Target Incidents Continue to Make Headlines; When Will Target Take Danger Seriously?
TUPELO, Miss.—The headlines just keep coming. But is Target paying attention?
Last week, yet another frightening incident made news—and the police reports—when a “peeping Tom” was caught taking pictures of a female shopper at a Target in West Knoxville, Tenn.
“I feel so violated,” the victim told WBIR 10News. “It’s dehumanizing in a sense. That someone feels they can come into my dressing room and take something that doesn’t belong to them. It’s a violating and a humiliating feeling.” The shopper added that no one was monitoring the fitting room when she entered, but a Target employee did help when the voyeur was discovered.
After incidents like this, and many others, the American Family Association (AFA, www.afa.net) is wondering when Target will wake up and realize its politically correct bathroom and fitting room policy is putting women and children at risk.
AFA’s highly successful #BoycottTarget initiative, which has sent the strong message to the retailer that its misguided and potentially dangerous bathroom policy is the reason millions of families are no longer shopping there, is nearing the one-year and 1.5 million-signature mark.
“It’s unfathomable that Target can look at incident after incident, as well as plummeting stock prices and decreased traffic in stores, and make no connection that American families concerned about the safety of women and children have had enough,” said AFA President Tim Wildmon. “They’re saying ‘no’ to a progressive, politically correct agenda and to a policy that potentially puts women and children at risk. Target’s ongoing arrogance in regards to this issue points to how out of touch the retailer really is with its shoppers—and with American families who want and deserve safety when they spend their hard-earned money.”
On its website, AFA points to the many disturbing incidents in Target restrooms and fitting rooms. The Family Research Council (FRC) also recently put together a list of 23 documented incidents in restrooms in the U.S. and Canada.
A rape survivor also shared her very personal story for The Federalist, where she wrote that there’s no way to make everyone happy about transgender bathrooms and locker rooms, so the priority should be finding a way to keep everyone safe.
“Everywhere I read in the news, there’s talk of another school or gym or business that is boldly adopting ‘progressive’ new locker room policies designed to create equal rights for people who identify as transgender,” wrote Kaeley Triller Haver, after recounting painful feelings that still haunt her, years later. “While some have proposed a third option for transgender people (single-occupancy restrooms and showers), this option has been largely struck down, and employees are prohibited from suggesting it, as it is considered discriminatory and emotionally damaging to a group of people who are working so hard to fit in. The solution? Anyone can use whatever restroom he or she wants without being questioned.
“While I feel a deep sense of empathy for what must be a very difficult situation for transgender people, at the beginning and end of the day,” she continued, “it is nothing short of negligent to instate policies that elevate the emotional comfort of a relative few over the physical safety of a large group of vulnerable people. Don’t they know anything about predators?”
Haver went on to say that out of every 100 rapes, only two rapists will spend so much as single day in jail, while the other 98 walk free. Predators are also known to intentionally seek out places where many of their preferred targets gather in groups and are addicts so committed to their fantasies they’ll stop at nothing to achieve them.
“Don’t they know that one out of every four little girls will be sexually abused during childhood, and that’s without giving predators free access to them while they shower?” Haver asked. “Why would people knowingly invite further exploitation by creating policies with no safeguards in place to protect them from injury? With zero screening options to ensure that biological males who enter locker rooms actually identify as female, how could a woman be sure the person staring at her wasn’t exploiting her? Why is it okay to make her wonder?
“I’d much rather risk hurting a smaller number of people’s feelings by asking transgender people to use a single-occupancy restroom that still offers safety than risk jeopardizing the safety of thousands of women and kids with a policy that gives would-be predators a free pass.”
AFA is urging concerned families to help take the #BoycottTarget signatures to 1.5 million, with just over two weeks to go until the boycott hits the one-year mark. About 30,000 pledges are needed, at which point Wildmon will 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 Jen Retallick, 610-584-1096, ext. 100, Media@HamiltonStrategies.com or Deborah Hamilton, 610-584-1096, ext. 102, 215.815.7716.