The editors of the online dads community Dads Who Diaper would like to express their deepest disappoint in California Governor Jerry Brown’s decision to veto a pair of bills (SB1350 and SB1358) that would have given dads equal access to diaper changing stations.
Fathers are significantly more involved and engaged in parenting than ever before, moving beyond solely being considered primary bread winner and weekend sports cheerleader for their children. They have willingly and eagerly taken on a larger, if not equal, role in parenting. Especially in the aftermath of the Great Recession where more women have become a primary earner. A 2012 Pew Research study found at least two million stay at home dads in the United States. A number that does not include dads who are equal parenting partners.
Many will say that it’s not the government’s place to force businesses to give dads access to a diaper changing station through legislation, but that is the easy way out. Everything that can be done to continue helping dads be equal partners in parenting should be done. With millions of dollars being spent by local, regional, and the federal government on early education and after school programs, it doesn’t seem that far a stretch asking all new buildings to give dads access to a diaper changing station.
Being a highly involved father is one the greatest things a man can do in life. That often means changing diapers. Being hindered as a parent because of lack of opportunities to change diapers is as frustrating as it is disappointing. The act of not finding it important to place a changing station in men’s restrooms reinforces the myth that dad is the “junior” parent.
While we encourage the Governor to reconsider his decision, we ask next time you’re somewhere with a diaper changing station in the men’s room or equal access to a family bathroom let the store know you appreciate their commitment to equal parenting and the growing role of dad.
Paul Snowden & Chad Carter
Dads Who Diaper
You can subscribe and download the “Dads Who Diaper” podcasts on iTunes here.