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Found Feminism: Gentlemen’s Baby Changing

2012 September 19

This is actually the greatest Found Feminism I have ever had the joy to stumble across because it neatly combines two of the bees in my feminist bonnet and previous article topics: loos and Dads. I get agitated and hand-wavey over both of them, so now I’m doubly agitated and can barely type.

This is the sort of Found Feminsim I might like the best.

A blue sign with white text against a brick wall. The sign has a stick figure man with a baby. The sign reads Gentlemen and Baby Changing

Have you ever seen anything more beautiful in your whole life?

The series is all about being able to showcase positive change in our society, to highlight all the good work that is being done to make the universe a better place for everyone by bringing down all the shitty, stupid barriers and obstacles that mean if we present as a certain gender we can/can’t/must/must not/do/do not delete-as-appropriate bullshit where we all feel we have to behave in a particular way.

We don’t. We shouldn’t have to. Feminism is all about not falling for this nonsense.

My ovaries do not compel me to buy pink products. If I wear a skirt on Tuesday I am not inherently more “female” than when I was wearing trousers on Monday.

And dear, sweet reader: just because a person has the capacity to get pregnant and give birth does not mean that they are then automatically and by crushing biological imperative the only person capable of looking after that child.

So I give to you this offering. A sign in Holland Park that lifted my heart, coming as it does from the heartland of nice, yummy mummy middle class London. A space where Dads can go and do the stuff that babies need. Y’know. The wiping, cleaning, icky stuff that they don’t put on the tube adverts for IVF. The real stuff. The day-to-day stuff. The stuff you really need someone to do if you are little and can’t go to the bathroom for yourself. Caring stuff. Because Dads should be given every and all opportunity and support in public places to be as caring and nurturing as Mums. That’s one of the things that feminism is all about.

I am not really a baby person. I am, however, fully in favour of the idea that if we (as a society) are going to have them, then we should make sure they are properly looked after. Which means giving men as much as women the opportunity to be amazing parents.

And to change the nappies. Which I hear is important.

2 Responses leave one →
  1. north5 permalink
    September 20, 2012

    The baby-changing situation has improved even in the six years since north5.1 was born – what was at first a pleasant novelty is, these days, something i would assume and expect to be present in all bloke’s toilets.
    When I couldn’t find a changing station in there, I’d just go ahead and use the ladies’, on the basis that the area was clearly intended for multi-gender usage …

  2. October 5, 2012

    This makes me happy!

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