One hard fact is that most infants have parents.
Those parents could be a man and a woman, two women, two men, a single mother or a single father.
Another fact is babies need to have their bottoms cleaned regularly.
But assuming every baby will be cleaned and changed by a woman is sexist.
The father of a five-month-old baby ran straight into that sexism recently during a big day out on the town with his new son, a lunch around midday.
But the afternoon quickly unraveled when one thing lead to another and the guy found himself storming out of the women's bathroom with baby in tow. One of those "How did I get here?" moments, surely.
This story's protagonist and narrator is dubbed "horriblediamond" when he appears on Reddit. He's a complicated sort who will clearly go to bat for his son with a firm loyalty.
He shared the lead-up to his ousting from the women's room of a public restaurant with that characteristic direct and unwavering tone.
The anecdote begins with the catalyzing moment: his five-month-old son had soiled himself.
He follows with some matter-of-fact descriptions of his problem solving.
"I went to the restroom but found the men's didn't have a changing table, so went to the women's."
"I walked in and there were some hushed whispers from a couple women (wouldn't have guessed it was about me if it weren't for what happened next.) but everyone else just went about their business."
We're dealing with the eye of a storm.
He put his head down and got to work.
"I was sorting through the diaper bag getting everything I needed ready to go when a restaurant hostess approached me and said 'oh sorry sir, the men's is actually at the other end.'"
But horriblediamond was not about to vacate without taking care of his son.
We're talking about an uncomfortable soiled child here.
"I explained there was no changing table there and she said 'never the less, this is the women's room, and your presence is making some of our patrons uncomfortable.'"
"I was kind of flummoxed and said 'I'm fully clothed, I'm not peeking under stalls, I just want to change my son and finish my meal'."
"The hostess began to get upset and said 'I understand but how about your wife comes and changes him?' And I told her we were there alone."
The impasse has been reached.
Prepare for drama.
"We were starting to attract attention in the restroom at this point and one of the women said "I've been there with four of my own. I can change him.'"
But what woman would hand her daughter off to a man she didn't know to let them change her child's diaper and leave the room while they did?
So why should this father be expected to be fine doing this with his son?
The offered solution to outsource the cleanup to a total stranger while he waited outside the room did not satisfy horriblediamond.
"The hostess seemed to think that was a suitable compromise but I wasn't comfortable leaving my baby alone with a stranger to change him."
It was at this point that things escalated.
The onslaught had begun and he was now well on his way to banishment. A few other women in the bathroom—which must be VERY spacious—chimed in with solutions they would never accept for themselves.
"'Then go home and change him at home or lay your changing pad on a counter surface in the men's bathroom.'"
"'Cisgender men aren't entitled to violate our space this way. You're making people uncomfortable, you need to respect that.'"
With this many cooks in the kitchen, they brought in the big guns.
"The hostess got the manager, a man, who called from the door that I needed to leave."
horriblediamond, however, got the last laugh, his stubborn fatherhood energy prevailing above it all.
"I wasn't about to drive my baby home in a soiled diaper though, so finished up."
As for who was wrong, who was right, and what was just in the reported situation, Redditors' responses ran the gamut.
Some rushed to the support of horriblediamond.
"The lack of a changing pad in the men's room is a sexist knock back to an era when women were expected to do everything for children."
"The hostess could have better solved this by clearing out the ladies room and standing watch while you took the 5 minutes or so needed to change your child." Watcher2727
"You're being a good dad. keep at it."
"Also, might be worth it to write in to the management about there not being a changing table in the men's bathroom. They're not expense and are reasonably easy to install." ramostofthetimeiwin
"This is a way patriarchy hurts men and it's outrageous. Their restrooms need retrofitting ten years ago. Jesus this makes me mad."
"Like you should let some strange lady touch your baby's junk. Nope nope nope." TransoTheWonderKitty
"You went where the facilities were. It's not your fault the restaurant didn't properly equip the men's room for the existence of fathers."
"Here's the thing about women's restrooms. They have stalls, which are private areas for private business. As a cis woman, in my almost 50 years on this planet, I have NEVER seen nudity in a women's restroom. Ever." Adventurous_Coat
But a fair amount of readers felt that nobody was admirable in this story at all.
They found flaws to everyone's behavior toward one another.
"I don't think I need to say why the restaurant sucks."
"However, I do think it was inappropriate of you to enter the women's room without announcing yourself or asking a woman if anyone was in there." moonlightracer
"Rather than barge into the women's bathroom unannounced, I would have approached a manager and asked for an appropriate place to change the baby, done the best you could with whatever they gave you."
"And then I'd write a bad Yelp review or something to warn other parents that they won't be able to change their kid unless they're a female." InSkyLimitEra
"I do think your attitude sucks though, management asked you to leave and you just ignored them. Your soiled baby is your problem, not anyone else's, you do seem to have an entitled attitude." ShamedByMe
But some claimed horriblediamond was totally out of line for expecting equal treatment for himself and his son.
"You're the a**hole because after being told you were making women uncomfortable in the women's restroom you didn't leave. You got into an argument with the hostess. You showed no respect for anyone but yourself." lisasimpsonfan
"The major issue with this situation was that you did not get the consent of the women who were already in using the bathroom so you violated their privacy." perpIndignant
"The women said to GTFO. It wasn't your space. You can't just go in like that. Full stop." FireWaterGold
"Most of the places I go don't have changing tables, period. And you know what most parents do? They go to their car.
"Every parent I've ever known has done this, don't you have a backup plan to take care of your child for these things? It's too common not to." Witchifer
For those new parents taking notes—despite the varying takeaways, a few objective lessons can be pulled from this.
First, expect the worst from public spaces. Many of them totally don't meet you halfway because they're from the sexist past and you're going to have to deal with that.
Second, tell restaurants and other businesses that changing diapers isn't women's work. Men are parents too and if something is provided for women to change diapers it also needs to be provided for men.
Join the 21st century and leave the sexist BS behind.