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Man in ladies toilets

662 replies

ItsAHardKn0ckLife · 26/07/2017 10:23

Okay I'm not sure if I'm being unreasonable here, husband works away, have an unwell toddler and I'm a little sleep deprived. So not sure if emotions are getting the better of me.

Popped into our local M&S, DS (2yo) in tow. Needed to use the toilet before shopping. Walk into the ladies (small bathroom, only 2 cubicles) to an older man and woman (late 60's at a guess) changing a babies nappy. I stopped in my tracks, confused, checked I'd definitely walked into the right toilets.
I said "you are aware this is the ladies?"
"Yes" the woman replied, "have you got a problem?"
"Erm, well yes actually I have"
Cue lots of tutting and huffing and puffing whilst I waited patiently for him to leave.
On their way out of the door I was told I was being "absolutely ridiculous" and "totally unreasonable".
In hindsight I probably should have ignored, but I was feeling pretty pissed off so I went to inform a member of staff.
The couple were standing near me and they were shouting that I'm a hypocrite as I took my DS in there with me. Again repeating that I was unreasonable etc and what did I expect them to do? They then walked off.

I ended up crying Blush

The staff were lovely and offered me a very nice cup of tea. I apologised for being an emotional wreck and causing drama.

So was I wrong for being unhappy about this? Would you have said something or just turned a blind eye to him being in there?

OP posts:
Sparklingbrook · 26/07/2017 10:35

How do you know she could do it alone? Maybe it was their first time out with the baby? You don't know.

leafv · 26/07/2017 10:36

Personally, It wouldn't have bothered me.

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g · 26/07/2017 10:36

I think a lot of the people who say 'Why is this a problem? How can you feel threatened by this, or even just a bit uncomfortable?' and so on and so forth are showing that they have very little imagination. Lots of women have suffered sexual abuse and feel much safer doing something which involves partial undressing in a space which is guaranteed free of male bodies. Plenty of us who have had the good fortune not to experience abuse just feel more comfortable like that, especially if the trip to the loo involves having to change pads/tampons/mooncups etc.

In a completely unisex toilet, I would expect as a minimum that the doors and walls would be floor to ceiling for privacy reasons. Until funds are found for that to be the norm, I hope we continue to have sex-segregated loos.

OP, YWNBU and I hope you're feeling better now and can get a nap later today. Lack of sleep is a killer.

Shoxfordian · 26/07/2017 10:37

Wouldn't you have just gone in a cubicle? Can't see the issue

Timefortea99 · 26/07/2017 10:37

In these circumstances I think you are being a bit precious. Changing a baby's nappy is totally different to a random man being in the loo. You said they were in their late 60s - perhaps the woman had mobility issues and could not change the nappy on her own.

HoneyDragon · 26/07/2017 10:37

Cardibach ..... that I find odd. I can't understand a Dad or male carer having to make an uncomfortable decision in stores that haven't caught up to the fact changing rooms need to be accessible but not sure why he had to be supervised by the older woman. I don't think the op was unreasonable and it was unfair to call her ridiculous. I would have found it weird.

hazeyjane · 26/07/2017 10:37

Yanbu - there were changing facilities in the men's toilet, the woman could have changed the baby on her own etc. But no men shouldn't be in the female toilets, lots of people might be fine with it, but lots won't, I know my 11 year old dd1 would feel very uncomfortable (dd2 would just ask him why on earth he was there!)

cardibach · 26/07/2017 10:38

Looks I wouldn't expect him to do anything, because I wouldn't expect him to be there. To other posters, you are, with respect, missing the point. It doesn't matter what he could or couldn't see/hear. It doesn't matter what he did or didn't intend to do. What matters is the principle of ladies loos as women only spaces which men should not be in - it matters for lots of properly serious reasons which I'm sure you apcan all work out for yourself, and if we start making exceptions for cute little grandads we are on a slippery slope of 'but what if'.

lmer · 26/07/2017 10:38

I think you were being a little unreasonable tbh

Liadain · 26/07/2017 10:38

I personally wouldn't have cared that he was in there changing the baby, no. I think they were very harsh to you but your initial reaction was Ott.

Mind you, I can never see the point of all the toilet fuss on mn.

JacquesHammer · 26/07/2017 10:39

Wouldn't have batted an eyelid. It was an odd decision to wait, why not just go in a cubicle?!

MsPassepartout · 26/07/2017 10:39

Given that they were changing a nappy you may have BU.
It's not normally a two person job, but with (presumably) grandparents of that age, there may be physical issues that mean the grandmother needed help, especially if the baby's one that tends to be wriggly and trying to escape.

HoneyDragon · 26/07/2017 10:40

Actually what's interesting is that if there was a changing facility in the men's toilets the couple didn't go in there? They opted for the women's.

EdmundCleverClogs · 26/07/2017 10:40

Gasp0deTheW0nderD0g, actually I can 'use my imagination' and I can empathise with feeling uncomfortable. However, each situation has to be looked at individually - in this case an older couple just trying to change a young baby in a public space would register pretty low on most people's radar of 'threatening'. Seems to be these poor people were just trying to get on with their day and were probably shocked to be jumped on as they were.

zzzzz · 26/07/2017 10:41

This reply has been deleted

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Want2beme · 26/07/2017 10:41

YANBU. A man should not enter the women's loos.

Kailoer · 26/07/2017 10:44

I personally don't think I'd have said anything but I'd have been surprised and a bit shocked at their actions.

However- a serious point to the posters saying it wouldn't bother them either... WE may feel that, but we don't have the right to tell another woman how to feel about experiencing a man in what should be a female only space.

WE don't have the right to say: just because I'm comfortable with it, you should too.

Other women may have abuse experience, Religious reasons to be unhappy or upset at this, or practical problems (needing to buy sanpro and not wanting to do it in front of a male stranger). I mean, at work there's nowhere for me to wash out a mooncup in privacy because of the poor loo designs (communal sinks and I shouldn't use the disabled loo ofc), so I have at least experienced the desire for privacy and not being able to arrange it.

The problem here isn't that the man needee to help his wife, etc - it was where they chose to do it (a female space) and then had the cheek to say the OP's feeling was invalid...?!

OP your reaction was totally acceptable & reasonable.

KimmySchmidt1 · 26/07/2017 10:46

This reply has been deleted

Message deleted by MNHQ. Here's a link to our Talk Guidelines.

HoneyDragon · 26/07/2017 10:46

But the woman could have gone with the man into the gents yes?

KimmySchmidt1 · 26/07/2017 10:46

equally i think a man has a right to tell a woman to get out of the gents.

Ameliablue · 26/07/2017 10:48

I would expect that in this case it did need two to change the nappy. It's not really a common occurrence so I would have given them the benefit of doubt and let them finish without commenting.

Sparklingbrook · 26/07/2017 10:49

It might take 2 people to change a nappy. If they aren't very strong or nimble fingered, they are a bit older or the baby is very wriggly. Or they are just anxious grandparents trying to do some childcare.


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Spikeyball · 26/07/2017 10:50

Was there an accessible toilet? That would be the one to use in situations where two people are needed.

Sparklingbrook · 26/07/2017 10:50

They may not have known there were facilities in the Gents.

OnionKnight · 26/07/2017 10:51

I'm torn on this, yes he shouldn't have been in there but if the woman had mobility issues and he was helping her then I can't see the problem.

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