It’s just common sense – most people feel uncomfortable, possibly even in danger, when a stranger of the opposite sex is in a public restroom with them. So, Target: do you actually believe that’s changed?
For the entirety of its history until recently, Target had bathrooms and fitting rooms designated for men and for women.
Why? Why the distinction by Target and every other retailer in every civilized country?
The answers are twofold and quite simple. First, the vast majority of people are uncomfortable using the bathroom while a stranger of the opposite sex is present. Second, most people understand the potential danger inherent in allowing men access to women and children in a private setting – where harassment, voyeurism or even abuse can occur.
So what has changed? Does anyone at Target actually believe those two guiding principles have changed?
They have not, and at the American Family Association, we believe a very large percentage of the country agrees with us. In one week alone, more than one-million people have signed the pledge to boycott Target over this issue. This is unprecedented for AFA.
Of course, there is a simple solution to this controversy for Target. Gender-specific facilities (men’s bathrooms/fitting rooms, women’s bathrooms/fitting rooms) would be maintained, and a single-occupancy, unisex option would be provided for the transgendered community. As someone has recently noted, a transgendered man, for example, who walks past a unisex restroom in order to enter the woman’s bathroom is not primarily interested in relieving himself. He wants to make a point.
Well, evidently there are consumers who want to make a point, too. If Bruce Springsteen can boycott North Carolina, moms and dads can boycott Target.
But there is a larger issue at stake here. To quote psychiatrist Keith Ablow: “The bathroom debate is really a debate about the fundamental way we Americans will define any truth – whether as something deeply felt by an individual, or something scientifically demonstrable and verifiable.”
If we are going to allow individuals to define reality according to their feelings, then Target should allow a 20-year-old to get a senior discount if he self-identifies as a 65-year-old. Would Target accept that self-identity? If not, why not, based on their logic?
Tim Wildmon is president of the American Family Association. This column first appeared on the USA Today website.
Copyright American Family News. Reprinted with permission.