So I’m 34m and my daughter is 5f. Wife is 31f. We were on a long road trip (driving to another state) and my daughter announced she had to pee really bad. So I drove until I found a Walmart, and my wife asked me to take her to the restroom since she wasn’t feeling well.
I’d like to start off the rest of this by saying we as a family do not usually use public restrooms (my wife’s a bit of a germaphobe so she tells me to avoid them) but we still had a long way to go and our daughter tends to get super upset and angry when she’s uncomfortable. So we figured this could be an exception for the sake of everyone’s sanity.
I take my daughter up to the restroom entrances and then realize I’m not entirely comfortable taking her into the men’s restroom. They’re usually pretty gross and for other reasons I’m sure I don’t have to explain.
So I take her into the women’s and at first it was completely empty, but then an older lady and 2 college age girls walk in while I’m waiting outside the stall. The 2 girls kinda give me the side eye but don’t say anything. The older lady on the other hand asks me what I’m doing here and that she was gonna get police.
I quickly explained that I’m just waiting for my daughter to get done using the bathroom, and then I’d be out as quickly as possible. She kept saying I had no business in here and I could’ve just taken her to the men’s restroom since I was a man
I didn’t want a scene to erupt/ nor did I want to keep explaining myself so I just apologized and went quiet. At that point my daughter was done.
We left, and I told my wife what happened and she got a bit annoyed with me, said I probably made all of those women uncomfortable, and it was silly to be uncomfortable taking her into the men’s bathroom since as her father Id be right there with her.
I even told her that men’s restrooms tend to be dirty and she said that all bathrooms are dirty so it doesn’t matter. She also brought up the fact that there could’ve been a woman fixing her hijab so it was a bad move on my part.
The argument has since sizzled out but I can’t help but think I was justified in taking her to the women’s regardless of how the other women felt. AITA?
Questions, answers and judgements:
I would be uncomfortable. Would you have been ok with it when your daughter is a teenager and there is a man in the bathroom at the same time as her? That man could've been with his little girl like you, but not everyone are good like you.
throwawaydad02726 OP replied:
If he’s there for the good reasons (such as having a young daughter) I wouldn’t particularly mind, but I can understand how that makes women uncomfortable. Any other situation I don’t see why a man would be in a women’s restroom unless he either works there and is cleaning or is helping someone disabled perhaps..
Ah. You wouldn't mind, so therefore women shouldn't mind. Spoken like someone who hasn't faced an exciting canvas of sexual harassment since puberty.
throwawaydad02726 OP responded:
That is not what I said at all though? I understand why women are nervous by a man’s presence in a restroom.
You're wife's not wrong. Neither are you.
With that said, taking your daughter to the men's bathroom after checking that it was safe for her would have been the better option. (I have 2 daughters and if we had a situation like this, I would have asked my husband to do the same thing.)
The lady who threatened to call the police though, she needs help. NAH.
Gentle YTA, you’re a man, so if you’re entering a bathroom, it should be a men’s bathroom. I’m a dad who went on many urban adventures with my young daughter, and took her to many men’s bathrooms in many places/cities. she survived the experience and no one has ever been made uncomfortable. from what my wife tells me, women’s bathrooms can be just as gross.
This is why family/gender-neutral single rooms are the way to go.
And most Walmarts have them although they're usually in the back.
YTA. The child goes into the restroom of the adult chaperone.
I’ve seen men take their daughters into women’s bathrooms. I quite frankly I didn’t give a f**k. The needs of the child are the most important thing here.