Alright, this is funny because obviously if I’m willing to write a blog article about Target’s restrooms, I care at least a little about Target’s restrooms. Haha, joke’s on me. But here’s the thing: mainly, I care that the “news” and other media sites are pushing it so hard that I’ve seen some otherwise-perfectly-polite people get caught up in it. Again, joke’s on me. But the real reason it bugs me isn’t because I want Target’s policy to stand or fall. It’s that everybody’s so concerned with taking a side that they’re ignoring all the obvious in-between options. So in case you’re wondering, here’s why I haven’t taken sides on the whole “trans people using the public restroom” thing:
Nobody actually cares about restroom safety.
This isn’t about letting trans people into public restrooms. Those who argue against it aren’t worried about trans people; they’re worried about men who aren’t trans abusing the system. (Interestingly, they’re not worried about women.) And on the other side, those who are all for trans people using the restroom of their choice aren’t arguing for some mystic right to a golden toilet stall; they want their lifestyle to be recognized and validated.
(Both of these are valid concerns that affect the American public. No matter which side you’re on, please recognize that the other side is made up of human beings, not demonic forces of Hell designed to destroy your social media namaste. )
The big reason I’m not willing to take a side is that this doesn’t have to be a fight. We could solve this easily – we just don’t want to. If we were actually trying to find solutions, we’d have them already. We just want an excuse to shout at someone and pretend it’s because we’re defending some righteous cause.
If we actually wanted to solve the problem, here are a few things Target could do to appease both crowds:
- Install floor-to-ceiling stall walls and doors. Then perverts couldn’t see under/over them.
- Install “family” style bathrooms. This would be more expensive, but it isn’t gender-specific and each room has a good lock on it.
- Fully integrate the restrooms, so that honest men and women could police those who are perverts. This way, my husband could stand guard if he really thought someone was sketchy, and vice versa.
- Put stall walls around urinals. They’re the most vulnerable (nearly the only vulnerable) part of a public restroom.
- Build one separate restroom for those whose gender is more fluid than most.
- Remove the public restrooms and make people use the ones they have at home. As far as I’m aware, nobody has an inalienable right to relieve themselves on someone else’s property. (There may be local laws, however, so this might not apply in all places.)
- Keep the existing policy, and kindly ask those who disagree to find another place to relieve themselves.
- Change the existing policy, and kindly ask those who disagree to find another place to relieve themselves.
These are just the ones I can come up with off the top of my head. On a side note, I’d like to say that I’ve been in the men’s restroom, and I’ve seen men in the women’s restroom. Nothing happens. In my experience, everybody just assumes that the other restroom was full, and you really have to go. If we actually want to prevent the pain of abuse or intolerance, we should stop trying to hurt each other over a disagreement of opinions. There are better ways to spend our energy. ♦