Hideous Ways People Are Responding to #BoycottTarget

April 22nd 2016

Laura Donovan

Target recently announced that it is allowing transgender staffers and customers to use the fitting rooms and bathrooms that match their gender identity, and some people are very unhappy about this. The American Family Association is calling on people to stop shopping at the retail giant and share the hashtag #BoycottTarget:

The viral hashtag has fostered a lot of hostile rhetoric that demonizes transgender individuals. Here are some of the #BoycottTarget responses that take an unfair approach to Target's inclusive move.

1. Transgender men just want to look at your daughters in the bathroom.

This tweet seems to suggest that transgender people can pose a threat to women in restrooms. It's a point that Texas dad Steve Rudner argued in a viral Facebook post about why he doesn't worry about his daughter's safety around trans people in bathrooms.

Steve Rudner Facebook

"I don't worry about her being attacked in a restroom by a trans woman because (a) it has never happened; and (b) trans women are the most victimized group of people I've ever met, and the least likely to commit a crime of indecency in a restroom, because they are afraid of getting beat up when all they want to do is pee," Rudner wrote.

As ATTN: previously wrote, transgender individuals often fear for their safety in public, as they are especially vulnerable to attacks and hate crimes. Advocate recently reported that at least nine trans women have been killed so far this year, and 21 trans women were killed in 2015.

2. Bathrooms should be "biological."


This tweet argues that bathroom usage should be based on one's biological gender and not the gender that matches their identity. As ATTN: has noted before, however, gender is spectrum. To understand this, it's important to note that terms like "gender" and "sexuality," are related, but not interchangeable.

Brooklyn Community Pride Center intern Cass Liebman explained this in a 2015 interview with ATTN:

"What my genitalia is has nothing to do with my gender identity. It has to do with the way that I understand and represent my own personal cocktail of masculinity and femininity."

Nicole Avallone, the deputy director of programs and policy at the LGBT Community Center in New York, also told ATTN: that everyone experiences gender differently.

"Every single person experiences and expresses their gender in a way that is unique and their own," she said. "In this expansive idea of gender identity and gender expression, gender can no longer be just two things, male or female."

3. Target is betraying its larger fan base.


This tweet seems to suggest that Target ought to prioritize its non-transgender consumers, as transgender people make up a small part of the population anyway. While transgender individuals only make up a small portion of the nation, there are still nearly 700,000 transgender individuals in the U.S., according to the Williams Institute.

This is a large group of people to alienate, and Target cites "inclusivity" as a core belief of the brand. The Washington Post reported last year that Target has gradually tried to diversify its customer base and cater to more than just the “Boomer Mom” who “drives a minivan" and "lives in the suburbs."

4. Transgender people are just men in dresses.


This tweet minimizes the lifestyle, appearance, and experiences of transgender individuals. It also bears similarities to a recent anti-trans meme that former baseball player Curt Schilling shared on Facebook that painted "an inflammatory caricature of transgender people," ATTN:'s Alex Mierjeski wrote. Schilling's meme depicted a man wearing a wig and holding a purse, sending a similar message as the above tweet that transgender women are just men in female clothes.

"Along with the offensive implication that transgender people who use bathrooms according to their gender identity pose a special threat to their stall mates, the meme advances a derogatory picture of what transgender people actually look like," Mierjeski wrote.

Transgender people come in all forms and appearances, and it's unfair to make assumptions about how a transgender person looks. They are also so much more than their appearance, just like everyone else.

RELATED: Target Allows Transgender Customers to Use Bathrooms According to Their Gender Identity