Recently, Target has officially became more inclusive with their public restrooms and dressing rooms. Now, anyone can walk into the women’s or men’s bathroom as they please rather than based on the their sex. This inclusion act towards bathrooms has led over a million people to sign a petition by the American Family Association against the new policy. Many fear for the safety of their young children and feel as though this policy is a gateway for sexual predators to take advantage of. However, on the opposite side of the coin, people the boycott threatens the safety and security of the transgender community. Both the boycott and the policy address the controversy of transgender people and public restrooms. These debate of whether transgender people should use the bathroom of their gender identity or the bathroom of their biological sex has been going on for decades and the transgender community has gained a lot of support of the past decade. Public figures such as Laverne Cox and Caitlyn Jenner have opened the discussion of equality for all people, including transgender people and have helped this movement.
Going back to the exclusion or inclusion of bathrooms by different people, many who sign the boycott feel as though the policy makes public restrooms unsafe. However, most sexual assaults or any assault in general don’t typically occur in public places. Only 18% of reported sexual assaults occurred at a public places and usually occur at a house of the victim or a neighbor. So, it is highly unlikely that the number of assaults will spike because public restrooms are more inclusive. Also, most victims know the perpetrator and rarely will the offender be a stranger in the bathroom. 82% of sexual assaults reported were committed by someone the victim knows. So, fearing the policy that Target announced should be the least of a parent’s concern. However, bathrooms are different than just a typical public place, particularly when it comes to American culture. In American society and other societies as well, the bathroom is a private place where some people feel the most vulnerable. In class before when we read Nacirema, we discussed American culture and bathrooms. We talked about how Americans make going to the bathroom seem unnatural or disgusting and how they make going to the bathroom a private matter. Some people maybe scared to make something they feel as though is private more open.