Fine! Now I Have to Shop at Target!

I tell you, voting with my wallet gets tiring. And expensive. That said, however, I’m damned if I’ll stop until they do.

What am I talking about, you ask? Why Target, and who are “they” anyway?

Well, according to USA Today, Target announced a sensible bathroom policy. Evidently, if you need to pee–or give in to other bodily urges that require the facility popularly known as the bathroom (or, if you’re in Merrie Old England, the “Loo”)–Target suggests you choose the one that seems correct to you, use it, and (implicitly) flush before leaving.

While this announcement seems perfectly appropriate (albeit unnecessary) to sane human beings, there are–as I know my readers have noticed–a lot of not-so-sane people who, for reasons I will never, ever understand, fixate on the identity of the other people who may be relieving themselves in the same restroom.

It’s not like there have been incidents involving trans folks in bathrooms. (Republican officeholders, yes, but no trans persons.) It’s not like most of us haven’t shared public toilets with everyone from screaming infants (of both presumed genders) to potheads and drunks to perfectly nice people who nevertheless really made the place smell bad.

Comes with the damn territory.

But not according to the crazies at the American Family Association.

The petition started by the American Family Association on Wednesday raises concerns that Target’s inclusive stance on transgender rights encourages sexual predators and puts women and young girls in danger, because “a man can simply say he ‘feels like a woman today’ and enter the women’s restroom.”

The boycott has more than 517,000 signatures as of Monday afternoon, marking it as one of AFA’s most popular campaigns.

Now, the rest of America has a choice. We can yield the field–leave the loo to the bigots mischaracterizing the policy and trying to intimidate Target (although it doesn’t sound like the company will back down), or we can show merchants who do the right thing that we have their back.

I’d tell these fearful fannies to go to their churches to pray for humility and understanding, but they’re statistically more likely to run into a child molester there than at Target, and then it would be my fault.

So despite the fact that the nearest Target is 8 miles away, I’m going shopping.


  1. Ah, another diversion by the right wing because they have no sane solutions to the problems facing this country. And, just HOW do the fools think they are going to enforce their proposed and now enacted bathroom rules? If ever you needed proof that conservatism had lost its way, completely lost all relevance, this concocted problem that never was a problem is it.

  2. I had no idea that Target HAD bathrooms
    We sure are lucky the God Squad keeps these important things on our national agenda.

  3. Control of women’s uteri in Indiana resulted in “Periods For Pence”; due to the number of Target stores in this state connecting them to Hoosier’s elimination processes – WTF can they name an organization against this action? I have seen fathers in stores with babies and toddlers; do men’s restrooms have a changing table for them to see to their child’s needs?

    Years ago I walked into a women’s restroom somewhere just as a man walked out of a stall. The look of total panic on his face when he saw me was memorable. He said, “Oh GD, is this the women’s restroom?” He fled quickly, stuffing and zipping; I heard no yell of pain so assume he managed the process without injury.

    Sorry; I won’t be joining Sheila opening my wallet in Target stores…for financial reasons only, their prices are out of my Social Security range. I wish them luck in this backwards, backwoods state.

  4. Theresa Bowers nailed it. Target also offers up it’s single stall family restroom for those uncomfortable with entering the multi-person facilities (for whatever reason).

  5. I always shop Target since I won’t step into a Walmart. So here is another good reason. I agree this is another distraction to keep our minds off pressing world issues. Do persons living in war torn countries, or fleeing them, even have facilities?

  6. It demonstrates the desperation of the religious right and their elected representatives to find a focus issue that diverts attention from the screamingly important issues the representatives are elected to address – income inequality, race relations, equal opportunity for all in the workplace, etc. A reasonable person could draw the conclusion that these issues are just too difficult for the current crop legislators to address.

  7. Thanks, Sheila. Instead of shopping at Walmart, I’ll just have to walk an extra two blocks to Target and enjoy the exercise. I could use it.

    You have to start SOMEWHERE. Maybe this is the start of the revolution some of us have been looking for: THE SANITY REVOLUTION.

  8. I guess that no member of the AFA has ever been in Japan. While passing thru Japan on my way to Korea in 1952 I had to use the facilities in the train station. I was some what startled when a women with the same physical need as I came in the, for lack of a better word, restroom and went about her needs. That is how it was and no one raised an eyebrow.
    Cheers all! Irvin BAA Of course we had not yet educated those foreigners. 🙂

  9. Perhaps they’ll insist on installing the “invasive” scanners like TSA uses, in order to determine appropriate genitalia. Because no one’s ever complained about those.

  10. This subject makes me wonder if all of the crazy ideas like this would actually just fade away, without the rest of us even knowing about it, if the media would ignore it. Then we could focus on important news-worthy subjects.

  11. The primary purpose for going to Target is, presumably, to shop. If, while there, one has the urge while viewing Chinese wares, goes into the restroom and discovers one or more shoppers of the other gender, it’s not Nagasaki or Chernobyl; it’s very likely to be a simple mistake. Wash your hands till it’s over, which is likely to be very soon. Let’s not allow the rabid right to manufacture another crisis where none exists.

  12. For the record, Target has a 50 percent off sale this week. The sale is open to everyone including AFA members.

  13. Peggy,

    We all know what Ted’s position is going to be, but what about Hillary? Knowing the U.S. as well as I do, this issue COULD override all others such as: the Middle East, Russia and China, diseases like Ebola, or the environment.

