As of last week Target led the charge of transitioning to gender inclusive restrooms and has lost its conservative customers once and for all, although I thought they had already accomplished that when they decided their toys do not support stereotypical gender roles. Anyway, the LGBT community was quick to cry “transphobic” and yes, I’m sure a fear and hatred of the trans community has contributed to this uproar. Yet the argument I have seen from the conservative side is not one against transgender people but one against rapists who lie about being transgender in order to get into public bathrooms without suspicion. Which seems like a reasonable fear, right? Let’s take a few steps back and examine that thought process for a second.
“I don’t want a man to be able to follow my little girl into a bathroom unquestioned”
So this refers to, I would assume, a man who wants to harm your daughter by either raping her and/or kidnapping her to force into the sex trade. My first thought regarding this, honestly, is that it’s too little too late. I was raised to never go anywhere alone, to carry mace and a knife, and to not talk to strange men. When receiving a compliment from a man I automatically wonder what he wants and I’ve been catcalled wearing three layers of clothing during a snowstorm. I don’t mean to go off on some sort of anti-men rant, but my point is that the problem is not that the rapist/pedophile/trafficker is able to walk unquestioned into a bathroom; the problem is that the predator exists.
My second thought on the conservative argument actually comes from another trending meme on Facebook. It says something along the lines of “You’re worried about the pedophiles chasing young girls into the bathrooms but you never worried about the same men going after your sons.” The fact that boys can be raped is somehow very much overlooked but the problem remains the same; the predators themselves.
My third thought was that people should get over themselves and realize they aren’t entitled to a public restroom at all, but I don’t think the average American can even comprehend that so I’ll leave it alone.
I’m sure it’s only a matter of time before most stores follow in the footsteps of Target with gender inclusive or single stall unisex bathrooms. I, having never been an enthusiastic user of public water closets, will probably make no changes to my own personal habits. You are free to boycott all the bathrooms and stores that you want and sign all the petitions you want, but there is one more thought I have on the subject that I think would be worth sharing:
1,208,753 people have signed the petition to boycott Target as of the tenth of May in 2016 at 6:31pm. That number is growing. What if, just what if, each of those people had donated a single dollar to an organization like the Rachel Project. The Rachel Project, in the smallest nutshell, works to help victims of human trafficking and raise awareness and prevent sexual abuse. Regardless of whether signing the anti-Target pledge was moral or justified, regardless of convictions, what if a million dollars had been given to an organization that combated the root problems? But hey, it’s just a thought.