To the Opponents of California's 'Diaper Mandate'

As a state that has been, historically, on the forefront of many a cultural revolution, I say we raise our diaper-clenching fists in solidarity with dads everywhere!
05/05/2014 10:37 am ET Updated Dec 06, 2017

My fellow Californians, a long overdue "change" is making its way to the State Assembly in Sacramento as we speak, and the revolution will NOT be televised!

Senate bills Sb1358 and Sb1350, a.k.a. the Diaper Mandate, have cleared the California State Senate Transportation and Housing Committee in an effort to give us men equal access to baby changing stations in public restrooms. The outdated practice of installing these flip-down tables in women's rooms only is to be tossed out like Huggiesᅡᆴ in a Diaper Genieᅡᆴ!

As a state that has been, historically, on the forefront of many a cultural revolution, I say we raise our diaper-clenching fists in solidarity with dads everywhere!

Would Che Guevara have changed little Aleida's dirty diapers in a muddy field? Perhaps. I'd have to Google that.

Would Mutulu Shakur have unsnapped baby Tupac's onesie on a gas station bathroom's floor to do the deed? Maybe.

But we dads shouldn't HAVE to!

As one of the bill's sponsors, California Senator Ricardo Lara, put it in a statement released to

As the demographics of the modern American family evolve, traditional gender roles with women as the primary caregiver for the children are changing, and men are becoming more and more involved in the care of their young children...There are also a growing number of same-sex households with children. The bill also ensures that public facilities for changing babies' diapers are equally available to both men and women.

Californians, F.D.R told us to, "Remember, remember always, that all of us, and you and I especially, are descended from immigrants and revolutionists!"

Are we so quick to forget the pivotal role our Golden State played in the struggles of the UFW? The Free Speech Movement at U.C. Bezerkely?! The Anti-war protests? The successful campaign to make medical marijuana readily available for sufferers of everything from tuberculosis to a tummy ache?!

None of those incredibly complex and hard-fought battles have anything to do with changing diapers, but they do lend themselves nicely to the OUTRAGED REVOLUTIONIST tone in which I am typing.

To the conservative naysayers that are RIGHT NOW criticizing these bills as just another costly government regulation, are YOU so quick to forget your own "Freedom Isn't Free" hullabaloo?

I say, how much is EQUALITY worth to you?!

I AM THE 99%! (Or at least I am one of the more than 2.5 million fathers in the United States alone who are raising their children full-time, according to the U.S. Census Bureau.)

So Californians, put down your sushi boats and pinot stemware and take a stand! DiaperDad Scotty Schrier (a man whom I'd like to think is at least partially responsible for this REVOLUTION) has a site, Dads Who Change Diapers, where I frequently utilize his ingenious National Mens Room Changing Station Locater. I encourage ALL DADS WITH BLADDERS to take note the next time you free willy to add to Scotty's locator. Overburdened moms could use a break and dads everywhere -- single dads, gay dads, great dads the world over -- will appreciate you for it!

Stay tuned for more BREAKING REPORTS from the frontlines, Californians and non-Californians alike! Write your Congresswomen(men)! Draw up your "PARITY FOR PUBLIC POTTIES" signage! Take it all the way to the White House, if you feel so inclined, because, together, YES. WE. CAN. get off of our cramped and squatting duffs in public restrooms and take baby out of that greasy truck stop sink and do our daddying duties like dignified men! Like men with equal changing station rights.

Restroom regulators... mount up!

Ciao for now,

Dada Mike


An earlier version of this piece appeared on Mike's personal blog, At-Home Dad Matters. You can also find him on Facebook.