By Gino Diguilio
Recently, Target released a statement defending their decision to allow transgender visitors to use the bathroom and fitting room that best fits that person’s gender identity. Target representatives said, “Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It’s something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted, respected and welcomed in our stores and workplaces every day.”
After this statement, I noticed that within days, my Facebook feed was filled with massive amounts of opinions on the issue, most of these being negative. I was baffled that people would decide to boycott the company and take their business elsewhere due to this change in policy. But the more I thought about it, I wasn’t that shocked.
Americans are so fast to judge and make rash decisions before attempting to educate themselves on the issue at hand. Most of the arguments talk about the “fear” of men coming into the women’s restroom unannounced. My take on this is that most people are bringing the idea of rape culture into the scenario. In my opinion, the idea of rape and sexual misconduct coming from heterosexual men and women is something that is hush-hush in our culture. But the minute the public can blame these things on the transgender community, they hop right to it without any extra thought of the outcomes.
It is proven that transgender people are significantly less likely to be a part of rape than heterosexual citizens. But why is it that people don’t think that everyday people could not already be taking part in this before the policy was changed? Why is it now that we have an issue with public restrooms and safety? Same sex rape and sexual misconduct is taking place every day, but nobody brings light to it.
How can someone sit there and say that we are not stereotyping a group of people when that’s exactly what the public is doing? Stop creating clear-cut stereotypes of offenders and those that are not.
So before you decide to post your ideas, opinions and decisions to boycott Target or talk about the issue, take a look at the facts beforehand. Be sensible to the issue and realize that we can do so much more to help further our worldly views and be accepting to everybody. It is much easier to do this than degrade and make a person feel unwelcomed into a public company.
Words hurt, so watch where you throw them.