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AIBU?

Men in women’s spaces

860 replies

BrightSaturn · 30/12/2022 02:22

Just using this to rant really…

2 times in the past month I have encountered men in women only spaces.

  1. I went to a feeding room to breastfeed my daughter in a shopping centre. I walked in and there were two young women in there changing their babies and one of their boyfriends just taking up one of the only chairs just sitting there, sitting using his phone. It’s a small room with 3 chairs in. I didn’t know what to do so I thought I’ll just sit down and get ready slowly and hopefully they’ll leave. I have fed in public but this was a small room so I felt vulnerable and like he shouldn’t be there and I didn’t want to lift my top up whilst he was sitting basically opposite me so I eventually asked if he could leave the room, they looked annoyed but thankfully he did go, after she looked at him and said “it’s up to you”…
  2. I went into a changing room in a shop the other day with my mum, imagine a big room with seats in the middle and curtained dividers all round the outside. My mum was only trying on cardigans so really she just needed a mirror but in the middle on a seat was a boy about 17/18 years old. His girlfriend was trying on clothes. I couldn’t believe it! It wasn’t even doors on the changing rooms, just curtains. Why he thought this was acceptable I have no idea. Again I felt vulnerable and this time I didn’t have the confidence to ask him to leave. If my mum had been actually changing I would have probably found a shop assistant but still it’s not fair that we have to ask them to leave, he should not have been there in the first place!


aibu to think women’s spaces are being invaded more and more? How can we stop this from happening?
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Am I being unreasonable?

AIBU

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Sillysausage2 · 30/12/2022 02:42

My husband would accompany me to feeding spaces when my littlest was small. I would feed and then he would change him, I was a bit uncomfortable feeding in public to start so he was my bit of supper. He was very supportive of all women feeding so I’d hate to think of some one feeling uncomfortable

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BrightSaturn · 30/12/2022 02:47

Sillysausage2 · 30/12/2022 02:42

My husband would accompany me to feeding spaces when my littlest was small. I would feed and then he would change him, I was a bit uncomfortable feeding in public to start so he was my bit of supper. He was very supportive of all women feeding so I’d hate to think of some one feeling uncomfortable

I think the fact that neither of the women were breastfeeding made it feel very unnecessary. They changed their babies (there was a baby changing room next door) and then bottle fed them so in my opinion no need at all for him to be there, he wasn’t any sort of support, he was just on his phone. Not like he was sorting the bottle or doing the nappy.

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Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 02:49

Were either of these spaces marked 'women only'?

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Pinkbonbon · 30/12/2022 02:51

The first one would gave name me uncomfortable. The second one is pretty normal tbh. I don't think some young lad out on the seats would bother me...but tbf I hate changing in mixed sex changing rooms where its curtains, so I do understand the discomfort.

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Pinkbonbon · 30/12/2022 02:51

Fs *would have made me

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BrightSaturn · 30/12/2022 02:57

Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 02:49

Were either of these spaces marked 'women only'?

Yes, a women’s changing room is women only.

a room where women who don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public go to feed their child, I don’t think that needs a sign really, when would a man need to be there? If nothing else men shouldn’t be taking up the seats.

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LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 02:57

YANBU, i feel like the more women stick up for ourselves the more men wield the only power they have to take the piss and encroach on our spaces.

It doesn’t help that some women cannot bear to be 2 metres apart from Nigel when they have a baby. What does a man need to be in a feeding room for or sat down next to you as you change a nappy? I think I’d have a panic attack if my space was always occupied by my OH every second of the day!

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LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 02:57

Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 02:49

Were either of these spaces marked 'women only'?

Last I checked men don’t lactate so surely it doesn’t need spelling out?

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Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 02:59

LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 02:57

Last I checked men don’t lactate so surely it doesn’t need spelling out?

If it's a feeding room, surely that is not restricted to lactating.

Surely that doesn't need to be spelled out?

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LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 03:01

Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 02:59

If it's a feeding room, surely that is not restricted to lactating.

Surely that doesn't need to be spelled out?

Those rooms are for (mostly) women who don’t feel confident in breastfeeding elsewhere. A man on his phone should not be in one.

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Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 03:02

BrightSaturn · 30/12/2022 02:57

Yes, a women’s changing room is women only.

a room where women who don’t feel comfortable breastfeeding in public go to feed their child, I don’t think that needs a sign really, when would a man need to be there? If nothing else men shouldn’t be taking up the seats.

