16th March 2017
Until recently, bathrooms were one of the remaining places in society where men were not permitted to be with women and vice versa. Because of that clear barrier, even the sight of a man pushing open the door to a women’s restroom would raise eyebrows—and deter any would-be assailant with half a brain.
But all that is changing, as rules designed to protect privacy between the sexes are upended. Shortly after Target made its big announcement, a man recorded himself walking into his local Target and asserting his new right to use the women’s restroom. He did not state that he identifies as a woman; he simply said he wanted to make sure he had the right to use the women’s restroom. In the video, a manager assures him that he does, and when asked what the store will do if any women are upset, the manager says he will “take care of it.”
Apparently it was not long before Target’s lawyers got wind of the viral video; it was taken down almost immediately.
But the video was not an isolated incident. The following month, The New York Times ran the headline “Men Are Posting Videos of Themselves Testing Target’s New Bathroom Policy.” The piece reported, “Multiple videos have popped up on YouTube showing men confronting store managers about the policy and asking what would stop them from entering the women’s bathroom inside the store. In the videos, the managers can be seen (or heard, since some of the video is poorly shot) patiently saying that nothing would stop the men from using the women’s room.” Nothing.