While Target may have pleased transgender persons and their sympathizers, there are throngs of persons who are not pleased with the retailer. After announcing a new bathroom policy which asserts that transgender employees and customers may now use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identities, the masses have reacted quite negatively. According to Forbes on Saturday, the reaction has been extremely negative to Target’s social move.
At last count on Sunday – just four days after being initated – more than 370,000 persons have signed the American Family Association Target Boycott Pledge to stop shopping at Target due to its new washroom policy allowing all persons in any of its washrooms. The petition was initiated by the AFA which takes extreme displeasure with the retailer’s new bathroom policy. According to the American Family Association’s petition, the Target bathroom policy which the retailer made public last Tuesday sends a clear message to its customers, according to Fox. The Association says that it means:
A man can simply say he ‘feels like a woman today’ and enter the women’s restroom… even if young girls or women are already in there.
Target may have thought they were making the right move on the issue after the social media-ignited reaction to bathroom policy issues in the recent past. Target Corporation gave its response to the firestorm that followed North Carolina’s controversial bathroom law. That law requires people to use bathrooms, locker rooms and showers in public facilities that correspond to one’s birth gender as opposed to the gender they feel like at any given moment.
Target’s statement on the bathroom policy issue follows:
Recent debate around proposed laws in several states has reignited a national conversation around inclusivity. So earlier this week, we reiterated with our team members where Target stands and how our beliefs are brought to life in how we serve our guests.
Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.
We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally. Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.
Naturally, while appeasing transgender persons, there are many persons who believe that the policy ignores safety for its customers and employees. Some are concerned with the part of the Target statement that says the policy treats persons equally. The question is whether all are being treated equally when they have to share a public facilities’ washroom with someone of a different physical sexuality. How effective the boycott becomes is yet to be seen.
According to CNN, Target went through challenging times in years past due to credit cards being compromised through the retailer’s stores. That challenge had negative impact on Target’s sales – and now this. After the extreme troubles the store chain has had in the past, it is baffling as to why it has found it necessary to be the first huge retailer to take such a stand on this controversial issue. The petition which boycotts Target is found at the American Family Association Target Boycott page.
On a personal note, on Sunday morning I walked into a Speedway gas station in a suburb of Chicago after filling my gas tank. I headed to the washroom. The door was unlocked and I took a step into the washroom only to find that there was a woman who was ‘busy’ in there. As I softly muttered “transgender” in a questionable tone, I left and waited outside the door. Without any comment or reaction whatsoever, the woman strolled out of the washroom, dressed somewhat uni-sexually in jeans and a t-shirt. Incredibly, during this incident the women’s room was available. It makes one wonder where the bathroom policies are leading. Is one to assume that she felt manly this morning? But then, it is not politically correct for one to question…