The Restroom Privacy Controversy

restroom pic

By: Marianne Reid Anderson

I honestly never thought about privacy regarding a public restroom before the recent controversy. Usually, I’m just relieved one is available when I require it. But a few years ago, before there was any controversy, a young Dad that I know mentioned to me, “The best thing ever invented was the ‘family restroom.’ Being a Dad with two young daughters, it makes my life so much easier. Before the family restroom or when I go to places without a family restroom, I have to seek out a trustworthy-looking woman to ask to take my daughters to the restroom. Even when they were babies, it was tough because very few men’s rooms have diaper changing stations.”

Likewise, a woman I know with “betweener” aged sons agreed. She said, “They are too old to go into the ladies room with me but not old enough to leave alone unsupervised. Then, I also worry about them going into the men’s room alone. The family restroom solves all issues.”

It seems to me that their views and particularly the last sentence is profound: “The family restroom solves all issues.” Perhaps since there are more parents needing the convenience of family bathrooms, buildings and businesses should address providing this kind of private restroom for those who need it or prefer it. Personally, more family restrooms seems infinitely more pragmatic to society as a whole rather than trying to create and enforce policies and labels on who can use which restroom.

Perhaps that’s just my opinion. Of course, I’m still shocked that not all men’s rooms have diaper changing stations.

But as always, I am interested in what you think. Let’s continue the conversation on my blog at, email me at or send me a “Letter to the Editor” at P.O Box 722 Wexford, PA 15090-0722 attn: Marianne Reid Anderson.