pitch in with the diapers!
If you’ve been huffing and puffing about this frustrating lack of resources for dad, you aren’t alone. But never fear— Ashton Kutcher is here!
Ashton Kutcher’s Changing Table Crusade
Hollywood celebrity, Ashton Kutcher, is sounding the alarms about the lack of diaper changing tables in men’s public restrooms. In recent Facebook rants, Ashton let the world know that he’s fed up.
On March 8th, Ashton posted, “There are NEVER diaper changing stations in mens public restrooms. The first public men’s room that I go into that has one gets a free shout out on my FB page! #BeTheChange”
A week later, he was posting again about his frustrations. “It seems this idea of diaper changing stations has struck a chord. It’s a pet peeve of mine when people just complain about s*** and don’t do anything to improve their condition. So lets do something. In for equality? Pass it on – #LeanInTogether”
Now, Ashton is on a crusade to make change happen. Ashton is working with Change.org to encourage Target and Costco to provide diaper changing tables in the men’s restrooms at their stores.
- Sign the petition here: https://www.change.org/p/bethechange-provide-universally-accessible-changing-tables-in-all-your-stores
In his petition, Ashton shares the following message:
As a new dad, I recently learned an unfortunate reality about changing diapers while out in public with a child. Almost all public changing tables are in women’s bathrooms, which makes it nearly impossible to find a table that’s accessible to dads. As crazy as it sounds, many stores don’t give dads the option to change their babies’ diapers.
It’s 2015, families are diverse, and it is an injustice to assume it’s only a woman’s job to handle changing diapers. This assumption is gender stereotyping and companies should be supporting all parents that shop at their stores equally – no matter their gender.
Changing tables in men’s rooms will be a tiny step in the long process of rectifying the legacy of gender discrimination, but it’s a step we need to take. Dads, like myself, want to participate equally in the child care process and our society should support that.
Target and Costco have proven themselves time and time again to be companies that honor diversity, support families, and provide great services to kids of all ages. That is why I am calling on them to be the change. As leaders in their industry, they can initiate a company-wide policy to provide universally accessible changing tables in their stores.
If Target and Costco take this step, I know that other companies will follow suit and recognize that we should be supporting all parents equally.
The Public Responds
So far, over 86,000 people have signed the petition. A Target representative has responded to the challenge. However, there has not yet been a public statement from Costco.
We appreciate the interest. As you’ve noted, at Target we are absolutely committed to creating a family-friendly environment and accommodating the needs of our guests. For the convenience of all of our guests, we have made changing tables a standard feature in both our men’s and women’s restrooms for more than 25 years. In addition, as we build new stores, we place changing tables in our women’s, men’s and family restrooms. In the event a changing table is unavailable, we encourage our guests to notify a team member and we will be happy to offer an alternative private location to meet their needs.
Target Public Relations
What You Can Do
The first step to making change happen is to speak out. Don’t sit back and wait for your campus to change. You have to be the one to step out, raise your voice, and actively address problems on your campus. Like Ashton, you can challenge your college community to provide more changing tables for parenting students. Here’s a guide for how you can do this project on your campus: Diaper Changing Stations.
You can also check out our recent post, Take Action on Your Campus, to learn helpful tips for engaging and equipping your campus to be more supportive of pregnant and parenting students.
This post was contributed by Beth Rahal, Pregnant on Campus Coordinator. If you would like more information about how you can get invovled with the Pregnant on Campus Initiative, please email Beth at [email protected]