a tisket… a tasket… and empty Target basket

Earlier in the week, or maybe it was last week… (who knows, all these days run together sometimes), Target announced that it would support inclusion of all people and support transgendered members of our communities with the ability to choose the bathroom that is aligned with their gender identity. This makes perfect sense, and has been happening for years, without incident, and without problem. But, now that it’s become a statement and a firm point of view, there have been calls to #BoycottTarget because of their stance. People say Target is not protecting women and girls from predators that slip on a woman’s dress and just waltz right in the bathroom and have their way with all the people in there.
To all of this, I say, why is this something new that you are concerned about? Was this something that was not included in your home training packet when you grew up? Was it not ingrained in you in college to go to the bathroom with other girls to be safe? It was for me.
One of the things that my Mom always did, which I am thankful for, was actually telling me over and over and over again how to not only keep myself safe, but also how to keep my future children safe. I think this is just a mom thing to do, but she would be very explicit and tell me how to watch out for kids in a store, or how to go to the bathroom with my kids, or how to walk with my kids in a parking lot, or how to make sure they didn’t choke and most importantly how to prevent them from being kidnapped. One of the things I was taught about was the bathroom, was how it is necessary to ensure you go in with your kids, and when your son is too old to go in the women’s bathroom, teach him how to use the men’s restroom and protect his privacy. One of the MOST important things I learned was that if I have two kids that need to use different bathrooms, don’t go in either one and stand outside and watch both entrances and exits. If you can’t be in front of both, then keep a kid with you while you both go watch the other bathroom.
There is a safety playlist for the bathroom until your kids are WAY older and have the kind of responsibility where they can go to the bathroom alone while you are on the other side of a dept. store looking at DVDs and towels. Even then they are old enough, you should still try to go together, and stay safe, because they are NOT in your sight. I have a little thing I do with the kids when we are out, “if I can’t see you” and they reply, “then you can’t see me.” So, do your best to keep your kids in sight and wait for them outside the bathroom, and walk in if it’s been too long. What mom is not going to walk in a men’s bathroom if a kid is in there too long? Lord knows I have. I did it a couple of weeks ago when J was taking too long to wash his hands. You know how long a kid should be in the bathroom, so go check.
Then, when I got to college, there were more rules. Don’t leave a drink unattended. Don’t go into a bathroom in a club without a girlfriend. Check under the stalls before you go in to make sure you see if there are male feet. You can be attacked anywhere, not just a bathroom, so just be aware of all places that are not public. As young adults, who just left home, we learned how to protect ourselves in bathrooms from peeping toms, or people who might not be there to truly pee. Even now, it’s rare I go to a bar/club, but I WILL say that I go with women to the bathroom, if possible. It’s a safety thing.
Here’s the thing… a predator is a predator is a predator. Target is not making it easier for peeping toms. Rather, they are simply trying to make it easier for transgender individuals to use the restroom with ease. You will know the difference between someone that is trans, and someone that is in there to do bad things, right? I sure hope so. If there is some dude in the bathroom with a camera recording, well, report his ass! If there is a transgendered individual that is in there wearing make up and looking more fly than you touching up her make up Well, don’t be an ass. That’s the difference.
The overall thing I’m getting at here, is WHEN did it become Target’s, or anyone else’s responsibility, to be the keeper of your kids safety in the bathroom? Newsflash…They are not putting your kids at risk. If anything, you putting your kids at risk by not teaching them how to deal with public situations where they may be faced with real fear, harm, or danger.
Now, let’s talk about perceived fear and danger. This is what has led to the passing of all these laws preventing transgender individuals from using the bathroom with which they identify. I’m sure that if you slipped the word, colored, black or negro into a lot of the language in that bill, or in a lot of the articles today, you’d have an exact match from a George Wallace speech. My mom also told me plenty of stories about colored bathrooms as well, and how just having the right to use a bathroom like a person instead of a second class citizen is a big deal. You just can’t say, let’s trample all over people’s rights because we are fearful of them, and want to protect ourselves against them. It just doesn’t work that way. But, some feel like it should. That’s not fairness. That’s not democracy. That’s not treating people they way you would want to be treated.
So, a tisket… a tasket… and empty Target basket… That’s a sad basket, indeed.

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