Life

Group Denies ‘Testing’ the Target Bathroom Policy

A family group concerned about the Target bathroom policy denies it has tested the ‘barriers’ of the retailer’s policy by sending men in ladies’ rooms.

What do you do when you’re shocked and outraged at the thought a man setting foot inside a ladies’ room because it could put women and little girls at risk?

Apparently, you handle this by sending men in there yourself.

The most ridiculous turn of the Target bathroom policy controversy came on Monday, when, according to The Huffington Post, a spokesperson for a family group that is organizing a boycott of Target acknowledged said group has sent men in.

“We’ve already had people testing this, going into Targets and men trying to go into bathrooms,” she said. “There is absolutely no barrier.”

On Tuesday, however, the group issued a statement saying it was not sending men into the ladies’ rooms itself; by “we,” the spokesperson apparently meant the public in general, not the organization.

I’ll get back to that in a moment.

The controversy began when Target announced its official bathroom policy on a company blog post on April 19:

Most relevant for the conversations currently underway, we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.

This immediately raised a red flag for protesters who immediately began claiming this would mean men could just waltz into the ladies’ room to molest women and young girls.

Apparently no one believes a woman would even consider setting foot into a men’s room for nefarious purposes.

Apparently no one realizes that such an instance would obviously be a crime in and of itself, no matter what a store’s policy indicates about which restroom you feel you belong in.

I’m not sure why a group’s spokesperson would say “we’ve already had people testing this” and be able to say “there were no barriers” if the group didn’t test it for themselves to see firsthand whether there are or are not barriers. Otherwise, they’re just speculating based on no direct information but rather hearsay.

But if any group has or is considering starting up some sort of test, that would immediately call to mind this question: if the paranoia about a man walking into a ladies’ restroom is about the women — not creeping them out, not making them feel like they’re being watched, not frightening a young girl by having her come face to face with a man in “her” bathroom — then why would they send men in there at all?

If seeing a man in there at all would be so traumatizing, why would any group risk that trauma?

Even if they have someone of the “correct” gender go in first to make sure no one was in, so that someone of the “incorrect” gender could then walk in, they would have no way to ensure that a young child might see that guy walking out of the room as she is headed that way. The “trauma” of seeing a man walking out of the ladies’ room could still make her not want to go in there. If that were to happen, they would have accomplished themselves exactly what they claim the policy would surely accomplish.

If any group that might contemplate attacks is truly that interested in protecting women, why wouldn’t they just station people outside the restroom to observe who goes in? After all, if a man walks into a ladies’ restroom and a store employee doesn’t stop them, they would already have their answer about whether there are any barriers to such a scenario actually happening while having prevented the real scenario from occurring.

It seems to me that such a “test” wouldn’t be the best idea. I’m glad to hear that it isn’t actually happening. I’m glad the apparent zeal to vilify a store that hasn’t really made any changes other than to state what their policy already was hasn’t gone quite that far.

But maybe that’s just me.

2 Comments

  1. DianaCT Thank you, Diana. This is a controversy I don’t understand at all. This is a situation that has potentially been happening all along without incident, and all of a sudden because a store states a policy it has always had, it’s now an issue.

    I’ve been quite surprised — in a bad way — by some of my friends’ reactions on Facebook. All of the objections seem to be based either on scare tactics or the presumption of “helping” transgenders, but that help only comes in the form of denying them this single decision…as if they think a bathroom mandate somehow reverses transgender.

  2. You know that I had to comment on this… but first let me say “Thank you” for this post.

    As Fox News host Chris Wallace said “This is a solution in search of a problem.” 

    The thing is that store fitting rooms are all individual booths and in many stores there is only one fitting room for both genders. Also Target is not the only store that has a policy almost every chain store has a policy like Target’s but the news media latched on to Target and made it an issue and now it has become a conservative cause.

    There has never been a case where a person used the non-discrimination laws for a sexual assault. It just doesn’t make sense; those who commit sexual assaults just walk in to the bathroom or changing room to assault people they don’t care about the law. 

    In addition, if you look at the data on rapes very few of them happen in bathrooms, the vast majority of them happen to women who know their assailants.

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Patrick is a Christian with more than 28 years experience in professional writing, producing and marketing. His professional background also includes social media, reporting for broadcast television and the web, directing, videography and photography. He enjoys getting to know people over coffee and spending time with his dog.