This past week, Target stores reinforced a chain-wide policy allowing people to pee where they need to pee while in their stores. To that end, Target stores open their bathrooms to everyone to use as their plumbing and/or preferences dictate. Target Corporation released a statement confirming the corporate belief in inclusivity:
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… we welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.
As you might expect, right-wingers lost their sh*t. Red Flag News tweeted the end of the world was coming:
Target Announces Transgender Restroom Policy In Midst Of Controversy — And It's Sick! https://t.co/B4Vlb6yn42
— RedFlagNews.com (@redflagnews) April 20, 2016
Their message was that Target had “caved to the Obama Administration and liberal activists.” Right. Because every company that takes a stand for equality and against bigotry is caving to one or both of those. No company ever makes a decision on its own. I guess one could say that North Carolina and Mississippi caved to right-wing activists. But that was okay, right?
Of course, the backlash began immediately. The call went out across the land for the ignorant and the bigoted to boycott Target stores nationwide. Leading the charge was… yes, you guessed it… the American Family Association, the virulently anti-gay and anti-equality “Christian” group. They wrote up a Boycott Target Pledge for their members to sign. This pledge is full of the most prejudicial blather:
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… 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.
Clearly, the AFA is peddling the worst kind of fear-mongering. They have a list of stories that serve as “examples of what Target’s policy can lead to” at the bottom of the pledge. Not a single one is about actual transgender people. Not. One.
The comments one finds under the hashtag BoycottTarget both on Twitter and Facebook are some of the worst displays of bigotry and ignorance I’ve seen in quite a while. Comments calling transgender people “trannies” or “fags” are prolific. The fallacy that men can just saunter into Ladies Rooms at Target is gospel among the haters.
— Connie Rodriguez (@KhaniRod) April 24, 2016
It is no longer safe for a woman to use Restrooms in Target. I will #BoycottTarget
— Laurie Webster (@laurie_webster) April 24, 2016
— Cal News 2day (@Calnews_2day) April 24, 2016
Protect girls and women from biological males with penises using women's/girl's bathrooms and locker rooms. #BoycottTarget
— Annette Ragone Hall (@AnnetteRHall) April 24, 2016
#BoycottTarget – The SAFETY of women and LITTLE GIRLS cannot be compromised. Predators are out there! How many sexual assaults will it take?
— allclean4you.com (@cleanteam4you) April 24, 2016
Um…. none. Because there have been no sexual assaults under the circumstances in which the right is losing its collective sh*t over. Some brave souls are trying to be heard above the fray, however. Trying to spread the truth. Or just mocking the boycott:
"I vigorously protect my children from potential sexual predators 6 days a week. Then on the 7th day, I send them to church." #BoycottTarget
— Bob Castrone (@BobCastrone) April 24, 2016
— Transgender Facts (@TGFact) April 24, 2016
— Politics & Football (@libbyliblibber) April 24, 2016
Yep. Me, too. And, as some commenters pointed out, we can shop safely at Target now, knowing that our experience will be bigot-free.
One other thing… there are places in the world where choosing which bathroom to use is a moot point. Places where the “bathroom” is a hole in the ground and “toilet paper,” a stick or leaves. This whole argument is such a First World problem. Why can’t we just let people pee where they feel most comfortable? Seriously. There is so much more we could be doing than fighting about this, yet another social issue on which the right claims moral superiority and the left has to take up the fight for equality and fairness.
Hey, righties, you want something to get outraged about? Take a trip to someplace where there are no bathroom facilities. Do something about that instead of parading your self-righteousness on social media. Do something useful for a change: boycott poverty.
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