Mother’s tale shows times have changed
heated debate recently when she posted her experience of being barred by a female doorkeeper from taking her 3-year-old son into the women’s changing room in a public swimming pool in Beijing. Gmw.cn comments:
The woman felt she has been treated unfairly, and she posted what had happened on social media expecting sympathy. Instead, she was heavily criticized.
The woman was probably brought up in a traditional cultural environment in which preschool children are largely deemed to be “gender neutral”.
When most people used public baths, it was not unusual for mothers — at that time, as now, usually the carers of young children — to bring their young sons into the women’s areas of public baths.
Although some women might have felt uncomfortable, they were probably less outspoken, if not more tolerant of the loss of privacy.
That said, it is noteworthy that it has always been extremely rare for a father to bring his young daughter into the men’s areas of public baths.
Children are aware of gender at a very young age, probably earlier than the young mother assumes. The doorkeeper’s refusing to allow the mother to bring her son into the women’s changing room protects the privacy of the women in the room, and the innocence of the young boy.
More and more public venues offer a unisex restrooms for parents and kids or the disabled. It is suggested that the public swimming pools should also open unisex changing rooms for the convenience of parents and their children.