  14. Don’t the fine folks at the AFA realize that many transgender people have been using restrooms according to their gender identity (not according to their genitalia) all along? We are all making wee-wee side by side. It’s our common outpouring of humanity! The National Gay and Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality funded a 2011 survey of 6,450 transgender people in the United States ( Fewer than 25% of transgender women had had genital surgery as part of their transition, and fewer than 5% of transgender men had. As a result of that study, the State Department and the Social Security Administration no longer require proof of genital surgery in order to change the gender listed on passports or Social Security records. How would the AFA have the restrooms of their dreams patrolled? Would there be an airport-style guard at each door for genitalia inspection?

  15. Just returned from Cuba – no toilet seats, often no water or electricity, no paper, no soap, and a little woman at the door collecting loose change. Those RFA loonies need to get out of their bubble.

  16. Rare that I read Sheila and have to hold my belly because I’m laughing so hard, but today was the day. Thank you for a humorous perspective on a terrible situation. Once again, I say, Sheila is our very own Molly Ivins, and boy do we need her (Sheila).

  17. It’s nice to SUPPORT a retail establishment for implementing a socially acceptable policy rather than boycotting for those that are are doing otherwise (Walmart, Hobby Lobby, Papa
    Johns, Jimmy Johns). Shopping choices continue to shrink.

  18. What happened to the WWJD movement? I’m pretty sure he wouldn’t spend his time focused on the bathroom habits of others. It’s time Christians return to the core value of loving others.

  19. Let’s say that you’re a business out to buy a political party. Of course what would be the point if they would just continue sane policy making? They’d have to be able to demonstrate their value as a subsidiary. They’d be forced to come up with issues to replace all those being ignored because they’d be wanting to demonstrate voter loyalty in the absence of any real problem solving. They’d have to sell power but not from solving problems.

    So, the neo-GOP is a pioneering study in brand loyalty. How much worsening conditions because they aren’t being addressed will voters tolerate before switching brands?

    I don’t know about you but I’m amazed at the answer.

    Brand loyalty reigns supreme over function.

    We simply don’t expect substantial progress to earn our votes. We, like the Manhatten Indians, sell loyalty for trinkets.

  20. I hate to sound conspiratorial, but I sometimes have the notions that when the public get close to the real issues before us, someone throws out a phony bit of red meat to divert their attention.

  21. Starting a scoreboard: innocent children killed by accidental shooting by family member vs. women and children molested by transgender using bathroom.

    This week score 3-0.

    Yet…we state legislators pander to hate and ignorance. Makes my stomach and heart hurt.

  22. In Tennessee the co-sponsor of their bathroom bill is being asked to resign for….sexual harassment among a host of other eye brow raising issues. I always think back to the adage “me thinks you protest too much”…it is like those who are rabidly against pornography and yet they have an entire room to pornographic film, pics, etc…

  23. I just have a feeling now that common sense will prevail; democracy will be vindicated.

    Call me crazy but I see signs of the American Revolution II around. It’s not won yet but the fact that it’s being fought is optimism enough for me.

    Having lost a couple of decades in the valley of death and then recovering from the climb out we’re ready for progress again.

    No more BS.

    Don’t get me wrong, we are faced with massive traumatic earth moving change for which we are ill prepared. What I’m referring to is what will come out of it. Life on earth that’s sustainable over the long term.

    Our problem solving will once again catch up to our problem causing ability.

    Another great awakening just in time.

  24. Every time a group wants to be assured of their rights as United States citizens, the conservatives dredge up some restroom issue to try to deny them. Remember the Equal Rights Amendment? Phyllis Schlafly almost single handedly killed it by saying that women would be denied their own restrooms and be thrown to the perverts. (And of course, they would be drafted and sent to fight on the front lines.) Sheesh.

  25. Pete,

    “Our problem solving will once again catch up to our problem causing ability.
    Another great awakening just in time.”

    If we all learn to collaborate, as you have pointed out before, and take appropriate ACTION, I believe you will have correctly predicted our future.

  26. I was in the Target store located in NORA Plaza several months ago and asked a lady for directions to the Men’s room. She said, “Come in here and use the employee’s restroom and you won’t have to walk so far.” What a jewel. Irvin BAA

  27. Bill Maher said, “If you look like a man, use the men’s room. If you look like a woman, use the woman’s room. If you are a man with a beard in a dress, hold it until you get home.” Now there’s a thought…

  28. This is so totally inappropriate for any kind of ordinary humane interaction with people passing through, not even stopping in government offices and schools — maybe to get something personal at an established international “UN” visitors site, game, airport, emergency treatment facility. It is not a game, surgery and not a contest to read doors as marked at heights appropriate for users to see and remember adults’ genetilia — yes as reported to teachers and social workers, physicians and CPS ‘first responders’ with few local slang words to use.

    Why not have nursery rooms for local shoppers?

  29. As I wrote on someone else’s blog, I can’t wait until RuPaul walks into the men’s bathroom.

  30. Have the upper management people stopped giving money to anti-LGBT politicians??

  31. How good is democracy now?

    We picked Obama twice when it was absolutely necessary. We listened to and appreciated Bernie’s message of redemption for the country but will ultimately choose Hillary the operational liberal over Bernie the ideological liberal.

    We worry because not every voter is informed. Democracy doesn’t. It worries only that the majority who vote are informed.

    The biggest risk at this point? Can Hillary compete with her predecessor?

    My opinion is only adequately. But that’s enough given the expression of the voters preference for progress. And the only adequate choice we were offered.

    We will have empowered her with the necessary political Capitol.

  32. Ran into a man with a beard in a dress in Panera’s in Rochester one day, not Halloween. I was stumped. He had eliminated everyone else in the dating pool.

    My granddaughter gave me hell for being judgmental. I think that it was more being confronted with something totally unexpected.

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