On April 16, 2016 Target took the world by storm when it released a statement about its stance on the transgendered restroom policies. Target released an announcement to allow all transgender people to use the restrooms and the fitting rooms of the corresponding gender identity. Not surprisingly, this announcement sparked a controversy that spread over the country and as of now there is a nation-wide Target boycott protesting the stores’ decision.
Boasting of a history “embracing diversity and inclusion” Target, the second largest discount retailer in the United States, refuses to back down. Target reminds the world that it was the forerunner of equality back in the 60s with the first African American advertising models, and unwaveringly states that their policy will once again become the norm in the nearby future.
However, it cannot be denied that the sales are dropping because of the boycott. News of the policy caught on quickly, causing very public movements demonstrating discontent. For instance, earlier this month a Youtube video of an unidentified mother went viral. The unknown woman was recorded making a public statement urging the people of the nation to “fight the homosexual agenda” while brandishing the Holy Bible. Other well-known cases exemplifying the opposition to Target’s policy are the musical acts that canceled concerts in response – such as Pearl Jam, Bruce Springsteen and Ringo Starr.
Furthermore, an online petition arguing against the policy was able to get 1.2 million signatures. The major reason for protesters can be understood when listening to the reasoning of groups such as the Child Protection League and the American Family Association. These groups argue that the policy creates more room for harassment of the wrong parties – that is, women and children. In fact, the American Family Association (AFA) has admitted to testing Target’s new policy, expressing their shock at finding no resistance at all after sending men into women’s restrooms. They express worry that there is risk involved for women and children in the case of sexual predators and attackers.
While there is some cause of worry because of fraud, Target swiftly countered the accusations by assuring the safety of customers will not be compromised because of the new policy. They state that the policy is to be seen as a way of ridding a little of the discrimination towards transgendered people in the world, and pointed out that there are also family restrooms for women and children who do not feel safe.
While there is some reason for worry, protesters must understand that instead of boycotting Target for trying to widen the acceptance net, there should be some talk over how to make sure of the security of women and children without having to be discriminatory toward a minority group.