The Short of It
A fed-up dad is advocating for a changing table in every men's bathroom.
I was at The Palm for my dad's birthday dinner a few years back when I suddenly realized my then 8-month-old needed a diaper change. I hauled him into the restroom ASAP, only to find that there was no changing table. Bummer. Holding my kid in one arm, I quickly ripped off a bunch of paper towels with the other, splayed them out the floor, then rolled a pad out on top and did a quick diaper change, MacGyver-style. Gross but effective.
So, I totally get why Scotty Schrier, a hands-on, stay-at-home dad of two boys, was suitably miffed when he first noticed the lack of changing tables in men's rooms while dining with his family at Ruby Tuesday.
"Being the involved dad, I'm like, 'Yeah honey, I got this,'" he told King 5 TV. "So I grabbed the diaper bag; I grabbed the kid; and it never dawned on me that I might walk into the bathroom and there wouldn't be a changing station. You can carry a pad all you want, but it's still on the floor. It's almost like this idea that it's the woman's job, and it's like, no, it's everybody's job; we're parents."
Schrier is now hoping to change all that—one bathroom at a time. He started a blog called Dads Who Change Diapers, where he lists businesses that have men's room changing tables. There's even a cool map feature, where you can input your location to find the closet dad-friendly station.
"I have listed every spot that I know has a changing station," he writes. "Every dad (the awesome ones at least) has had to deal with not having the appropriate facilities to take care of their child. Let's stop the madness."
Schrier is not the first dad to call notice to this gender stereotype. Ashton Kutcher famously posted his grievance to Facebook last year: "There are NEVER diaper changing stations in mens public restrooms," he wrote. "The first public men's room that I go into that has one gets a free shout out on my FB page! #BeTheChange."
Hopefully, if stories like this continue to draw media attention, restaurants will begin to up their game—in men's and women's restrooms—including the original Ruby Tuesday where, according to Schrier's blog, managment still hasn't installed a changing table.
"Ruby Tuesday's," Schrier writes. "You are being boycotted until further notice."