Target stores are facing protest, and this time, the campaign is using a truck to get the message across. The protesters, however, claimed that the campaign is not an objection to the LGBT community.
The #FlushTarget truck has an image of a little girl wearing a dress who was caught by surprise upon seeing a man inside what appears to be a women’s bathroom.
It had the text, “What about her rights to privacy and protection?”
The ad is in response to the new policy at Target stores that allows any man to use the women’s fitting rooms and bathrooms at any given time and for whatever reason.
It is hinged on the premise of individual’s subjective “gender identity.”
‘Flush Target’: Anti-Target Campaign Hits The Road Opposing Bathroom Policy https://t.co/oSjfeYKiu2
— Local News Feeds (@localnewsfeeds) May 16, 2016
In announcing the policy change on April 19, the retail store said, “In our stores, we demonstrate our commitment to an inclusive experience in many ways.”
“We believe that everyone—every team member, every guest, and every community—deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally,” it added. “Consistent with this belief, Target supports the federal Equality Act, which provides protections to LGBT individuals, and opposes action that enables discrimination.”
However, the move was met with protests. An online petition to boycott Target stores was even made last month. It has since generated more than one million signatures and counting.
Despite the overwhelming opposition to the store’s policy caused in large part by safety and privacy concerns, Target has not backed down on its “inclusive” commitment.
Target CEO Brian Cornell Doubles Down on Bathroom Policy
Claire Chretien, the national spokeswoman for #FlushTraget campaign, clarified that the move is not being made “out of fear of the LGBT community.”
“Target can accommodate men that dress as women in a way that doesn’t put women and our young children at risk,” she stated.
“Instead of seeking solutions that are safe for both transgender people and women and children, Target has embraced an approach that emboldens predators, threatens women’s safety, and undermines any basic sense of decency,” Chretien added.
The #FlushTarget campaign has also found allies from the Child Protection League.
Board Chair Julie Quist said that “mixed-bathroom policy” of Target stores is in no way solving a problem.
“The Target mixed-bathroom policy is not about solving a problem, it is about taking the wrong side in a massive cultural assault on women and girls,” she said. “Voyeurism, exhibitionism and stalking are well-known public concerns most commonly directed at women and children.”
— Flush Target (@FlushTarget) May 10, 2016
— Flush Target (@FlushTarget) May 13, 2016
Quist also said that the policy is putting “women and children at risk” as Target stores have created an opportunity for sexual assault.
Chretien added, “Everyone has the right to use the bathroom safely and in privacy without fear of being raped or assaulted.”
She said, however, Target stores have allowed “any man access to women’s bathrooms in their stores.”
The #FlushTarget truck already visited Target stores in Duluth, Virginia, Grand Rapids, and Bemidji.
— Flush Target (@FlushTarget) May 17, 2016
It will have five to six store visits each day until it finds its way to the Minneapolis-St. Paul metro area. On Thursday, the truck will visit Brainerd, Moorhead, Fergus, Alex, St. Cloud, and St. Cloud East, followed by Monticello.
Truck visits will also be done in Target’s home state.
The #FlushTarget campaign claimed it was necessary to set-up the promotion on trucks as billboard agencies in Minnesota had declined to take in the ad.
Chretien revealed that her organization remains unfazed although they had to resort to other means to get their message across.
“We had to resort to using a billboard truck to get our message out after every billboard company in Minnesota turned down our advertisement,” she said. “It would seem ‘political correctness’ has now trumped ‘free speech’ even in the advertising industry.”
[Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images]