Today I will be speaking on the Radio at around 10am.
A researcher phoned me from the Jason Mohammed show which is broadcast on Radio Wales to ask if I would like to be interviewed. The subject matter was dads taking their daughters to the mens toilet in public places.
I didn’t know it at the time, but apparently a journalist had caused outrage on the ITV show, This Morning, saying that dads should not be taking their daughters to the mens toilet. So I thought I would give my thoughts and opinions on actually what I consider a ridiculous subject and something that should not actually be up for debate. It’s beyond belief to me that this could possibly be an issue.
Two of my daughters are five year old twins and I have on more occasions than I could possibly remember, taken them into the mens toilet if I have been on my own with them. I am not subjecting them to the depths and the darkest places of the men’s toilets, because they reek, so said this journalist, I’m not sure which men’s toilets she has been frequenting, but nowadays most men’s toilets I use are cleaned on a rota system which is on the wall for all to see. They never smell nowadays, oh yes, they do, sweetly.
If you need a wee and you are five years old and a girl, and you are only with your dad, then the men’s toilet will do absolutely fine. After all, you will use a cubicle, have a wee, wash your hands, then leave. I’m confident to say that I don’t think I will be scaring my daughters minds for the rest of their lives, because they used a mens toilet as a small child.
There was a number of things that were brought into the debate, that I feel need addressing. Firstly dads using ladies toilets with their daughters. That apparently is ok to be done according to said journalist. I’m sure many ladies would be deeply embarrassed knowing there is a male in the ladies toilet, even if he has his small daughter with him in a cubicle.
This journalist then suggested using the disabled toilet. They are disabled toilets for a reason. They are for disabled people and at most there is only ever a couple of disabled toilets,using these and maybe making a disabled person wait is totally unacceptable, when you can simply use the men’s toilet.
Finally, this for me was this journalists finest moment of complete madness. She stated that if she saw a dad taking his daughter to the toilet, she would stop them and suggest she takes his daughter to the ladies. Was she really being serious? Surely not, but she was. On the other side of the coin, does that mean a mum takes her son into the men’s toilets, because he needs to use a urinal? Does she asks a man who is a total stranger to take her son into the mens toilet, of course thats not ever going to happen.
We teach our children not to talk or go off with strangers, so what gives you the impression that I would happily hand over my five year old daughter to a complete stranger, so they could take her to the ladies to save her modesty? Never going to happen, and actually I know there is no chance of either of twins going to the toilet with a stranger. It would go against everything we have taught the girls about stranger danger.
The argument this journalist has, had no grounds. In fact after watching the show and reading the article in the Daily Mail I have come to the conclusion, that she is the type of mother that is holding back dads from being more involved in the care of their children, whether that be daughters or sons. There is also a hint of ‘dads not being capable’ of taking their daughters to the toilet.
There is of course the cynic in me that possibly thinks that she said all of this because it would cause a reaction. Which of course it has and maybe that was her intention, but surely there are so many worse things in the world to worry about. This is so far down the list of being a problem, actually it’s not on the list.
I will finally say that if we are out and about as a family, my twin girls will always go to the ladies with their mum, and we often go to the local leisure centre swimming, the girls always go in the ladies with their mum, but if I was on my own with them I would have no hesitation taking them into the men’s, and I wouldn’t be alone as many dads have young daughters with them in the men’s changing rooms.
What do you think? Is it completely acceptable or not to take your daughter in the men’s toilet for a wee? I would love to hear your thoughts.