Elizabeth Hess/Left Is Right: Target hits the mark with transgender policy

Elizabeth Hess/Left Is Right: Target hits the mark with transgender policy

By ELIZABETH HESS

Ask any tired/bored/anxious mother if she could pick one store to aimlessly wander around when she has 30 minutes to herself, and most of them will say Target. There is something comforting about the layout/smell/merchandise in every Target store.

In April 2016, Target announced that "transgender customers and employees were free to use the restroom that corresponded to their gender identity." The announcement came a month after North Carolina enacted House Bill 2, a law known as the "bathroom bill," which required "public single-sex restrooms only be used by people of the corresponding biological sex."

When I heard that Target came out with this policy, I realized I had never given it a second thought where transgender people went to the bathroom before then. I admit it is hard to get into the mind of someone who feels they were born the wrong gender. Conversely, it is harder to get into the mind of someone who wants to oppress someone's race/lifestyle/gender for ANY reason.

Target's policy allows any customer at any time and for whatever reason to use bathrooms or fitting rooms of the opposite sex in its stores based on their personal "gender identity." Target CEO Brian Cornell likened mandating where a transgender person uses the bathroom to "1960s-era race-related civil rights."

In February 2017, Breitbart.com reported that Target's stock had "crashed" because of the chain's stance on transgender bathrooms. Breitbart only got part of the story right: Target shares did plunge in February 2017, but it wasn't due to its bathroom policy.

Part of what has been dragging Target down has been all-online retailers like Amazon. Not just Target is down — Wal-Mart Stores Inc. (2.0 percent), Kroger Co. (1.2 percent), Macy's Inc. (1.7 percent) and Dollar General Corp. (4.2 percent) also fell.

As a parent of a pre-adolescent male child, I have to decide — do I bring him into the woman's room with me, and make him uncomfortable, or send him by himself into the men's room, which makes ME uncomfortable?

I nervously watch as I send my child into a men's public restroom, but when I see a transgender person enter a women's bathroom? I don't give it a second thought.

When the NCAA announced it was moving championships out of North Carolina, it listed several factors. One of them was the North Carolina law that provides legal protections for government officials to refuse services to the LGBT community. I know the NCAA has since allowed North Carolina back onto the championship schedule, but I am thrilled they took an initial stand.

I admit I also didn't give the aspect of transgenders in the military much thought, until Donald Trump tweeted about it back in July. He said that the U.S. government "will not accept or allow transgender individuals to serve in any capacity in the U.S. military."

Is he kidding? A man who enjoyed five educational deferments and one medical deferment for "bone spurs" is going to judge someone who is strong enough — and willing — to defend the United States?

If someone is willing to go through rigorous training, be away from the family and potentially be sent to life-threatening situations, I don't care how they gender-identify. All that matters is they identify as "an American."

Late last month, the Justice Department announced it was putting its attempt to ban transgender military recruits on hold until officials can review a Pentagon study on the issue.

Target has a company creed that I wish the president of the United States would adopt:

"Inclusivity is a core belief at Target. It's something we celebrate. We stand for equality and equity, and strive to make our guests and team members feel accepted."

Elizabeth Hess is co-host of "The DWS Morning Show" on NewsTalk 1400 WDWS, a News-Gazette Media radio station. Her email is ehess@wdws.com.

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jparks wrote on January 07, 2018 at 7:01 am

"Target's policy allows any customer at any time and for whatever reason to use bathrooms or fitting rooms of the opposite sex in its stores based on their personal 'gender identity'." 

"As a parent of a pre-adolescent male child, I have to decide — do I bring him into the woman's room with me, and make him uncomfortable, or send him by himself into the men's room, which makes ME uncomfortable?"  

Like most statements you make, I don't follow your logic.  Why can't you take your son into the men's restroom since target allows "any customer at any time and for whatever reason to use bathrooms....."?  

You are a customer.  Take your son into the men's room.

GLG wrote on January 07, 2018 at 8:01 am

This colum should be renamed, "Elizebeth Hess, What I like about Donald Trump"and just leave it blank!  Every one of these rants ends up with Hess whining about the President!  I cannot belive the News-Gazette fired Jim Turpin, Yes he was fired! or as the NG said "His contract was not renewd" and kept Hess.   These rants are starting to be like the ones John Hirshfeld used to write in his colum, "From Where I stand" If Hess hates the conservitives so much maybe she needs to find another target, Maybe Speaker Mike Madigan, She loves the Democrats so much she could write a few stories of how Madigan and his crew from Chicago has run Illinois into the ground and turned it into a puchline for the late night talk shows jokes!

Loader wrote on January 07, 2018 at 12:01 pm

Did Hillary sign her book on why she lost for you?

KlaatuSansGort wrote on January 07, 2018 at 5:01 pm

The columnist is easily perceived at first blush to be a twit.

Yet one should never rush to any judgment.

Perhaps she is possessed of brilliant intellect and rapier wit and was hired by a visionary journalistic entity to write political satire.

Such would be nothing new, although refreshing.

Consider Bill Murray in his SNL days as the lounge singer on the Auto Train. Consider also Jack Benny and his painfully bad violin playing.

In short, sometimes one must first be very good at something before being appreciated for doing it so very badly.

Who Knows?

There is at least perhaps some irony in considering that the presently dominant "social medium" is known as "Twitter."

CommonSenseless wrote on January 08, 2018 at 7:01 am

I believe she got her start in media hosting a sex show on the radio, then there was the lingerie parades on Murray in the Morning.  So you may be on to something with that intellect angle.