After several days of silently following the Target debate on various social media sites, I think it’s about time that I add my two sense on the matter. I have read articles that make all sorts of claims: Conservatives argue that we need to boycott Target until they understand that XXs should use one restroom while XYs should use another and that this gender fluidity theory is dangerous. Liberals argue that denying transgendered men and women the right to pee in the restroom of the gender that they identify with is a direct attack on their dignity. They argue that people should feel comfortable where they go to take care of their business, and this means that they should be allowed to use the locker rooms and restrooms of their gender identity. Even if it makes everyone else in those locker rooms and restrooms uncomfortable. Because apparently no one else deserves to pee in absolute comfort. No, apparently the rest of us just need to shut up and deal with it. Because we’re not a targeted minority (But can there be such thing as a targeted majority?), our comfort must be sacrificed for the greater good of the few.
But what about our safety? Does our safety need to be sacrificed as well? Conservatives often argue that Target’s bathroom policy is an open invitation for sexual predators to rape innocent women and children. Now all you have to do is claim that you’re a man who identifies as a woman, and you’ll be given full access to the women’s restroom. In just the past week alone, I have read more sexual assault stories that I thought possible. And they all started with a man pretending that he was a transgendered woman. This debate should not be a question of comfort, but of safety.
Many people argue that this is faulty reasoning. Transgendered men and women should not be punished because of the despicable actions of some horrible men. If men are using this policy to sexually assault and/or rape women, we need to crack down on these criminals, not punish the innocent woman who looks like a man because “she” wants to pee with the rest of the women. This line of argument does not address the true issue at hand. Men can be disgusting perverts, and they need to be stopped. But the answer is not to repeal Target’s new restroom policy.
In a manner of speaking, the liberals are right. Repealing Target’s new policy will not cause perverted men to suddenly become honorable. It will not really get to the heart of the problem. But it will certainly make it less of a problem. Men looking to assault unsuspecting women will take any opportunity to do so. Some will assault women that they know in private, but I would venture to say that more men will assault strangers in public places- like restrooms and locker rooms. Just from the knowledge that I gained through Safe Environments training for my job, I know that these are two of the most likely places that a woman might be assaulted.
That’s not to say that women who use public restrooms or locker rooms are very likely to be assaulted. Or that women need to avoid these places at all costs. But the facts don’t lie. One in four women will be sexually assaulted in her lifetime. That’s twenty-five in every one hundred women. Two hundred fifty in every one thousand. That’s a lot of women, and after a week of following the news stories, it seems that predators are attempting to make that number rise. Maybe not enough to make the statistic two out of every four, but maybe enough to make it three hundred out of every thousand. That’s another fifty women per thousand getting sexually assaulted because of this new policy. That’s a lot of women.
I’ll be perfectly honest. I don’t know how much of an impact Target’s new restroom policy will have on the statistics, but I do know this: if even one woman is sexually assaulted because of this new policy, we have a problem. Liberals might want to argue against that, but I’d like them to argue it only after speaking to that one woman. And I know that there’s more than one. I’d like them to argue it only after considering the possibility that the one woman might be them, or their mother, or their daughter. If that one woman was someone that they loved, would they rethink the value of this new policy? Would they perhaps be more willing to concede that private, individual restrooms wouldn’t be such an awful compromise? Or is their comfort more important than that one woman’s safety?
Liberals have argued that the policy should not be abandoned simply because of predators lurking in the restrooms and locker rooms as a result of the change. They have argued that this reality calls for a harder crack-down on perverts, not unwarranted discrimination against transgendered men and women. We need to make creeps accountable for their actions. We need to make it so that perverted men won’t want to sexually assault innocent women. We need to change the men, not the restroom policy. We need to get to the source of the problem.
To an extent, I agree. We should make creeps accountable for their actions. We should make it so that perverted men won’t want to sexually assault innocent women. We should work to change the men and get to the source of the problem. But I also think that we should change the restroom policy. Predators will take any opening to get what they want. They will jump at any opportunity to sexually assault a woman with minimal possibility of getting caught. Public restrooms and locker rooms have always been two favorites for perverts because there are plenty of times throughout the day when a woman will wander in alone. At one time, predators had to wait for the perfect opportunity to prey: they couldn’t risk being seen by an onlooker walking into the women’s restroom or locker room. Now they can just stroll in without issue; if anyone questions their presence, they just claim to be transgendered. People know better now than to argue. They know that raising concerns will just get them labelled as bigots or worse, and someday it might land them in jail. And so, for fear of being judged or condemned, they lower their eyes and walk out, leaving the predator alone with his prey.
No, repealing Target’s new policy will not solve the problem, but failing to do so will only make it worse. Allowing men to use women’s restrooms, even if they self-identify as women, is like turning on a burner and hoping that your toddler, who likes putting her hands on everything, won’t touch the flame. It’s a welcome invitation to burn her hand. Liberals would like to liken the scenario to a person burning a candle. Yes, a candle could cause a fire, but more often than not, it simply provides light and warmth. Just because it could cause a fire does not mean that we need to forbid all candles. But candles can be controlled. Toddlers cannot control themselves, so we need to make sure that they cannot burn themselves. We actually have to take preventative measures to make sure that our toddler is not harmed. Likewise, we have to take preventative measures to ensure the safety of women and children. And I honestly believe that includes preventing biological males from using the women’s restrooms, and vice versa, regardless of how they self-identify.
We cannot choose the comfort of a few over the safety of many. We shouldn’t even choose the comfort of many over the safety of a few. This is not a matter of respecting one’s dignity or treating a person with respect. Or actually it is, but we have it backwards. The need to repeal Target’s bathroom policy is not about betraying the dignity of transgendered individuals or disrespecting them. It’s about respecting the dignity of those women and children who use those restrooms. It’s about respecting the needs of rape victims who just want to use the gym locker room in peace, without fear that some pervert is going to use this new policy to force her to relive her nightmare yet again. It’s about ensuring the safety of Target’s customers, even if it means causing discomfort to a few. We live in a safety-first culture. We live in an anti-rape and assault culture. We live in a society that values safety and seeks to protect its women. Target’s new restroom policy betrays those values. It knowingly puts its female customers at risk. If Target really wanted to protect the rights of all its customers, it would spend the money necessary to create private restrooms for its customers, but I doubt that it will.
Target has chosen to support the liberal agenda, no matter what the cost. No matter how many predators might creep in their stalls. No matter how many rape victims are forced to shop elsewhere because the idea of using a restroom where men can just walk in terrifies them. Their safety and concerns are meaningless in the face of the liberal agenda. They will simply be casualties in the war for “equal rights,” some of the many necessary sacrifices in the name of the greater good of the few. Forget the majority. Forget the women and children. We must bend over backwards to meet the needs of the chosen few. Our safety must be sacrificed for their comfort. Our voices must be sacrificed for their opinion. Because in the end, though all people were created equal, some people are apparently more equal than others.
Mary Help of Christians, pray for us!