I’ts been three weeks now since the Target Corporation announced their new transgender bathroom policy making them the first major corporation to do so. Simply put the policy “welcomes transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” The policy has promoted outrage and disgust from customers, religious groups and the American Family Association, and prompted a call for a boycott of the superstore. So far over a million people are supporting the boycott. Although Target insists that the boycott is not affecting them, stock prices say otherwise. Since the April 19th announcement Target stock has fallen 6.5%. Add to that the ton of unwanted attention they’re receiving and I’d have to say Target’s feeling it. I guess it’s not always good to be first.
Although Target was the first to make their transgender policy public, the policy itself has been in place for several years now. Others companies including Starbucks, Saks Fifth Avenue, Barnes and Noble and others quietly support similar policies that respect the rights of their employees and customers to self identify and use the bathroom of their choice, they just haven’t stepped into the limelight like Target Corp. has chosen to do, leaving many people to wonder if their decision is a bold move towards political correctness or a colossal blunder?
In spite of the overwhelmingly negative reaction to the transgender policy Target remains committed to the policy saying “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day. We continue to believe that this is the right thing for Target.” The right thing! Really? I certainly don’t thinks so, do you? Right thing indeed! I always thought that the goal of stores like Target was to draw customers in by creating a shopping environment that makes us feel safe and at ease, not scare us away. The new transgender policy creates a situation where customers particularly women and children would feel uneasy and could be at risk, not from transgenders, but pedophiles and other sex offenders who may try and use the new policy to their advantage, in seeking out prey. I don’t like it.
Target seems to be trying to make another gender/inclusivity statement here like they did a few years ago when they announced that they were doing away with all boy toys and all girl toys because they didn’t want to promote gender stereotyping. Instead of getting rid of the toys however, they decided to make all the toy aisles gender neutral. Now it’s the bathrooms. What’s next unisex-clothing and accessories? Nothing surprises me anymore.
I’m not much of a Target shopper I’ve got a Costco, Sam’s Club and Kohls within a mile of my home so I’ve usually found what I’m shopping for long before Target. This makes supporting the boycott easy for me. But what about Barnes and Noble and Starbucks who support similar transgender policies, do we boycott them as well? And what happens as more corporations come out in support of the T/G issue and more and more store’s bathroom policies are affected? What then? More boycotts? I gotta tell you this whole political correctness movement is out of hand. It would be easier to understand if Transgenders made up a larger portion of our population but right now they make up only 0.3% of the population!
Now don’t get me wrong even though they are such a small segment of the population I believe they should be accommodated, but changing the bathroom system that’s been in place for so long, so drastically, just isn’t right. I think it would be much less threatening and more widely accepted if men and women’s restrooms that accommodate only one person at a time were converted to unisex bathrooms and those that can accommodate more than one person at a time remain traditional men or women bathrooms. Single restrooms could be added where needed. Of course the corporations and businesses would never agree on spending the money to build new restrooms especially when changing signs is so much more economically sound. I thought being politically correct was about not offending or disadvantaging any particular group of people. Shoppers are a particular group of people. The men, women and children are three distinctive groups of individuals and Target Corp. you are not being Politically Correct to us! Work this thing out Target there is a workable solution in which everyone wins. Remember a satisfied customer is one that keeps on coming back. They are your bread and butter. Until then support the boycott.