Sexism and antiquated notions of gender roles are a double edged sword that negatively affects women and men.
A viral photo Donte Palmer posted of himself changing his baby son displays this perfectly.
But it's not the act itself that caught people's attention, but the way in which he was forced to do it: in a deep squat against a bathroom wall with his infant son splayed across his thighs.
Because the restaurant's only baby-changing station was in the women's restroom.
In his post, he stated:
"This is a serious post!!! What's the deal with not having changing tables in men's bathroom as if we don't exist!! #FLM #fatherslivesmatter clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It's routine to him!!!! Let's fix this problem! I Kaepernick drop a knee to this issue! [The Shade Room] let's show the innovation of fathers!"
This seems like a no-brainer!
But apparently, we'd all be surprised by how frequently dads are put in this position. As Palmer puts it in his post,
"Clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is."
The post highlighted the continued disparity in how we think of gender roles in parenting.
More and more fathers are taking on tasks that used to traditionally be thought of as mothers' duties and, of course, gay couples raising children of their own is becoming increasingly more common all the time. But as Donte's post points out, public spaces like restrooms often don't reflect these changes.
Speaking to Yahoo! Lifestyle, Palmer highlighted this disparity and reflected how it overlaps with outdated views of gender roles.
"People have commented that my wife is 'lazy' for not changing our baby's diaper or that I could have changed him in the car but why should I?"
"Many fathers are present caretakers, but either we don't get recognition or get too much credit for doing basic tasks."
This double standard surely feels familiar to millions of parents.
Palmer's post quickly went viral as it hit home with parents frequently dealing with similar situations:
This dad, Donte Palmer, is calling for Changing Tables In Men’s Rest Rooms. I'm with him. He is balancing against… https://t.co/kyNCWMlzIV— StanceGrounded (@StanceGrounded)1537975844.0
It is not only a mother's responsibility to change her child but also the responsibility of a father. A father is a… https://t.co/kTDXcmndOE— StanceGrounded (@StanceGrounded)1537979476.0
@_SJPeace_ Or have a gender neutral baby changing room, properly equipped with a table & disposal bins, wipes etc— polly dymock (@polly dymock)1537983701.0
@_SJPeace_ Good for him. I'm not sure who should be offended more when a changing table is only in the women's bat… https://t.co/jxxzmmFFFT— Michael Reeder (@Michael Reeder)1537977627.0
@_SJPeace_ All bigger businesses should have a family bathroom, with changing tables. Father's have just as much wo… https://t.co/T2FZTBVeUg— Ruthie 🌊🇺🇸🇵🇷🌊 (@Ruthie 🌊🇺🇸🇵🇷🌊)1537976453.0
@_SJPeace_ @rcarr57 I’d prefer if the just built more family restrooms, but in older buildings this is a huge issue… https://t.co/9wMmY9xQzN— I will never call him anything but orange lardass (@I will never call him anything but orange lardass)1537977785.0
@_SJPeace_ @jocowboys87 Totally agree. This irked my hubs to no end. But can I just shout out to the guy in this ph… https://t.co/SStDjEBmVG— Pamela Politico (@Pamela Politico)1537989535.0
@_SJPeace_ @LaurieJBarnes Hats off to an awesome Daddy. Agreed, he shouldn't have to do this. Give men's rooms changing tables already!— Nerd Bird (@Nerd Bird)1537991928.0
@_SJPeace_ I’ve been saying this for years. I have two boys and when I’m traveling with them without my wife it’s l… https://t.co/1UThjJaNFW— Jason 🤣💨 (@Jason 🤣💨)1537979690.0
This Dad is what being a Dad is about. He's balancing himself while caring for what is most precious. I'm with Dont… https://t.co/8u30vNoHGp— JB (@JB)1537978808.0
Here's hoping overlooking men's roles in their children's lives changes soon!