While I’ll obviously never understand what it’s like to be transgendered, I respect anyone’s desire to lead an authentic life. If someone feels that authenticity defies their born sex and want to alter it, I’ve always personally viewed that decision as a blatant defiance of science and biology. Regardless, it’s their body and choice when all is said and done, which personally doesn’t affect me, so I digress.
My concern with the widespread cultural appropriation of transgenderism is its potential negative and abstruse effect on children. Especially when transgendered citizens only account for 0.3% of the United States population. But we’re currently talking about Target right now, so I’ll save that discussion for another article.
In my life, I’ve only ever personally encountered two transgendered people. One is a distant relative I haven’t seen in years. The other is a woman named Mikaila I befriended when I used to work in retail. I had no idea she was transgendered until she casually told me one day while we were on a lunch break together. I was shocked. How could I have not noticed? I didn’t because she was almost better at being a woman than a lot of cis women I know.
Mikaila was beautiful and the type to likely go unnoticed when using a women’s restroom. She was also post-op and completely passable. Through a series of conversations she admitted to me that she had originally sought counseling and hormone treatments in her early 20’s as an effort to be approved for gender-reassignment surgery. She wanted her sex change to be legally recognized by the U.S. government and it eventually was. Mikaila, in my opinion, managed her transgenderism accordingly. This was about 10 years ago and a lot has changed since then.
Laverne Cox was recently the first transgendered person to be nominated for an Emmy Award since 1990. The Orange Is the New Black actress also graced the cover of Time magazine (a trans first) in 2014. In 2015, Caitlyn Jenner won the ESPY’s prestigious Arthur Ashe Courage Award for her very public transition. Transgenderism suddenly appears to be at the cultural forefront of pursuing widespread acceptance.
I never had any issues with my friend Mikaila, who I regretfully lost contact with after she moved away. I do have a problem with the carelessness that could potentially precede the impending transgender revolution. As a business, Target is guilty of this carelessness and I feel people are completely validated in their reasoning to decidedly boycott the chain.
If you think about it, it’s simple. Transgendered people were likely already utilizing the restrooms they felt comfortable using before Target publicly took it upon themselves to announce there inclusive stance, below:
What Target needs to realize is that this version of “inclusivity” is disproportionately unnecessary. When a business just publicly proclaims anyone can use any bathroom they feel comfortable with, they are not only opening up those restrooms to potential exposure from sexual predators, but they are also cheapening the efforts of legitimate transgendered citizens who paid their dues (financially and emotionally) to have their sex change acknowledged by our government.
Why should anyone just be able to proclaim themselves whatever sex they want (when it has not yet been legally recognized) and use any restroom?
First, that’s ridiculously confusing to impressionable children. Especially when over 88% of children who identify as transgendered tend to commit to their born sex after puberty. Second, it will lead to uncomfortable experiences for women, children, and victims of sexual trauma. Third, it could lead to more predatory advances from non-trans perverts — which happens. Fourth, it might cause transgender posers (which exist) or practical jokesters to unnecessarily use the wrong restroom simply because it’s allowed. Fifth, a policy this open could inspire hate crimes from radicals that understandably don’t comprehend why a cis-appearing man or woman would be allowed in a bathroom or locker-room that doesn’t correspond with their existing sexual organs. Sixth, it’s honestly a message that never needed public clarification in the first place.
Since Target publicly announced there stance on gender labeled bathroom inclusivity, a few customers have even approached the store-chain in an effort to gain more perspective as to what exactly is allowed. In the above video, one cis man approached his local Target’s manager to inquire about the specifics of the policy. The manager told him that if he identified as a woman, he was freely allowed to use the women’s restroom. The manager even went as far as to encourage the male customer to direct any females that had an issue with his presence in the ladies room towards him, so he can tell them that they need to accept the policy or leave. The customer then proceeded to test out the manager’s claims while clutching a recording device.
The video went unsurprisingly viral, prompting the following response from Target:
Thanks for reaching out.
We certainly respect that there are a wide variety of perspectives and opinions. As a company that firmly stands behind what it means to offer our team an inclusive place to work — and our guests an inclusive place to shop – we continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target.
In other words, Target clearly doesn’t care how their customers feel about this reckless, unneeded policy. As the petition encouraging customers to boycott the store surpasses one million signatures, Target continues to appropriate protocol which caters to less than one percent of America’s overall population, ignoring the legitimate concerns of the other 99.7%. Concerns that are completely sensical.
This is not a battle between those who’ve been accused (most of them inaccurately) of being “anti-trans” versus the transgendered community and its allies. This is about a negligent store policy that does nothing to separate honest transgendered citizens from potential predators who want to take advantage of a rule that has zero boundaries.
No one should be forced to use a restroom they’ll feel uncomfortable in. The problem is, transgendered people have apparently forgotten that this should apply to both them and the cisgendered. While I personally think a bathroom bill would be particularly cruel when imagining my friend Mikaila being forced to use a men’s restroom when no one would ever accuse her of being born a man by sight, that likely wouldn’t happen anyways since she’s legally female. I also don’t think a bathroom monitor is necessary. However, some sort of legislation is needed to not only protect women and children from potential predators, but to also protect legally acknowledged transgendered citizens (in circumstances where their identity is challenged) and the businesses that serve them.
Cisgendered births are legally recognized on birth certificates, passports, and driver’s licenses. If a person is legally pursuing hormone treatments and psychological therapy with full intent to transition, that should in essence be acknowledged by the government and law-abiding businesses, as it already has been. However, if a person wakes up and decides they’re transgendered (without truly exhibiting any of the earnest, time-proven classifications of a person experiencing gender dysphoria), they should not be immediately allowed bathroom access to their new restroom of choice. Transgenderism is a serious condition and should be handled as such.
When Target allows for any person to use any sex-specific restroom, it defies so many things. It defies the reason female bathrooms were created in the first place. It defies the right for women and children to feel safer in the presence of each other. It defies the existence of sexual predators who’ve been known to take advantage of these open bathroom policies like Target’s. Lastly, it simply defies logic.
If Target is so “inclusive,” instead of losing money by alienating the largest portion of there customer base, they could’ve invested in individually closed or unisex bathrooms and called it a day. But by opening up the ability for anyone to assume the role of someone exhibiting gender dysphoria, it’s irresponsibly going to make everyone a target.