Thursday, April 21, 2016

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Is Target Placing a Target on Our Daughters' Backs?

(Flickr: ~ Izee. . .in&out)
Last year, Target announced it would stop categorizing toys by intended gender—a move that many conservatives protested, but that didn’t particularly ruffle my feathers. My one-year-old daughter currently favors “boy” toys—blocks, cars, and balls—and I’m fine with that. I’m also fine with her deciding she prefers princesses and tea parties later on. 

But, now, Target has taken its secular pandering too far, announcing on Tuesday that transgender customers are allowed to use whichever bathroom fits their “gender identity.” Interesting, considering 60 percent of Target’s customers are women, and 62 percent have children. But these days, protecting the majority isn’t the trendy thing to do—even though, regardless of their ideology, I can guarantee 99.9 percent of the moms at Target wouldn’t love sending their little girl into a bathroom with a stranger of the opposite sex. But I’m getting ahead of myself. 

As we’re all acutely aware, the bathroom issue extends well beyond the bullseye—we’re in the midst of a nationwide debate, in an out of the courtrooms, about, essentially, whether men belong in women’s bathrooms.

Of course, proponents of non-gendered bathrooms insist that unintended interlopers—men who aren’t living as women—wouldn’t dare take advantage of the policy and meander into women’s facilities. And to some extent, I agree: Men who don’t want to violate a woman also have no interest in violating her privacy. 

So, yes, I think the majority of men will stay where they belong: in the men’s room. 

But the unfortunate flip, I believe, is also true: Men who do want to violate a woman do have an interest in violating her privacy. And let’s face it: Men who intentionally enter women’s restrooms aren’t there for the tampon dispenser or scented soap. They’re there to commit crimes. 

In 2015, for example, a man was arrested at an Indiana mall after hiding in a women’s bathroom stall and then attacking an unsuspecting woman. In a 2014 case, a man was charged with voyeurism after crawling into a women’s bathroom stall and grabbing a woman’s upper thigh; she ended up sitting on his hand on the toilet seat to protect herself.  Just a few months ago, a Utah man was sentenced to at least five years in prison for following a woman into a restaurant bathroom and raping her. 

And as you might expect, it’s not always adults who are the victims: In 2013, a Florida man brutally assaulted a 9-year-old girl in a Best Buy bathroom. 

This last case in particular (although all of them are horrifying) epitomizes the idiocy of allowing men to wander, unchecked, into women’s—and girls’—bathrooms. Apparently, making sure transgender adults never have to feel awkward is of greater import to our society than the safety of our children. 

We live in a twisted era where the plastic, hourglass-shaped body of Barbie is demonized as a threat to little girls, while Target is applauded for sending grown men into the same bathrooms as our daughters. Let’s pick the right battles, moms. 


  1. So I want to ask a question. First how is another law supposed to stop someone from breaking the law (it has always been illegal to assault someone or to take pictures of someone in the bathroom)? Secondly who is going to be checking genitalia to ensure compliance with this law or are we going to start carrying our birth certificates around and show them to the bathroom police? And how are you going to prevent those who will supposedly be enforcing these laws from abusing their power? Plus since this law is 100% paranoia, how are you going to filter out those who are gay, they still have the right parts to get in the bathroom. Also the examples that were given in her article were of men who walked into bathrooms not men claiming to be transgender.I think many of the people who are for this law are paranoid, and think making more laws will somehow make them safe from being hurt. You can not make enough laws to protect you. I also know that many of you would are talking about this issue, have zero experience with someone who is transgender. If you actually had a relationship with someone who actually had to deal with this issue you might find yourself ashamed. Try telling a 7 year old girl that she now has to go to the bathroom with the boys. She would feel mortified and scared for her privacy and security. Thats what you are telling transgender people with this law. And don't kid yourself, if a man is going to dress up like a women to do terrible things in the women's bathroom this law is definatly not going to stop them. You can try to tell yourself and others that you are protecting people but there are no laws that stop evil and wicked men. The notion that it will make it easier is just silly.

  2. Thanks for your comment! I think if you read my piece more thoroughly, you'll see that I am not commenting on transgender men or women using the bathroom they feel comfortable using. I'm commenting on the downstream effects of allowing whomever to use whatever bathroom he/she wants.

  3. The examples you cite prove that men who intend to harm women have been going into women's bathrooms for years whether they're "allowed to" or not.

    Additionally, many trans men—who would be listed as female on their birth certificates, and thus required to use the women's room under North Carolina's new law—are, when clothed, indistinguishable from men who were born with man parts. If you saw any of these men in the women's room—which is where they would be required to be, again, based on North Carolina's new law—you could incorrectly make the assumption that they were one of these born-as-male predators you seem to fear when, in fact, they're just trying to comply with the law. Target's policy makes it possible to avoid this situation.

    Please educate yourself on these issues and have some empathy.