My feed

to access all these features


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:
User843022 · 26/07/2017 11:56

Yes we can all see how it should have gone.
I imagine the ops attitude was just as confrontational as the gps. People all seem so keen to have a scrap sometimes.
Sounds like they were all as bad as such other .
I can't get in a sweat over grandparents changing a nappy together in the ladies.

TheMythOfFingerprints · 26/07/2017 11:56

toad are you a male?

If you are then you take your daughters in to the men's toilets if they are young enough to need supervision or help, and if they're not, they go into the female toilets alone.

User843022 · 26/07/2017 11:58

'The crying and the staff getting you a cup of tea makes you sound like a complete drama queen.'

Yes. sleep deprived or not.

sweetbitter · 26/07/2017 11:58

It sounds like they were a bit rude, but I honestly don't understand why you made such a big thing of it. What harm was he actually doing you by being in there helping his wife change a nappy? I'd have just gone about my business and let them get on with it.

ZoyaTheDestroyer · 26/07/2017 12:00

I went to inform a member of staff.

Finding a member of staff to ask why there are not adequate unisex changing facilities = reasonable.

Grassing up a pair of grandparents who were trying to change a nappy = unreasonable.

TheMythOfFingerprints · 26/07/2017 12:00

And it's not banging on about female spaces it's the law Hmm

childmaintenanceserviceinquiry · 26/07/2017 12:01

Sorry I think you were rude and being a drama llama. Clearly the couple were changing a.babys nappy in a suitable place. They would have been in and out in a few mins. For everyone saying grandma or the lady should have been able to do it on their own, how judgemental. My ex in laws were older grandparents, loved looking after dc but found it a struggle when they were babies. So would deal with dc as a couple.

Jojoanna · 26/07/2017 12:03

Our m&s has a seperate baby changing room which is unisex . I personally hate the thought of men in the ladies loo or unisex changing rooms. However sounds like a storm in a teacup in this case.

hazeyjane · 26/07/2017 12:04

If sometime had started banging on at me about "female only spaces" while I was there with my girls, I'd have probably told them to deal with it would you say that to my hypothetical 11 year old, toad? (who would give you a big old eye roll for mentioning New Look, thanks very much Honey!!)

And sticking to the op....
Random - there were baby change facilities in the male toilets.....and moving back into hypothetical land again.....however, one or other of the couple in the toilets may have had epilepsy, mobility problems, anxiety, no previous knowledge of modern nappy changing techniques, a horse* - delete as applicable.

  • I thought I'd introduce the horse, called Peter, for another angle.
Arealhumanbeing · 26/07/2017 12:07

So the usual moronic, gaslighting whataboutism.

Men aren't supposed to be in women's toilets. Regardless of the circumstances. Unless they are there to clean and replenish supplies. But another thread this week taught us that some can't even do that respectfully.

@Morphene She didn't see someone changing a baby as a threat. Try harder.

busyboysmum · 26/07/2017 12:08

Just you wait until this new Gender Recognition Bill gets through. Then any man whether or not he has had hormones, has a penis or not, has a beard, wears dress or not, can just come to a Commissioner for Oaths (I am one - we charge £5 for a Stat Dec) sign a form saying he feels like a woman and legally enter the ladies toilets, changing rooms at gyms and in shops, it's already happened in America.

If you don't like it guess what - you would be in the wrong.

EmpressOfTheSpartacusOceans · 26/07/2017 12:09

It's all academic now anyway. You can't object to men in women's toilets because if transgender they have (or will soon have) a legal right to be there. Whatever they look like.

JacquesHammer · 26/07/2017 12:11

hypothetical 11 year old

I have an actual almost 11 year. She might have said "why is there a man in the ladies mummy". I would have explained as per scenario in OP: she would have said "ok". It's only a big deal if you allow it to be

Toadinthehole · 26/07/2017 12:12


Yes, that's what I did. They're old enough not to need my help now, so I don't enter the women's toilets. Nb, I don't know what UK law is, but if it's as you say I presume it would be equally illegal for me to hang taken by DDs into the men's. Actually I suspect the property owner is the one who has the right to say who can go where.

glenthebattleostrich · 26/07/2017 12:12

Toad, you are showing typical male entitlement. Do you really want to be sending your daughter the message 'woman shut up and do as man tell you'll because that is basically what you are saying. She is learning from you that her perfectly acceptable discomfort at men in women's spaces is something that can be undermined by a man.

