By Todd Brady
Vice President for University Ministries, Union University
Inclusivity is one thing. Impropriety is another. And decisions fueled by feelings are often unstable.
After North Carolina passed a law recently stopping transgender people from using bathrooms for the gender they identify with, the Target corporation announced on a blog entitled, “Continuing to Stand for Inclusivity,” that they “welcome transgender team members and guests to use the restroom or fitting room facility that corresponds with their gender identity.” Target concludes its announcement by saying, “Everyone deserves to feel like they belong. And you’ll always be accepted, respected, and welcomed at Target.”
The American Family Association responded by calling for a boycott of Target, saying that Target’s transgender bathroom policy exposes women and children to danger since their approach “means a man can simply say he ‘feels like a woman today’ and enter the women’s restroom — even if young girls or women are already in there.”
Even though he prefers to go out in the backyard, we just finished potty-training our youngest son and teaching him that there is an appropriate place to go potty. We have sung songs about the potty, cheered when our son has gone to the potty, given him M&Ms when he does in fact go to the potty, called grandparents on the phone when he successfully has gone to the potty, and a lot more hoopla. Going to the potty has been a huge deal around our house lately.
But in the midst of all the focus on the restroom, we also have talked a lot about privacy and the restroom. The restroom is a place of privacy. We are teaching our children that you need a little privacy when you go to the bathroom. You close the door. You’re by yourself. It’s a time for discretion. It’s not a group activity.
Current talk about gender identity, restrooms, and Target seems to me to border on the absurd. And the absurd is getting ridiculous. Just recently, Orlando based Liberty Counsel President Anita Staver communicated her plans to actually take a gun into Target bathrooms to protect herself from transgender people. She tweeted, “I’m taking a Glock .45 to the ladies room. It identifies as my bodyguard. #BoycottTarget ”
Since the discussion seems to be primarily about how one feels, perhaps Target needs to come up with a new marketing plan and add “Go before you come — if you feel like it” to its red and white bullseye so that those of us who are uncomfortable with transgender restroom facilities might feel more comfortable.
I wonder if Target would accept, respect, and welcome my 3-year-old if he felt that he wanted to relieve himself right in the middle of its greeting card section?
Society suffers when decisions are driven by feelings and when inclusivity crosses over into impropriety.