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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:
Spikeyball · 26/07/2017 10:52

We are also in the situation where ds (still in nappies at the moment) will probably never be able to go into the men's alone. This creates major issues where there is no unisex toilets. What is needed is more of these.

EdmundCleverClogs · 26/07/2017 10:53

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

Oh yes, one woman in a bathroom for men is defiantly a better situation than one older man with his wife and a baby in a women's bathroom.

I can understand this is a contentious issue at the moment, but people are starting to lose the inability to judge individual situations as they see them. How was this possibly a dangerous situation? The couple were using baby changing facilities, the op was using a (I can only presume) lockable cubicle. There was no reason to pay attention to each other.

nina2b · 26/07/2017 10:54


hazeyjane · 26/07/2017 10:54

It will be an issue for us too zzzzz. But I still think that female toilets should remain as single sex spaces.

Lots of people wont care, and thats fine, but women who do care, or who feel vulnerable, and young girls venturing out on their own should be able to go into the toilet on their own without worrying about a bloke being in there.

EdmundCleverClogs · 26/07/2017 10:56


That as well

Sparklingbrook · 26/07/2017 10:56

I think the thread title is a bit misleading. While true, it wasn't a random man just stood there sounds like it was a Grandfather helping his wife to change a nappy.

hazeyjane · 26/07/2017 10:57

I'm not sure why their anxiety over changing a baby (especially when there are other options) is considered more valid than an 11 year old girls anxiety over a man being in a female toilet.

ItsAHardKn0ckLife · 26/07/2017 10:58

Thanks for the replies so far. It's good to see the perspective of others!

OP posts:
JacquesHammer · 26/07/2017 10:58

old people are so full of sh1t they think they are entitled to do whatever they like

Enough with the casual ageism. It's totally tedious

Sparklingbrook · 26/07/2017 11:00

I agree Jacques totally uncalled for.

Alittlepotofrosie · 26/07/2017 11:01

What did you think he was going to do?

Andrewofgg · 26/07/2017 11:03

When DS was in nappies I have memories of asking a passing woman to see if there was anyone in the baby change and feed area and if so did she mind if I came in to give him a clean nappy and his bottle. The answer was always Nobody in there or Come in of course.

As for this couple: if for good reason she could not manage alone they should have said so. And then OP could be expected to accept his presence.

But nowhere for a man to provide baby care is piss-poor design. One of DS's school friends lost his mother when he was 4 and his brother was born and that father faced endless problems of this sort.

Alittlepotofrosie · 26/07/2017 11:03

@hazeyjane i must have missed where op said she's an 11 year old girl.

scottishdiem · 26/07/2017 11:06

This just goes to show that dedicated baby changing spaces are needed.

Here we have a woman reduced to tears because an old man and his wife were changing a baby in a toilet where everyone else is in cubicles. But, you know, stranger danger and all that.

One of the suggestions is that the older woman should have gone into the gents. The fact that cocks are out at the urinals doesnt matter. The privacy of the cubicle in the womans and the safety zone around that is sacrosanct and stranger danger only occurs in female toilets.

Disabled loos are for the disabled.

Seperate baby spaces needed. One cubicle per parents & baby. Because no doubt those women who prefer privacy to breast feed will be reduced to tears if there were men changing their babies nappies in a communal baby nappy changing space.

Sparklingbrook · 26/07/2017 11:08

It's quite possible that the older lady was also in tears after all that.

hazeyjane · 26/07/2017 11:10

Sorry, I thought, (as often happens on mn) the discussion was moving on to a wider one - as other bits of discussion had arisen, leading on from the op - about unisex toilets, men being in female toilets, having to take older boys into toilets etc. Several people had Saud they wouldn't have an issue, well that's fine...but their not the op. I was just pointing out that in the wider discussion of men being in the women's toilets, lots if people might be fine, but someone like my 11 year old dd would be freaked out.

Could everyone else be told to stick to the point of the original op - and not veer from the exact situation she describes.

I'll get my coat and piss off.

natwebb79 · 26/07/2017 11:11

@Honeydragon they probably opted for the ladies so that the woman didn't have to walk past a row of men peeing openly in urinals. I guess they thought there wouldn't be an issue as ladies all go to the loo behind locked doors.

Lauraagh · 26/07/2017 11:11

You have to think outside the box a bit.
Maybe the woman didn't feel well and wanted her husband to be there just incase.
She or he could suffer from epilepsy and worried incase she had a fit whilst changing the baby.
He or she could suffer from anxiety and not like being alone.

Alittlepotofrosie · 26/07/2017 11:13

Well it was confusing because nobody else mentioned an 11 year old girl and let's face it, it's pretty easy to change any scenario into something else in order to get different responses isn't it? I mean we could say what would happen if the man was in there on his own with the baby. Or in there waiting for his wife without a baby. Or in there on his own without either a wife or a baby. But that doesn't answer the original question does it because that's not scenarios that the op was in.

Ameliablue · 26/07/2017 11:18

I don't frequent men's toilets but I'm led to believe the include urinals so there is more on show than ladies using cubicles. So I would expect an elderly lady to be very uncomfortable going to the men's. The elderly gentleman was probably also uncomfortable but the lady may have checked that the toilets were empty first, so any female coming in after would clearly see the male and could then decide to carry on or wait a couple of minutes for them to finish, just as if there was a male attendant which is a fairly common occurrence.

HoneyDragon · 26/07/2017 11:20

I wouldn't like me it sorry. It's a female space and I think she was wrong to say that the op shouldn't have brought her male two year old child in.

If there wasn't a need to female only spaces than all toilets would be unisex. I just see this as yet another example of male entitlement. He should have offered to leave without BLAMING THE OP FOR FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE. That is what is completely wrong with the scenario the op found herself in imo.

Toadinthehole · 26/07/2017 11:20

Relieved to read the replies here. When by DDs were in nappies, I (their father) would take them into the ladies if that's where the facilities were. When they were out of nappies bit not old enough to use toilets without help I took them into the ladies rather than inflicting the stinky gents on them. No one batted an eyelid here in NZ but I remember my DM saying it wouldn't be tolerated in the UK.


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OnionKnight · 26/07/2017 11:23

I just see this as yet another example of male entitlement. He should have offered to leave without BLAMING THE OP FOR FEELING UNCOMFORTABLE. That is what is completely wrong with the scenario the op found herself in imo.

What if, like others have said, his wife needed help with changing the baby?

lynmilne65 · 26/07/2017 11:24

Caused great hilarity trying to change dgs nappy!!!

Spikeyball · 26/07/2017 11:24

Scottishdiem, communal baby changing is also no good if the child is still in nappies past the age of 3 and requires privacy and a locked door.
We also need proper facilities for older children and adults who need to lie down to be changed. We have changed ds on the floor of the ladies (on the basis that it is cleaner than the mens)when there has been no accessible toilet or it is too small. One of us has to be near the door way to stop anyone coming in.

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