'Eeek! There's a dad in the ladies' toilets!'



Is a stay at home dad allowed to take his two and a half year old daughter to the women’s toilet? She is the one doing a wee and she needs my help to successfully complete the process.

Besides the men’s toilets are absolutely disgusting and don’t want her anywhere near anything in that place.

In addition there is a limited amount of cubicles in the men’s as the majority of space is taken up with urinals. The stalls in the men’s toilets are generally only used for crapping in and for some reason a lot of men think that making a huge mess and not cleaning up after themselves is some kind of measure of masculinity.

Most blokes can’t aim straight and some don’t even flush and there is no way that I will let my daughter sit on those grubby things. I won’t even do it so why should she?

So why then, when I take my daughter to the ladies’ toilets do I get such death stares? Surely they can’t expect me to take her to the men’s?

“You can’t be in here.” says one lady.

“Why not?”

“Because it’s the ladies toilet.”

“She is a lady and she is the one who needs to go.” I say, pointing to my little girl.

“Well you still can’t be in here.”

“But who is going to help her? ”

“Go to the parent’s room.”

“There is a line a mile long and she is toilet training. We can’t wait.”

“Well you still can’t be in here.”

“Then what do you suggest I do?”


“I suggest that you leave.”

“We could have been finished by now…”

What is the problem here? I really don’t get it. Surely women would be more sympathetic to a dad toilet training his little girl? Is there something that you guys do in front of the mirror that I am not allowed to know about?

I even try to talk a little louder so everyone can hear that I am with a little girl who is attempting to do a wee and that I am not some pervert trying to look under the cubicle door at their urinating vaginas or excreting poo holes.

I have come across this attitude a couple of times in public however confusingly the few women that I have asked directly have said that they would not mind at all???  I would be interested to hear more thoughts on the subject.

The only factor that I have not considered (until now) is cultural. As Australia is a multicultural society is there a possibility of me seeing an unwrapped Muslim woman in the female toilets? What would happen if that woman’s husband saw me come out of the ladies toilets?

Should I worry about such things?

The other aspect of this whole scenario that really annoys me is that my daughter understands every word of the drama. What is society teaching her about gender?  You can bang on all you want about equality but this is where these kinds of attitudes are formed.

I can’t see any other reason why a dad can’t take his little girl into the ladies toilets when there is no other option. Am I missing something?

James Wilkinson is a stay home dad, the husband of a corporate wife, a writer and a musician. You can find his blog here.

If a father is in public with his young daughter, which toilet is it appropriate for her to use?