Ashton Kutcher: Doing something about sexist public washrooms

In the name of "being the change," Ashton Kutcher starts a Change.org petition to ensure there are change tables in men's washrooms everywhere. And that's just the beginning.

Photo: Ashton Kutcher via Change.org
Photo: Ashton Kutcher via Change.org

Ashton Kutcher, dad to five-month-old Wyatt Isabelle, recently took a stand on behalf of all dads against the absence of change tables in men’s washrooms. He posted a rant about it on Facebook, and it clearly hit home with people: It’s received almost 245K likes!

“There are NEVER diaper changing stations in men’s public restrooms,” he wrote. “The first public men’s room that I go into that has one gets a free shout out on my FB page! ‪#‎BeTheChange‬”

On March 16, Ashton returned to Facebook, noting his rant resonated with his fans and pointing out that “being the change” actually means taking real action, and acknowledging that this is not just about washrooms but “equality.” And he jumped on the popular hashtag encouraging parental equality, #LeanInTogether. (Read more about this hashtag at leanin.org/together and check out our Editor-in-Chief Sasha Emmons’ personal #leanintogether story.)

“It seems this idea of diaper changing stations has struck a chord,” he writes. “It’s a pet peeve of mine when people just complain about shit and don’t do anything to improve their condition. So let’s do something. In for equality? Pass it on—‪#‎LeanInTogether‬.”

So, what did Ashton propose we do? Participate in a Change.org petition asking Target and Costco to start the ball rolling: “As leaders in their industry, they can initiate a company-wide policy to provide universally accessible changing tables in their stores.”

“It’s 2015, families are diverse, and it is an injustice to assume it’s only a woman’s job to handle changing diapers,” he writes in the petition, along with that (yes, adorable) photo above. “This assumption is gender stereotyping and companies should be supporting all parents that shop at their stores equally—no matter their gender.”

“Target and Costco have proven themselves time and time again to be companies that honor diversity, support families, and provide great services to kids of all ages,” he continues. “That is why I am calling on them to be the change.”

Target responded immediately to the call. “For the convenience of all of our guests,” writes Target’s PR rep Molly Snyder in the comments, “we have made changing tables a standard feature in both our men’s and women’s restrooms for more than 25 years. In addition, as we build new stores, we place changing tables in our women’s, men’s and family restrooms.”

“In the event a changing table is unavailable,” she adds, “we encourage our guests to notify a team member and we will be happy to offer an alternative private location to meet their needs.”

Costco, on the other hand, has not responded. But, they do reportedly have change tables in their men’s washrooms.

Photo: Rex Features

Ashton had more to say about this cause in an interview on his website, APlus.com.

“I would like my daughter to experience a world where gender doesn’t dictate one’s responsibility or limit one’s opportunity,” he says, “Having changing tables in men’s rooms is just a tiny step in the process of rectifying legacy gender discrimination. Men who are aware of this bias want to participate equally in the child care process and our society should support that. It’s time to get our hands dirty.”

Truth! (And where did this eloquent, sage Ashton Kutcher come from?! I mean, love!) In the meantime, more than 87,000 people have already signed the petition.

Love!
xo Haley-O
Celebrity Candy: Follow along as Haley Overland delivers the latest scoop on celebrity families—plus sweet celeb interviews! You can’t have too much of this candy, so check back often.

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