Target’s new transgender restroom policy and a competing North Carolina bathroom law have people across the country worried and confused about using public lavatories.
Now, self-appointed bathroom vigilantes are making headlines with their embarrassing and public accusations leveled against people simply trying to relieve themselves in private. This week, two self-appointed bathroom monitors were caught on film harassing two different women for using the women’s restroom.
In Texas, a man followed a shorthaired woman wearing shorts and a T-shirt into the women’s restroom because he thought she was a man, reports the Dallas Observer.
“I look very much like a girl. I’m not trying to transition, nothing like that.”
Jessica Rush manages a local health food takeout place and likes to wear her hair in a bleached blond faux hawk and wear androgynous clothes, but that wasn’t okay with a strange man who thought she was in the wrong place.
Then, a group of cops were caught on tape harassing a lesbian woman who was using a women’s restroom and ultimately throwing her out because they thought she was a man, reports Raw Story.
“This is a girl, and you guys are harassing her because she’s a d*ke.”
The video, uploaded to Facebook by Tamara McDaniel, shows an unidentified woman in a standoff with a group of male police officers who don’t believe she’s a woman. She was finally tossed out of the women’s restroom because she didn’t have an ID proving she was female. The video has garnered some 2 million views since it was posted earlier this month.
The bathroom confusion started when North Carolina Gov. Pat McCrory signed HB2 into law, essentially requiring that people use the restroom that corresponds to their biological sex, according to Yahoo! News.
“It’s the basic expectation of privacy that I hear from mom and dads and families that when their daughter or son goes into a facility, a restroom, they expect people of that gender … to be the only other ones in that.”
The bill sparked a backlash from civil rights and LGBT groups with many businesses, musicians and celebrities refusing to travel to North Carolina.
Then, Target announced its new bathroom policy allowing men and women to choose the bathroom and fitting room of the gender they identify with.
“We believe that everyone, every team member, every guest, and every community deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally.”
That controversial policy sparked a massive backlash of its own from the conservative community and now the American Family Association has called for a boycott; one million people have responded by vowing not to shop at Target.
The bathroom confusion has many Americans angry and confused; YouGov CEO Ted Marzilli told USA Today the Target boycott is less about civil rights and more about feeling safe and secure.
“I don’t think it’s a statement that people aren’t in favor of equal rights for transgender people. It shows people just kind of demonstrating that they’re uncomfortable about how comfortable they are, with mixed public restrooms.”
Now, with the state trying to regulate bowel movements and civil rights and conservative groups up in arms, the restroom confusion is coming to a head as self-proclaimed bathroom vigilantes take justice into their own hands.
Maybe we should all think twice before venturing into a public restroom.
What do you think? Who should regulate bathroom gender assignment?
Photo credit: AP/Mark Stahl