Online petitions to boycott something or other are not uncommon and so I was not surprised when one was started to boycott the department store chain Target when it announced that their stores would allow people use the bathroom that is consistent with the gender presentation. But I was surprised at how quickly the number of people signing on reached one million, just one week after the American Family Association announced the boycott move. (Remember: Any organization with the word ‘family’ in the title is likely to be a bigoted group.)
What is interesting is that Target is by no means a progressive company in general. It has, for example, long fought the unionization of its employees and has had to be pressured to raise the minimum wage of its employees. What this shows is that companies increasingly think that being seen in opposition to equal rights for LGBT people is bad for business.
Another sign of the business-social issues split is that the decidedly pro-business Donald Trump has said that the bathroom issue is no big deal and that people should be allowed to use the bathroom that they think is appropriate. The social conservative warrior Ted Cruz has seized on Trump’s statement to step up his own opposition to it. He seems to think that his difference with Trump on this issue could be a winner for him in the final stages of the primary race.
What worries me is that some anti-transsexual provocateur might pretend to be of a different gender and deliberately cause a scene in a bathroom, thus inflaming passions. Maybe these people should simply invest in this device instead to make sure that their bathroom are free of contamination by people of a different gender.
The Daily Show was creeped out too.
(This clip aired on April 28, 2016. To get suggestions on how to view clips of The Daily Show and The Nightly Show outside the US, please see this earlier post. If the videos autoplay, please see here for a diagnosis and possible solutions.)