Thanks to all of you who commented both here and on the Mamamia website in regards to the ladies toilet post.
I now know that most of you do not mind if I take my little girl to the ladies when no parent’s room is available as long as it is done respectfully and with courtesy so thank you for that.
For the record I don’t hang around outside the cubicle while my daughter goes in – I am in there with her and the door is closed.
The only time you would see me is when I announce my arrival or sneak out of the cubicle quietly when finished which is for about five seconds. We even wash our hands with a disinfectant gel outside the toilets to minimize the time spent in there.
Those of you who said that I should just wait in line or check with the shopping center management have obviously never toilet trained a child before. In the early stages of toilet training you have about 30 seconds between “Dad I need a wee” and a waterfall so that is just not practical.
I did have one guy say that as a father he has never experienced a line for the parent’s room toilet. Surely he is kidding? I don’t think I have ever not waited in line. He either lives in Disney Land or more likely does not take his child out shopping very often.
He also conveniently failed to mention the gender of his child (which of course makes a big difference in this case) or whether or not he is toilet training his two year old. These rather important omissions fail to lend credibility to his argument. I think he just wanted to have a go at me.
I am not really sure how I was dragged into the disabled toilet debate as I was in the Ladies toilet not the disabled one. I generally leave the disabled loos for those who need them most which is why I am in the Ladies toilet in the first place.
The argument about wheelchair accessible toilets is interesting. I must say that with a monster pram in one hand and a wormy 15kg toddler in the other I certainly feel temporarily disabled and with access issues and as such would perhaps qualify to be able to use the disabled loo in an emergency? Maybe not.
I was missing something very important though, and that was the realization that a lot of women would be fearful of a man in the ladies regardless of the circumstances. I had no idea.
Such is the tragic nature of this world where a woman must always be on guard from sexual attack and a man does not even have to give his personal sexual safety a second thought.
Your stories of sexual abuse in the ladies toilets were quite shocking to me (I must live in a bubble or something) and have given me a new perspective on the matter.
It is not just about bodily functions or vanity but more about the security and safety of all women and I will endeavor to be more sensitive to that need in the future if I am again forced into the ladies toilet.
Thanks again to all of you for taking the time to help me understand this matter more fully.
If you would like to follow the comment thread on the Mamamia website then click here.