In Business, History, Law, Politics, Social commentary on November 23, 2017 at 11:09 am

On April 19, 2016, in a blog post, Target announced that its customers could use any bathroom or fitting room that matched the gender they thought they belonged to.

“We welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity,” read the official Target statement.

“Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected and welcomed at Target.”

Target corporate headquarters

Target posted its new policy in response to North Carolina’s HB2 law requiring men to use bathrooms marked “MEN” and women to use bathrooms marked “WOMEN”.  

This was clearly a Politically Correct sop to the “transgender” community.

To drive home this point, Target converted half of its famous red bull’s-eye logo into a gay-pride rainbow.

The announcement won Target much praise on social media. On Target’s Facebook page, the following posts appeared:

“I want to tell you that I will forever be a Target shopper.”

“You have, again, shown that  your stores are inclusive and meant to be a safe haven, and I intend to repay your loyalty with my own.”

But others were enraged, and made no effort to hide it.

“Shame on Target,” read one post. “Restrooms have placards depicting gender on them for a reason. I will not step foot in another Target.”

Since its 2016 announcement, more than 1.2 million people have signed a pledge to boycott the store owing to its transgender policy.

The protesters’ goal: Force Target to reverse its policy—or, failing that, to hit the retailer in its pocketbook by persuading customers to shop elsewhere.

So far, Target CEO Brian Cornell has refused to budge: “We took a stance and we are going to continue to embrace our belief of diversity and inclusion,” he said on CNBC.

Critics have held protests at Target stores across the country—and show no signs of ending.

Many are demanding access to bathrooms of the opposite sex to prove that “perverts” can now prey on women and children as a result of the policy.

One male protester entered a Target store and asked an employee if he could use the women’s bathroom because that’s where he felt comfortable. The employee gave him permission and said that if any women complained, “they can come and we will speak to that.”

Eighty million Americans shopped at Target’s stores every month before the bathroom policy change.

“The boycott is not going to last very long,” predicted Larry Chiagouris, a professor of marketing at Pace University’s Lubin School of Business in New York:  “There is a big difference between signing a petition compared to not taking advantage of a big sale at Target. People will always take advantage of the sale.”

The boycott has cost Target millions in lost sales and added expenses. Shopper traffic and same-store sales started sliding for the first time in years after the revised bathroom policy announcement.

Target has been forced to spend $20 million installing single-occupancy bathrooms in all its stores to appease critics of the policy-change.

In 2016, sales fell nearly 6% in the three quarters after the announcement—compared with the same period in 2015.  Same-store sales have dropped every quarter since the post.

Yet Target continues to stick to its revised bathroom-use policy.

Right-wingers have loudly claimed that Target’s bathroom policy puts women in danger.  But  they have refused to condemn their own leader—Donald Trump—for entering “women’s only” locker rooms.

Image result for images of Donald Trump
Donald Trump

During an appearance on The Howard Stern Show in 2005, Trump described going backstage at the beauty pageants while the contestants were undressed.

“Before a show, I’ll go backstage and everyone’s getting dressed, and everything else, and you know, no men are anywhere, and I’m allowed to go in because I’m the owner of the pageant and therefore I’m inspecting it.  You know, I’m inspecting because I want to make sure that everything is good.

“You know, they’re standing there with no clothes. ‘Is everybody okay?’ And you see these incredible looking women, and so, I sort of get away with things like that.”

According to a BuzzFeed story, Trump did just that in 1997 with former Miss Teen USA contestants. Four contestants—including one who was 15—said that Trump walked into the dressing area while they were changing.

One of them called it “shocking” and “creepy” and said she rushed to cover herself. Another recalled that the contestants were “just scrambling to grab stuff… whatever garments they had.”

And when insults, threats and boycotts fail to gain the results they desire, Right-wingers can always be counted on to resort to violence.

Anita Staver, president of the Orlando-based Liberty Council, a theocratic law group, says she will be taking her gun inside the restrooms at Target stores from now on.

On April 22, 2016, she posted on Twitter: “I’m taking a Glock .45 to the ladies room. It identifies as my bodyguard.”  @Target

Those opposed to Target’s bathroom policy aren’t going to change their minds—no matter how Neanderthal this appears to Target’s management.

Eventually, the retailer will be forced to choose between placating the “needs” of a minority most Americans regard as perverted freaks—and its own bottom line.

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