Last week, Target announced a policy of letting trans employees and customers use the bathroom that corresponds with their gender identity. Cue the freakout!
As Snopes reports, your great aunt’s inbox is flooded with erroneous chain emails claiming the Obama administration is directly behind the new Target bathroom policy. And now the anti-gay American Family Association, along with their ladies’ auxliary One Million Moms, is calling for a Target boycott. They argue allowing trans people to pick the bathroom they’re comfortable with is the same as hanging up a “Child Molesters Welcome” sign. From their outraged petition:
This 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’s policy is exactly how sexual predators get access to their victims. And with Target publicly boasting that men can enter women’s bathrooms, where do you think predators are going to go?
Clearly, Target’s dangerous new policy poses a danger to wives and daughters. We think many customers will agree. And we think the average Target customer is willing to pledge to boycott Target stores until it makes protecting women and children a priority.
As always, there’s no acknowledgement that trans men in addition to trans women also exist and use bathrooms, and no evidence provided for this supposed looming trans toilet crime wave. But there is the AFA’s curious “solution,” namely a special toilet for all trans people, or, as they put it, “a single occupancy unisex option” for “the trans community” and “for those who simply like using the bathroom alone.” Because presumably predators can’t lie in wait in there?
The AFA says more than 500,000 people have already signed their petition. A Facebook post by an outraged conservative Target shopper named Maggie Ann is also going lightly viral. It demonstrates the sort of curious logic at work here: a sudden insistence that nobody hates trans people, no sir, they only hate men “waltzing” into the ladies room unimpeded:
Target claims to want everyone who walks in their store to feel like they belong, which is the reasoning behind this sudden change in restroom etiquette. Ladies and gentlemen, I’m not worried about sharing a bathroom with someone that’s transgender, lesbian, bisexual, etc. I’m worried about going into a bathroom with my beautiful blonde haired niece, and a man LEGALLY being able to waltz in right behind us with no one stopping him. We need to wake up to what’s happening around us and stand up for what we believe in. Someone said to me recently that conservatives aren’t radical enough to stand up to this chaos and fight it. Well, I beg to differ.#byetarget
(Maggie’s conflation of transgender and “lesbian, bisexual, etc.” probably demonstrates a need for a brush-up on Gender Identity Vs. Sexual Orientation 101, but that can wait, I guess.)
Whether’s it’s private citizen Maggie or Ted Cruz announcing their support for discriminatory bathroom laws, it never takes long for someone to announce that they think violence against trans people might be called for:
Among the people threatening to boycott Target are Texas’ Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick, who announced on Facebook that he, too, favors keeping “men out of the ladies’ room:”
As I said in my TV ads I don’t want a man going into a bathroom or locker room with my mom, my wife, my daughter, or my grand daughter and I don’t know anyone who does. It’s a matter of common sense, common decency and safety.
I will not spend a single dollar with any business that says a man can enter a bathroom with the women in my family or your family.
It’s a shame, really, given that there’s still plenty for conservatives to love about Target: after all, the company reportedly pays poorly and definitely hates unions. But clearly they’re not quite hateful enough for the AFA’s satisfaction. Perhaps no one truly is?
A Target in Miami. Photo via AP