They need to use the bathroom and as a mom to two toddlers, I know that the countdown on my shopping clock just sped up and I have about 5 minutes before my blissful shopping trip turns into a literal flash flood in my cart. Just a few weeks ago, I would have raced to the front of the store, abandoned my cart and taken my kids into the women’s bathroom without a second thought. But today, I hesitate…”
Anyone that knows me knows that I love shopping at Target. I love their tasteful home decor that always gives me an instant urge to redecorate. I love that their stock changes every few weeks and there’s always something new and beautiful to admire. And don’t even get me started on their adorable selection of baby and children’s clothing. I’m even in love with their Up & Up diapers. Yes, I love shopping at Target. I love that on any given day, no matter how bad my house looks or how tall my pile of laundry has grown, I can simply pack the kids up and drive to Target. Target, who promises to love me and understand my needs as a busy, overworked Mom. Target knows I need a break. They understand my need for just a few minutes (or an hour or two) where I can walk around with my kids
caged contained in a cart and try on clothing that makes me feel pretty again.
Yes, Target is my one stop shop. I can walk in, grab an overpriced jolt of caffeine, stop at the cafe for a popcorn for my kids to share, pore over their adorable and crafty dollar section and blissfully walk up and down every single aisle in the store. Perusing and admiring to my heart’s content. That is, until my kids whine they have to use the bathroom.
And that, my friends, is where my love relationship with Target ends. It ends like a train wreck and I’m left rubbing my eyes, blinking rapidly, palms sweaty and wondering…what happened? Where am I?
This is where life took a terrible drastic turn and my world came crashing down.
Because Target is no longer safe. Not for me, but more importantly…not even for my children. They need to use the bathroom and as a mom to two toddlers, I know that the countdown on my clock just sped up and I have about 5 minutes before my blissful shopping trip turns into a literal flash flood in my cart. Just a few weeks ago, I would have raced to the front of the store, abandoned my cart and taken my kids into the women’s bathroom without a second thought.
But today, I hesitate. I run through my options. I mentally weigh the consequences. Because today, the women’s bathroom is no longer a place I can venture safely and privately. Today, I am no longer protected by that little skirted stick figure on the door. Only weeks ago, the women’s bathroom was a safe place where women could change their babies’ diapers, buy an emergency tampon, and feel relatively protected. The skirted stick figure designated a private area for us ladies with God-given lady parts, and now…now it’s just a meaningless symbol of yesterday.
Now, if I am to venture into the bathroom by myself or with my children, I risk running into a man. He could be mentally confused and believe he’s a woman. Or, I could run into a mentally ill and perverted man who is using these new laws to his advantage – as a way to prey upon innocent women and children. Who will stop him? It’s now “ok” for a man to be seen entering the women’s bathroom. What’s worse, these laws that push for inclusivity will only end up defending predatory men. Men who could justify, by law, their presence in a woman’s bathroom by simply stating that they “identify as female.”
The activists for this new “gender-inclusion” law are only worried about their rights, but fail to fully comprehend the possibilities of such an open policy. The door is being opened for unspeakable, terrible and horrible things to happen under our very noses. The public bathroom is no longer safe for women and children. I cannot stress this enough.
So I’m left with a decision to make. If I can’t be guaranteed a family restroom, with one toilet and a door…I can’t shop there. I simply cannot risk it.
As a parent, I’ve explained to my daughter that she’ll always know which bathroom is hers because of the skirted stick figure on the door. But now? Now, I have to teach her that there are people who are confused and that there are those who will take advantage of this opportunity. And because of this…public bathrooms are no longer safe for us. My heart is breaking.
So Target, at the very least, I am disappointed with your decision that will ultimately sacrifice the safety of your shoppers. In your quest to be inclusive, to respect and accept all guests and employees, you have sacrificed something far greater. You worry about their feelings and making everyone feel included, while I worry whether a man will lock the door while I’m in the stall with my children. Target, where is the respect for my safety, my values? Where is the acceptance for me – a woman who just wants the freedom to use the bathroom privately and not worry whether I’ll be sexually assaulted when I’m finished? You’ve opened a door and the possibilities are absolutely terrifying.
And that is why, along with every other gender inclusive public bathroom, Target’s facilities can no longer be considered a safe place for women and children. Unfortunately this is only going to continue and get worse. Prepare yourself and have a plan of action in place.