What Are You Thinking, Target?

Inclusion of a few or exclusion of many?

In an effort to provide inclusion to all members of the human race, the mega retailer Target has decided to make all bathrooms available for use for anyone who feels like using either one. In theory, if a man feels like he is a woman that day, he should saunter on in to the ladies’ restroom.

And on the flip side of the coin, women who feel masculine are free to use the men’s room. I suppose they’ll use female urination devices (look it up) to pee in the urinals. We can only imagine how men will feel about peeing in front of a woman.

“We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” the retailer said in a statement. “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”

A world in which everyone belongs is great. We should all love each other indeed, and of course should never hurt anyone’s feelings.

I am very sad for anyone who is so confused about their sexuality that they don’t know if they are supposed to be a man or woman. That must be a very difficult cross to bear, and I’m sure that life for them is full of angst and confusion.

However, Target, in an attempt to satisfy the .3% of humans who identify as transgender are not taking into consideration many of the 97.7% of us who realize that we are the sex that we happened to be born.

Here’s something our daughter Naomi found posted on Facebook the other day:

Bye bye, Target

When  Naomi posted this, here’s a reply from a male:

I see no problem with a policy that promotes tolerance and acceptance with no increase in risk of harm to the public. It always has been and always will be illegal to harass, take pictures, etc. of anyone in a restroom – the policy allows for restroom use not abuse. And from a practical point nothing changes. When was the last time you saw a Gender Verification Officer in a public restroom? No one is there to enforce any of this – policy or no policy. So if you are worried about being attacked in a restroom than you should have always been worried about it.

The problem with this logic is that while before this change in Target’s (and other company’s) policies is that before, it would have been quite risky for a man to walk into the ladies’ room to try something nebulous / illegal / immoral. Now, anyone can feel free to use either restroom.

Some restaurants have bathroom stalls that go to the floor with locking doors. Target, however, is not a retailer who uses such architecture. Their bathrooms have stalls whose doors rest about 24″ off the floor, and there’s a gap of about 1/2″in between the wall and the door.

This means that it’s quite easy to look in between the door and the divider to see what’s going on inside the toilet area.

Normally, we women keep our eyes averted to avoid intrusion–we look only to make sure there’s no one in the stall, as sometimes the doors swing shut.

I don’t want men in the women’s restroom–that’s just creepy, and I’m talking about my own level of comfort. You can be doggone sure that I would never let my daughters go into a bathroom by themselves with this policy enacted.Use whatever restroom you damn well please

On the flip side of the coin again, our boys wouldn’t be comfortable using urinals if women/girls came into the bathroom.

Although I believe that people should use the bathroom facility that is accordance with a person’s biological gender, it would have been far less messy, figuratively speaking, for Target to simply make a unisex bathroom (like the “family” single bathrooms with locking doors and changing stations) rather than to make many Americans uncomfortable.

In fact, I contemplated going into the men’s room today when I took these photos to see what they thought about it but just couldn’t.

Here’s the kicker, Target spokesperson Molly Snyder commented that hundreds of Target stores “have single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option.”

From a business standpoint, it doesn’t even make sense. I’m pretty sure that families who don’t agree with their new policy will not shop there anymore. We have 9 people here at home who won’t shop there any more.

A petition started by the American Family Association (AFA) on Wednesday of last week raises concerns that Target’s stance on transgender rights encourages sexual predators and puts women and young girls in danger, because “a man can simply say he ‘feels like a woman today’ and enter the women’s restroom.”

The boycott has more than 650,000 signatures as of Tuesday morning, marking it as one of AFA’s most popular campaigns.

Target, we’re sad. We loved you. The girls have gift cards from Christmas still, and they’re not going to use them now. Our local Target is just a couple of miles down the road, and we used to love to head on over to poke around in the dollar bins (which happen to be by the bathrooms) and see what was on sale.

You’ve got fun clothes, Legos, and lots of stuff we love. And that’s stuff we’ll no longer buy, because we have to stand up for what we believe in.

Please note: I reserve the right to delete comments that are offensive or off-topic.

4 thoughts on “What Are You Thinking, Target?

  1. Exactly! It’s not about the transgender people it’s the fact that no one will batt an eye at a man waltzing into the women’s bathroom or dressing room who is doing so for bad reasons. Before employees could refuse entry into the dressing rooms if you were the opposite gender. Now they’ll probably be sued if they say anything at all so fear of that will allow shady people to get away with more. Disgusting. Transgendered people already used which one they felt related to them and no one notices… this is a mess.

    • A mess, indeed. When I went into the bathroom at Target to take photos, I could clearly see a woman in a yellow outfit using the toilet. Apparently, Target seems to feel as if that’s not a problem, or perhaps they are so concerned with inclusivity that they haven’t given a thought to safety.

  2. My husband and I were just having this same conversation, and I was saying that I would truly miss going to Target….but I cannot allow myself to stand behind a company that will put the comfort of a few before the safety of so many. Had they limited the free use to a third bathroom option, as you mentioned (like the family bathroom,) perhaps we would still consider shopping there. I don’t want anyone feeling excluded, but I do want to live in a world where the safety of my family and myself is a priority to the businesses we support. It’s scary enough out there, and this misstep on Target’s part is just one more step in the wrong direction.

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