No Fake News: Incidents in Target Restrooms All Too Real
TUPELO, Miss.—The existence of “fake news” seems to make just as many headlines as “real news” these days.
The American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) wants to ensure that families know that when it comes to incidents of women and children being put in danger at Target because of its unsafe restroom and fitting room policy, the headlines are all too real.
AFA’s highly successful and impactful #BoycottTarget initiative, which hit 1.5 million signatures and passed the one-year mark last week, is sending a strong message to Target—and other retailers who may be considering similar policies—that millions of shoppers will head in another direction if they don’t feel safe in stores.
“What was Target thinking when it proudly announced to the world one year ago that it allows men to use women’s restrooms and changing areas in its stores?” asked AFA President Tim Wildmon. “Certainly not that voyeurs and predators are looking for places where they can victimize women and children, otherwise, the retailer would have never made such a perilous business decision, and the past year might have been very different for Target.
“One year ago, the American Family Association initiated #BoycottTarget, a movement that has brought together American families who have said ‘enough is enough,’” Wildmon continued. “And today, 1.5 million people have signed the boycott pledge, vowing not to shop at Target until the company reverses its politically correct but potentially dangerous policy. These families—and AFA’s boycott—have had a significant effect on both Target’s foot traffic and sales. The boycott will not stop just because we have reached the one-year mark and the 1.5 million-signature threshold. This is an important cultural issue, and Target chose to make itself the example by issuing a proactive statement on its not only controversial but alienating policy.”
Breitbart.com recently outlined Target’s demise and the impact of the American Family Association boycott.
AFA also pointed to a recent column in The Daily Signal titled, “It’s Not Fake News: Predators Are Taking Advantage of Target’s Fitting Room Policy.” In it, the writer, Ashley McGuire, senior fellow with The Catholic Association and author of “Sex Scandal: The Drive to Abolish Male and Female,” as well as a mother of young children, details both actual facts and her personal experience with Target’s bathroom policy.
McGuire wrote that after Target saw stock prices plunge as one million signed AFA’s boycott, it shifted blame away from the restroom policy, attributing its woes to “everything but the boycott and the bad public relations. In one interview about declining sales, Target’s CEO actually blamed the weather.”
“Rather than address many customers’ apprehensions about its policy—specifically, how a company that boasts 1,800 stores would ensure that predators would not take advantage of a policy that permitted anyone to use the restroom of their choice—Target doubled down,” she added. “Its spokeswoman brushed off such concerns and reiterated that Target strives to be an ‘inclusive place to shop,’ and that some Targets offer ‘single-stall, family restrooms for those who may be more comfortable with that option.’”
The mother of two then recounted a personal story:
When a Wall Street Journal story announcing Target’s move popped into my Facebook newsfeed, I had just returned from shopping there with my 4-year-old daughter. We were in the middle of the shoe aisle looking for sandals for her when she clutched my hand in panic with a familiar cry: “Mommy, potty! I have to go potty!”
We sprinted to the bathroom, making it without a moment to spare, not even a second to shut the stall door. My daughter relieved herself in plain view of about seven other women, all of whom smiled understandingly. After she went, I had to go, also with the door open, because my very mobile 18-month-old son was still in our cart, which would not fit in the stall. And there was no ‘single-stall, family [restroom] for those who may be more comfortable with that option.’ I was grateful for our privacy.
To be specific, I was grateful for a place where my daughter and I could use the bathroom in a rather public way but still with the privacy afforded by being exclusively among members of our own sex.
“The Target restroom policy really does affect everyday families,” Wildmon said. “As AFA has stated many times, our worries do not stem from fear of the transgender community, but rather, from both the real and potential threat that predators and voyeurs would take advantage of the Target bathroom policy to harm women and children—and there are plenty of incidents to show that they have.”
Now, Wildmon is making travel plans to hand-deliver another 500,000 signatures to Target headquarters in Minneapolis. Last spring, AFA representatives delivered the first million signatures to Target, but the retailer has not budged on its controversial policy, other than stating it will add single-stall restrooms in stores not already equipped with them.
To interview a representative from American Family Association, contact Anna Price, 610-584-1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Deborah Hamilton, 610-584-1096, ext. 102, 215.815.7716.