New York is leading the way when it comes to modern parenting – this definitely needs to happen here!
New York state dads will no longer face the struggle of finding a clean bench, patch of grass or bathroom floor to change their baby’s nappy. It’s hard to believe but, despite the rise of the stay at home dad, society is still catching up when it comes to catering for men who dare to leave the house with their children.
Gender Neutral Parenting
All new buildings, or those being renovated, will be required under New York state law to install “safe and compliant changing tables that are available to both men and women” in any public bathrooms. As a result, most will be required to put a changing table in both mens and womens bathrooms. Not only that, but they must be easily accessible and well signposted, meaning that mums and dads won’t have to search high and low for a safe place to sort out their baby without the unwelcome stares and general judgement of resorting to a public space. Best of all, it’s catching on. Other states are implementing the changes not only to get ahead of building codes but to get up to date with the world of modern parenting. Frankly, we can’t believe it has taken them this long!
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Sharing the Load
The absence of accessible changing tables for dads presents two issues. On the one hand, it highlights that parenting can be really difficult for men, perhaps more than we realise, especially when everything outside the home caters for women as the primary caregivers. Perhaps more interestingly, we should think about what having changing tables in women’s bathrooms only represents. It places the burden and expectation entirely on women, which is completely at odds with the nature of parenting in the 21st century.
While the installation of these changing tables will no doubt make life a lot easier for men, they are also a representation of greater equality and a more inclusive society for all.
Do you think the same law should apply to buildings in Australia? Let us know in the comments!