OP, you are not even slightly unreasonable. The women's toilets are women's spaces. If they struggle to change the nappy themselves then they should have found an alternative not expected the OP to put up and shut up.

Lauraagh · 26/07/2017 12:15

Why should they have found an alternative?
What kind of alternative? Made the baby wait?
Not have the child at all?
I'm sure they wouldn't of assumed someone would take a hissy fit over a nothing situation.

TieGrr · 26/07/2017 12:15

What did you expect to happen by confronting them about being aware it was the ladies?

Best case scenario - they hadn't realised it was the ladies, the woman is perfectly capable of changing the baby on her own and the man leaves immediately, apologising.

More likely scenario - the woman's not capable of changing the baby alone, so either the man leaves the ladies and she has to struggle to finish or else - what seems to have happened - they finish changing the nappy together while you stand there waiting for him to leave, making everyone uncomfortable in the process.

Other options? I guess you recognise they won't be long and you wait outside the bathroom until they finish or you carry on and use the toilet anyway.

Nellysmagichat · 26/07/2017 12:15

Or were you worried he'd look over at you sitting on the crapper?

It's a valid worry, it it has happened to me in the past. Our local theatre has an ongoing problem with a man who goes into the ladies' toilets and watches women over the top of the cubicle. When confronted he legs it. The theatre staff know who he is and try to stop him if they see him going in, but theatres are crowded pre/after performances so it's not easy.

However, soon he'll be able to pop into the ladies' toilets as and when he fancies it, as long as he self-identifies as a woman. Hmm

Morphene · 26/07/2017 12:15

cardi but we use our judgement all the time to decide if something is appropriate. Context is important.

An exception to the 'women only' rule was being made by the op too.

We collectively decide women only spaces can be accessed by all sorts of penis owning people, including the young, the disabled, carers, etc.

We also use collective judgement on what is 'threatening' behaviour. Most people would report a lone male hanging around in the women's toilets, not using the facilities, most people would find that threatening behaviour.

I don't think most people would find a man helping a woman change a baby threatening.

MsHopey · 26/07/2017 12:16

People are saying the couple should have went into the men's toilets if they really needed to change the nappy together. And others are saying the old lady would therefore have chosen to put herself in the company of men, and therefore it's different to the situation the older man put the OP in.
But how do we know that some men would be just as uncomfortable getting their genitals out with a lady standing 3 foot away changing a nappy. If it's unfair to put the OP in that situation, it's unfair to put men in that situation, surely? At least women's toilets have the doors, these poor blokes have urinals, I'm not worried about offended an old lady, it's more they why is it bad to make women feel uncomfortable, but no one seems bothered about the men feeling uncomfortable in their "safe" space.
This is why most places need separate changing rooms for babies. And the OP did confront the couple first, and if she was that upset and stressed she'd worked herself into tears, I can't believe what she said was very polite or nice, which is why they might have reacted angrily.

EdmundCleverClogs · 26/07/2017 12:17

Love how this has been irrelevantly boiled down to transgenderism. Even if the proposed law was in place, what does it have to do with this situation? He presumably isn't transgender. Amazing how posters can shoehorn their own agenda into any situation that suits them instead of looking at the actual given information.

OP, I assume you will be contacting M and S about placing a unisex changing room, to avoid another upsetting situation.


Don’t want to miss threads like this?


Sign up to our weekly round up and get all the best threads sent straight to your inbox!

Log in to update your newsletter preferences.

You've subscribed!

Toadinthehole · 26/07/2017 12:17

I think the message I gave my DDs was that they were entitled to use the ladies.

But it's irrelevant anyway, as I never experienced anyone minding me being there, as I had an obvious reason to be the. Clearly the average person has some common sense.

GahBuggerit · 26/07/2017 12:20

YANBU but sadly this shite is going to happen more often if certain arseholes get their way so us women will just have to get used to it I guess.

hazeyjane · 26/07/2017 12:20

And as I said earlier (at the very beginning of the thread when it didn't seem to stand out as an odd thing to say).....Jacques, my 10 year old dd would not be fazed and would just crack on, my (very real) 11 year old, however, would feel uncomfortable and that is because not all people are the same. I don't see why women and girls are being told to suck it up buttercup, when it is a WOMEN'S toilet!

Please create an account

To comment on this thread you need to create a Mumsnet account.