Actors Ashton Kutcher and Mila Kunis are the parents of a baby girl, who was born last fall. And because of that, Kutcher has probably spent the past few months dealing with a lot of new baby-type stuff.
You know, like changing diapers.
But it seems like Kutcher sometimes has difficulty finding a place to complete those diaper changes, according to what he wrote on Facebook. Kutcher posted about this in early March, writing: “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!”
The #BeTheChange-hashtagged post has been liked more than 200,000 times, and Kutcher kept talking about the issue.
“I would like my daughter to experience a world where gender doesn’t dictate one’s responsibility or limit one’s opportunity,” he told his web site, A Plus. “Having changing tables in men’s rooms is just a tiny step in the process of rectifying legacy gender discrimination. Men who are aware of this bias want to participate equally in the child care process and our society should support that. It’s time to get our hands dirty.”
(Small note: I don’t have kids, just extremely cool nephews, and you don’t end up changing a lot of diapers when you’re aunting. You mostly just play with dump trucks or whatever. So just to double check, I asked Post pal Mark Berman about this issue. Berman is an expert on being a new dad, because he is a new dad.
(Berman said that he’s noticed a general lack of changing tables for dads on diaper duty, so there you go. This is something that Mark Berman and Ashton Kutcher can talk about at dinner parties, I guess.)
The A Plus post included a link to Kutcher’s Change.org petition, which called for changing tables in men’s rooms.
“It’s 2015, families are diverse, and it is an injustice to assume it’s only a woman’s job to handle changing diapers,” reads the petition, which now has more than 80,000 signatures. “This assumption is gender stereotyping and companies should be supporting all parents that shop at their stores equally — no matter their gender.”
The Change.org petition specifically mentions Target and Costco, saying that the stores can “initiate a company-wide policy to provide universally accessible changing tables in their stores.” Target responded, saying that it has “made changing tables a standard feature in both our men’s and women’s restrooms for more than 25 years.”
A Target spokesman confirmed to The Post that stores have featured changing tables in men’s rooms for years. So let’s just ignore that part and focus on the broader matter at hand, I guess.
The petition comes several months after California Gov. Jerry Brown (D) vetoed two bills that were supposed to help make it easier for dads to find changing tables in public places.
“At a time when so many have raised concerns about the number of regulations in California, I believe it would be more prudent to leave the matter of diaper changing stations to the private sector,” Brown said, according to Reuters.
More from Reuters:
The bills, which recently passed the state’s senate and assembly chambers with broad support, would have modified existing state laws to ensure public places, such as movie theatres and shopping malls, have baby changing tables in both mens’s and women’s restrooms.
“This may be a good business practice,” Brown said, “but not one that I am inclined to legislate.”
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