Mixed changing rooms are becoming more the norm now, I was wondering if you assumed (perhaps conveniently) for the purposes of this thread it was a women only space rather than unisex.

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Blackandwhites · 30/12/2022 03:02

Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 02:59

If it's a feeding room, surely that is not restricted to lactating.

Surely that doesn't need to be spelled out?

Agreed. What if the man had taken a baby out to the shops, the baby needed fed, and he had formula to do so. He ought to be allowed in the baby feeding area, no?

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BrightSaturn · 30/12/2022 03:03

Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 02:59

If it's a feeding room, surely that is not restricted to lactating.

Surely that doesn't need to be spelled out?

Regardless, he wasn’t feeding a child…

imo you can bottle feed anywhere so why go all the way to a feeding room anyway? It’s not even like it was nice. It was a grim little room next to the toilets.

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BrightSaturn · 30/12/2022 03:04

Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 03:02

Mixed changing rooms are becoming more the norm now, I was wondering if you assumed (perhaps conveniently) for the purposes of this thread it was a women only space rather than unisex.

Ok then…

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LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 03:05

Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 03:02

Mixed changing rooms are becoming more the norm now, I was wondering if you assumed (perhaps conveniently) for the purposes of this thread it was a women only space rather than unisex.

Why don’t you believe the OP when she says she can read signs?

Mixed sex changing rooms are thankfully not the norm I’ve only ever seen them in Primark

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Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 03:05

LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 03:01

Those rooms are for (mostly) women who don’t feel confident in breastfeeding elsewhere. A man on his phone should not be in one.

The OP appeared to have been making the case, and backed up by you, that fathers should not be in feeding/changing rooms.

That would be discriminatory in my opinion.

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BrightSaturn · 30/12/2022 03:05

I don’t know why some people think a man’s right to be in a feeding room needs defending more than a woman’s right to feel safe and comfortable when breastfeeding to be honest.

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LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 03:06

Blackandwhites · 30/12/2022 03:02

Agreed. What if the man had taken a baby out to the shops, the baby needed fed, and he had formula to do so. He ought to be allowed in the baby feeding area, no?

Personally if a man needs to bottle feed his baby I don’t think he should be going to a room where women may be alone and breastfeeding when he can go to a cafe instead. I’ll probably get flamed for that but TBH I don’t see how hard it would be for men to have basic respect for women for once

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LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 03:07

BrightSaturn · 30/12/2022 03:05

I don’t know why some people think a man’s right to be in a feeding room needs defending more than a woman’s right to feel safe and comfortable when breastfeeding to be honest.

It terrifies me how women are just clamouring to sell the comfort and rights of other women down the river to make sure that the odd menz aren’t slightly inconvenienced

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Trez1510 · 30/12/2022 03:10

This reply has been deleted

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

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LydiaBennetsUglyBonnet · 30/12/2022 03:13

Yea breastfeeding can be done anywhere but for many reasons maninly to do with the patriarchy, many women fairly feel uncomfortable doing it in front of creepy men strangers.

Anyway well done OP you’ve had your first flinch from someone triggered by women not being totally cool and subservient towards the Better Sex 😂

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slothslippers · 30/12/2022 03:14

Having had people had a go about me bf in public I think there ought to be female only bf rooms available in larger public areas. Sorry you had this OP. I don't know anyone who went out of their way to use a feeding room for a formula fed baby. I think the main purpose of them is for bf but obviously in case anyone might be offended a different label is usually applied.

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Somanysocks · 30/12/2022 03:15

Transphobes? what has trans got to do with this situation?

Weird

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Whatsnewpussyhat · 30/12/2022 03:16

Mixed changing rooms are becoming more the norm now

Female changing rooms are being made mixed sex to accommodate male feelings. The comfort, safety, privacy and dignity of females apparently no longer matters.

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Lilyhop · 30/12/2022 03:16

YANBU

but… I hope one day you feel comfortable feeding in public. You can legally feed anywhere and it should be normalised. I totally understand though, as I was once uncomfortable with it, and only really felt ok about it when I had my second child.

I agree though that neither of those spaces should have had men in it- in the situations you have described.
My DH wouldn’t think it’s ok either.

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