For over a decade, when I’ve had to choose where to go to do mass-needs shopping, it has always been Target. Recently Christians have boycotted their Target shopping and get all huffy and puffy with me (also a Christian) if I mention Target in a positive way, without hearing me out.
1. There are 321.42 million people living in the US. 700,000 are transgender. That means that 0.22% of those who live in the US are transgender. From that, how many transgenders do you think will be at a Target, specifically at the same time you are on your way to the bathroom at the one you go to? It is an incredibly low chance that you will encounter such an instance. If you were to encounter one, will you even recognize that they are transgendered (because honestly, it might be really hard to tell)? Do you really look at the faces of every person you see in the bathroom? To panic about who may be in the bathroom with you, is just sad. Most people don’t talk to strangers in bathrooms and mind their own business.
2. How often do you really use the bathrooms at Target? In my 15 years of shopping there, I have used their bathroom twice, and both of those times was when my kids didn’t go at home before we left for the store, and that was over a couple years ago. I always make my children go to the bathroom before leaving home. The two times we have used their bathroom, we have used the Family Bathroom!!! Did you even know they have those? It is very private, has a changing table, is spacious, and is pretty comfortable. Honestly I just don’t like public restrooms and people hearing me do my thing, so I have always done my best to go before leaving home in general. If you have an emergency, how often do you just run to an empty stall (or urinal for your men) without really looking at anything else because your focus is on your bladder?
3. Do you even know anything about transgendered people? Why are you so scared of or bothered by them that you would boycott a store? I’ll be honest, I don’t really know too much about transgenders. I don’t know the scientific evidence of much of anything in regards to them. If you are a Christian and know all that, good for you for gaining a better education on it, but still; to right out assume that they are evil or are going to harm you or your family, is really a low thing to do. You don’t know how much they have already been looked down upon and rejected as it is, and you are going to do so more…and as a Christian?? Shouldn’t you be the one who hears them out and helps them?
4. Let’s look at Jesus. Did he look down on or talk ill of prostitutes, tax collectors, prisoners, refugees, half-Jews, or handicapped people? Most of the Jewish leaders and people in his time did, but he reached out, loved them, and tried to get to know them. A lot of these people are still looked down upon today. As a Christian, are you that concerned and fearful about a person Jesus cares for who has to use a bathroom where there are usually stalls in as it is? That’s really shallow. Take a lesson from Jesus. The more Christians reach out to any person looked down upon, the more they are doing what Jesus taught. On the Sermon on the Mount (Matthew 5), Jesus said that we are the salt and light of the earth. “In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven.” Doing wrong to another human and shaking your finger at them is not being a light to someone who is hurting and suffering in the dark. He also told us to love our neighbors as ourselves. That isn’t just a literal neighbor (it reaches far and beyond that). If you want to be treated respectfully, you also should treat others with respect. If you want love and kindness, shouldn’t you bestow that on another? The best way to show someone about Christ’s love is to simply show love to all people.
5. My biggest problem with this debate is that while Christians are complaining about Target and boycotting it, they are shopping happily at Walmart and Khol’s. Both of these places have slave labor issues, where they do not source their products. Walmart at least has made efforts recently to source their seafood after they were told their products were coming from slave labored ships in Thailand, but they have a long way to go. They recently started to make efforts to fight human trafficking, and I look forward to seeing the outcome of that. I have contacted Walmart and Khol’s (and dozens of other companies) to let them know that I’d appreciate their company to source their products ethically and that as a consumer I should be able to know facts about their supply chain. If they care for the people who help their company gain money, they will receive me as a shopper.
It is no secret if you read my blog that you know I am a minimalist (and only own enough clothes that fit in one drawer). I shop ethically slave-free created clothing and other products when I do make purchases. I am really strict on where I shop, yet I love Target.
What you need to know is that in 2015, Target began to heavily source their products ethically, sustainably, and have made great efforts to actually get handmade items from artisans around the world sold in some of their stores, using ethical and beautiful practices. If a Christian tells me to boycott Target for their bathrooms, but they are not boycotting Khol’s, it doesn’t make sense to me. Target received a “100% rating for the Human Rights Campaign’s 2015 Corporate Equality Index”. They are “committed to partnering with suppliers who are certified minority or women-owned”. “5% of their profit goes back into helping communities”. You can read all about their sourcing here! I feel happy to know that my Target products were made with ethical practices, in safe working environments where no one is being harmed, by adults to whom are paid fair wages (and not by children). What is more important to you? Deciding where someone goes to the bathroom or standing up for all the millions of slaves who made the items you own from where you are buying them from? My battle is against slavery and for reaching out to the hurting people. . .so that is why I shop confidently at Target and will continue to. I hope to one day feel good about shopping at other stores.