Most people are used to parents bringing their children into public bathrooms with them. But what about locker rooms?
When the bathroom or locker room is gender specific, should the parent stick to the facilities that match their own gender or the gender of their child.
And who gets to decide? The parent or the other occupants of the facilities?
A woman who attends a martial arts class is grappling with those questions. Not because of her own child, but because of a little girl and her father.
The woman turned to the "Am I The A**hole" (AITA) subReddit to present a hypothetical "Would I Be The A**hole" (WIBTA) scenario for feedback.
Redditor Boring-Recording-266 asked:
"WIBTA for getting a little girl's father banned from our gym?"
The Original Poster (OP) explained:
"Our martial arts school recently started offering a new kids class—right before mine. Mostly kids between the ages of 6-12, all of them boys except from one little girl."
"The parents usually hang around the gym waiting for the kids class to end. The class is about an hour long, with a 15 minute break between the kids class and ours."
"So there is an overlap in the locker rooms, with kids changing out of their gear and adults changing into theirs."
"The little girl is probably around 7-8 and is accompanied by her father. The problem is, once their class is over the father walks into the women's locker rooms to 'help his daughter change'."
"Obviously, this makes everyone who changes in the locker room very uncomfortable. He just opens the door and comes waltzing in, not bothering to wait until the locker rooms are empty."
"As a result, most of the girls attending my class opt to come to the class late, since then we can change in peace."
"When I confronted him, he said that his daughter needs his assistance and she would feel unsafe by herself in there. Since he wouldn't stop coming in, I talked to our coach."
"He said that he would talk to the father and if we see him again in the women's locker rooms he will get banned from our gym.
Yesterday I went to the gym and lo and behold, the father is in our locker room."
"WIBTA if I told my coach?"
"My main concern is the little girl, as I don't want her to stop coming because her father is acting weird."
The OP returned with an update.
"Hey everybody this really blew up! Some clarifications."
"When confronted by me the father offered no explanations, but hey why should he tell me (a stranger) if his daughter needs any extra assistance? I am just a stranger."
"But when confronted by the coach, he also offered no further explanation besides his original stance and this is why the coach offered him an ultimatum. This is what struck as weird and off putting."
Redditors were asked to vote on the OP's scenario by declaring:
- NTA - Not The A**hole
- YTA - You're The A**hole
- NAH - No A**holes Here
- ESH - Everyone Sucks Here
"NTA as others have said physically she can change by herself. If she feels unsafe then dad needs to raise it with the gym and see if there is a unisex bathroom or something similar that is available to utilize for this purpose."
"Dad is being creepy and weird and making a lot of people feel uncomfortable." ~ Citychic88
"And I think that's the big problem here. He's not just making OP uncomfortable, he's making EVERYBODY uncomfortable. The students are getting changed LATER because they don't (understandably) want to get changed in front of grown man who's a stranger." ~ Jrockyroad
"Yeah, I get that the little girl may feel intimidated or uncomfortable about going to the changing room herself with a bunch of adults. I have a 7 year old, she would probably be nervous about it too."
"The solution is either to wait to change until she gets home (seriously, how much does a 7 year old sweat?), take her to a single user washroom, or get her to work through her fears."
"Not putting a grown man in the women's change room. Yikes." ~ AfterTowns
"This is weird indeed. I get that he feels the need to accompany her, but his blatant disregard for making the others uncomfortable is troubling."
"If his daughter was on her own & some random grown man waltzed into where she's changing, would he be cool with it?! What does this guy do when she needs to use a public bathroom?"
"Other women could look out for the little girl, if that's an issue. The fact that he doesn't wait until others are done... or even announce himself... he didn't change his behavior after being confronted... I don't know."
"This seems either entitled or straight up creepy. I'd talk to the coach. Like, was he warned that he'd be banned if he did it again? If so, he's asking for it." ~ hannylove
The OP decided they would follow their instincts.
"Will talk to the coach tomorrow."
"The girl seems to be quite happy with the classes, playing along with the other kids, so I will stress if a viable solution could be found that would keep the girl in our gym but the father out of our lockers—because a lot of women are angry with him."