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What I Want to Say to the Woman Who Protested Target’s Transgender Bathroom Policy

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TCIYsXhR1D0

Earlier this week, an unidentified woman made waves when a video of her marching through Target — and publicly denouncing the company’s transgender bathroom policy — went viral. And I’ve got to be honest with y’all, there are very few times in my life where I’ve found myself speechless, but this two-minute clip knocked the wind (and words) right out of me.

Why? Well, because the hatred and vitriol in her voice is palpable. And because she honestly believes that by simply allowing transgendered individuals to use a restroom and/or fitting room which corresponds with their gender identity, Target is promoting a “homosexual perverted agenda” and putting all of our children at risk in the process. (Of what, I’m not quite sure, but based on her tirade, she seems to think this will result in the “devil raping your children.”)

In case you missed it, the video begins with a few simple words from the mother, who is followed by — presumably — all 12 of her children.

“Do not be deceived,” she shouts, as she marches through the aisles holding a Bible in her hand. “Target would have you believe with their Mother’s Day displays that they love mothers and children. This is a deception. This is not love.”

“Why,” you ask? “Were Target’s Mother’s Day displays that offensive this year?” Nope. As it turns out, her anger has nothing to do with the flowers or picture frames or low cost appliances marketed to moms.

“This is not love, and they’ve proven it by opening their bathrooms to perverted men,” she continues. “I’m very disgusted by this wicked practice … what Target has done is very hateful … it’s hateful towards mothers. It’s hateful towards children … and it is dangerous.”

And you know, what is happening right now in America is hateful; and it is dangerous. But the people we should be worried about most are those who identify as transgender. We should be worried about those who “look different,” and are therefore judged for it. The men who, by society’s standards, appear “too feminine” or the women who appear “too butch,” or masculine. The ones who are being berated and ostracized; attacked and abused — both verbally and physically. They are the ones in harm’s way, and they are the ones living in fear. In fear of close-mindedness. In fear of contempt and hostility. And in fear of women like this, who want to deny them the simple right of going to the bathroom in a place they feel comfortable.

However I, for one, am done promoting anger. I am done spreading negativity, and I am done talking about the vile actions of this woman. Because she doesn’t deserve my attention, and she doesn’t deserve yours. The only reason we should “hear her out” is so we can shift her negative and ignorant rant into a positive and healthy discussion.

If I had her in front of me now, I’d love to ask: Have you ever considered that by creating gender-neutral spaces we can actually protect our children better? As mothers, we can accompany our little boys into the bathroom with us when they would otherwise be seen as “too old” to go into the girls’ room, but are not quite old enough to make that trip alone. And did you think about the fact that fathers can now keep their eyes on their little girls when they’re out traveling alone with them? They too won’t have to send their daughters into the women’s bathroom alone, and feel uncomfortable while waiting outside for them to return.

Maybe the point you’re missing here is that we can actually keep our families together instead of tearing them apart, if we just learn to open our minds and show some compassion.

And we can actually keep our children (gasp) safer while accepting new transgender bathroom laws.

And if your child ever one day expresses any conflict over their own gender, at least they will grow up in a world where they won’t be judged for something as simple as going to the bathroom in peace.

What’s more: If you care about your child’s safety, turn your eyes away from Target’s restrooms and to your home. To your family, colleagues, neighbors, and friends. Because while I don’t want to alarm you, mama bear, most sexual predators aren’t strange “homosexuals” hanging out bathroom stalls: According to RAINN (the Rape, Abuse, and Incest National Network) 82% of [all] sexual assaults are perpetrated by non-stranger.

So please: Stop the witch hunt. And if it bothers you — regardless of who you are or why — maybe just pee before you leave your house. Or go find a port-a-potty. Because while they are unisex, their singularity makes them safe, right?

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