• When my 5-year-old son’s spring ballet recital was a month away, I received the instructions from the studio. The rule was that all children had to be accompanied by a “female adult” and that there were no men permitted in the dressing room. My son was the only boy in the recital, so I didn’t expect there to be separate facilities, but I was still somewhat steamed. The dressing room was the staging area for the performers, too, so there was no way to bypass this requirement simply by getting him ready in the car or the men’s room.

    I asked the director about this, and she said it was entirely about liability — that a mother had gotten upset when she saw a man helping his son get his shoes on in the dressing room, and had threatened to sue (she “took it quite a ways”, said the director, suggesting it was not all hot air). As a result they banned men from the dressing rooms, presumably on the theory that a man is less likely to threaten a lawsuit on some kind of discrimination theory. I sympathized with her, since it was clear she was in a no-win situation and was just playing the odds.

  • asg: Don’t you think by outright banning of Men they’ve opened themselves up to a bigger lawsuit? Personally, even though I hate frivolous lawsuits as much as the next guy, the first phone call I’d make after confirming the policy would be to my lawyer!

    People shouldn’t let crazy, paranoid women set policy for their business. And, I think they WOULD need to have separate facilities available. My brother-in-law runs a Dojo in California, and he was required to have separate Men’s and Woman’s bathrooms.

  • I’ve got an idea, asg! You should hire Melissa Huckabee (google her if you don’t remember who she is) to accompany your son in the dressing room. That would be in-line with her policy.