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A recent Facebook post which talked about the lack of diaper-changing tables in men’s restrooms went viral as it highlighted the stereotype that mothers are deemed as the primary caregivers of the children.
It is 2018 and the feminist movement has reached great heights by focussing on establishing the equality of the sexes. Yet, it is ironical, that we still look upon mothers as the primary caregivers when it comes to bringing up the children.
Recently, a Facebook post written by Chris Mau, a 33-year-old father of 4, went viral. Chris Mau was upset by the lack of diaper-changing tables in men’s washrooms. He had to keep changing his daughter’s diaper on the ‘disgusting floor’ of the men’s washrooms due to the lack of changing tables in them and he was sick of it – a sad state of affairs indeed.
Obviously, this is a serious issue, considering the health and hygiene of babies who have their diapers changed by their dads. But, it also points to a larger issue – the view that women are by default the primary caregivers while the sole role of men is to be the breadwinners. This dangerous and sexist view hurts women by glorifying motherhood to the point where it consumes your whole identity. And it hurts men, by limiting their participation in bringing up their own children.
This is the opinion that leads people to look suspiciously at fathers playing with their own daughters and blame women who give more importance to their careers than having kids. In several parts of the world, a family with a stay-at-home dad and a working mother still raises eyebrows. It is the ‘most natural thing in the world’ for a mother to give up her job to look after her kids but the same can’t be said of fathers.
It’s unfair to not give fathers a chance to look after their own kids. After all, parenting is thought of as one of the most beautiful experiences that people can have, then why deny men the opportunity to do it properly? The truth is, fathers can change diapers too and we have to let go of the traditional gender expectations because they are unrealistic and help no one. In theory, we do try to do this but the world isn’t really designed to allow everyone to have equal opportunities to break stereotypes. But, it is time for a big change. Let’s start with putting changing tables in men’s restrooms. Let daddies be there for their children too.
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