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Donte Palmer, a 31-year-old teacher and father of three boys, went viral with an Instagram post showing his struggle to change his son’s diaper in a public restroom.
The post served as a strong visual reminder that changing tables are not a staple of men’s bathrooms—and it’s prompting people on social media to demand that be fixed.
Wait wait wait there's not changing tables in men's bathrooms?! Lmao so they rly just assumed only women carry kids around?! Humans are such a bad idea omg when is our upgrade https://t.co/EHalcS1wnO
— Tracee Ellis Sauce (@holadamilola) September 27, 2018
This Dad is what being a Dad is about. He's balancing himself while caring for what is most precious. I'm with Donte Palmer too. Changing tables in men's restrooms, no one should have to try to care for their child and balance against a wall. https://t.co/Hie7sPhq07
— JB (@Snucka242) September 26, 2018
A Jacksonville dad Donte Palmer says he's tired of having no where to change his son's diaper:
"Clearly, we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!!!! Let’s fix this problem!"
This Dad is what being a Dad is about! pic.twitter.com/DcJC3mRJUB
— Jess Mia (@JessForevrYoung) September 26, 2018
“My wife and I, we share everything equally,” Palmer told BuzzFeed News. “We cook and clean. We work hard—equally. Why do we share equal responsibility but society views us differently?”
Palmer said he often needs help from his 7-year-old son, Isaiah, when he’s changing Liam’s diapers because men’s bathrooms often aren’t equipped with a good surface for the routine task. Some restaurants have family bathrooms, but as Palmer points out, “they’re not everywhere.”
Palmer said that after one diaper change that became a balancing act, he knew to post photos on his Instagram to point out the unfairness.
“What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!!” Palmer wrote in the photo’s caption. “Clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!!!! Let’s fix this problem!
View this post on Instagram
This is a serious post!!! What’s the deal with not having changing tables in men’s bathroom as if we don’t exist!! #FLM #fatherslivesmatter clearly we do this often because look how comfortable my son is. It’s routine to him!!!! Let’s fix this problem! I Kaepernick drop a knee to this issue! @theshaderoom let’s show the innovation of fathers! #squatforchange
A post shared by Donte Palmer (@3boys_1goal) on
After entertainment media company @theshaderoom shared it, the post went viral.
A lot of commenters said they’ve faced similar struggles. Others said they were unaware of this issue until now. Palmer told BuzzFeed that he also started to receive messages from other dads about this issue.
“As a father, we need to be seen as an equal,” he told BuzzFeed. “We’re the stroller pushers [who] get up at 4am to warm the bottles.”
Palmer said he is asking fathers to raise awareness by sharing their own photos of diaper changes with #SquatForChange.
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H/T BuzzFeed News
Sunny Kim studies journalism at the University of Texas at Austin. She's an editorial intern with the Daily Dot. Her work has appeared in the Daily Texan and Popular Mechanics.