Men's bathrooms in New York are now legally required to have changing tables
Despite the many societal inequalities that have given us a somewhat warped view of parenting, the fact is; men bring up kids too.
As many dads will tell you, they are just as likely to endure sleepless nights, stress about mystery coughs, and get covered in a unique concoction of bodily fluids as anyone else in a position of parental responsibility. Just because it’s taken the rest of the world some time to get comfortable with this doesn’t make it any less true.
Unfortunately, thanks to our preconceived ideas about parenting, much of the modern world is still ill-equipped to assist men with some of the most basic aspects of childcare. The fact that when they strap on a sling they get idiots like Piers Morgan questioning their masculinity doesn’t help either. However, new legislation in New York is showing that it doesn’t take much for a city to become more dad-friendly.
As of January this year, a new law passed in New York State declared that all men’s public restrooms must come complete with baby changing facilities, specifically changing tables.
As CNN reports, "At least one changing table must be available to both genders on each floor of a building that is accessed by the public... The legislation also states that building managers should post clear signs showing the location of the nearest available changing table."
In a statement released after the legislation was successfully passed, the office of Governor Andrew Cuomo said:
"Parents and caregivers of young children often struggle to find a safe, sanitary place to change their child's diaper. In addition, when changing tables are available, they are disproportionately available in only women's restrooms."
This view was supported by bill author Senator Brad Holyman, who wrote: "It's not just moms who change diapers. Dads need to step up and do their part of the dirty work, too."
The successful implementation of the new law comes relatively soon after Florida father of three Donte Palmer went viral, when he shared a photo of himself awkwardly changing his son’s diaper in a public restroom. The picture of Palmer squatting against a bathroom wall, all while balancing his prostrate son across his knees, was liked over 10,000 times and attracted significant attention. As Palmer put it in the caption, “What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!!” Here’s hoping that the New York legislation is a sign of things to come.