Never did I think the gay civil rights movement would devolve into irrelevant arguments about bathrooms, but here we are. The newest controversy involving Target stores highlights how leftists aren’t concerned at all about bathrooms, but about using gay rights as a cudgel with which to punish those who do not pay allegiance or conform to the liberal agenda.
This is where Target’s announcement about “inclusive” bathrooms and fitting rooms comes in. For some reason, Target felt compelled to announce to the world that everyone in its stores should feel comfortable using whichever bathroom and fitting room that “corresponds with their gender identity.”
Most of the news is covering this as bathroom policy, but it also involves fitting rooms, and struck me as an almost pleading declaration with Target attempting to please some new overlord. It reeks of painful political correctness; a position based on a desperate need to avert potential harm.
And, of course, that’s exactly what it is.
Target has been vocally supportive of the liberal gay agenda since it came under fire in 2010 for donations to Republicans the gay left deems “homophobic.” Since then, the pathetic pandering hasn’t stopped.
Which brings us to the current controversy of Target’s bathrooms and fitting rooms. With its policy announcement, which it says is nothing new, the company is genuflecting once again before a group it fears has the power to damage it if target is accused of “homophobia.” Reality be damned, the accusation is enough.
My, how far we haven’t come. The gay civil rights movement was an effort to not be treated differently because of who we are. We are devolving into a roving band of bullies insisting that we are to be treated differently, and most troubling at the expense of everyone else.
The building outrage about the so-called Target trans-gender policy has nothing to do with fear of having a transsexual in the fitting room next to you; it’s a genuine concern about the ability of any man having carte blanche to enter women’s and girls’ environments without being challenged.
Consider this report from KMOV in Missouri in May 2015: “Missouri man was arrested on April 23, 2015 after allegedly secretly filming women in a Target dressing room. The Brentwood Police Department arrested Foerstel on April 23 after he allegedly held a camera phone under a dressing room door while a female shopper tried on swim suits at the Target store in Brentwood.”
This from just a week ago from WHIO in Ohio: “Joshua Sheldon, 33, pleaded guilty Thursday to voyeurism, a second-degree misdemeanor, according to Miamisburg Municipal Court. Sheldon was accused of looking under a woman’s dressing room door at a Target store in Miami Twp…”
These are just two examples of dozens of incidents in Target stores across the country. The point is, Target’s new policy, in a strange attempt to appease liberal gay activists, has made it even easier for men to enter an area of the store where privacy is necessary for security.
I know a few transgendered individuals. None of them consider the public bathroom or fitting room experience as confirmation of his or her real inner self. But they do admit it’s a public argument that hammers into everyone else that there’s a price to pay if you don’t conform.
To be true to the civil rights we fight for, our effort should be about co-existence with people of faith and everyone else. But no. Now it’s about bullying everyone who thinks differently.
In our free marketplace, treating people with dignity is a must, no matter who they are. If you treat customers badly, of course there will be a market price to pay. But creating an artificial standard with which a business must comply under threat of harm, is the antithesis of what the gay civil rights movement stood for.
When I was on the left we marveled at how conservatives never really defended themselves or companies when threatened with boycotts or other marketplace harassment. We knew if they began to do so, the power of the left would be diminished if not wiped out.
I’m happy to see conservatives stepping up, and perhaps this will allow companies to feel comfortable not engaging in social policy fights, and focus on what’s good for business and what’s right for their customers. All of them.
• Tammy Bruce is a radio talk show host.