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Potty wars

Men are posting videos on YouTube of themselves testing Target’s new bathroom policy

By WITW Staff on May 3, 2016

As the uproar over Target’s new inclusive bathroom policy escalates, some men are posting videos online of themselves testing the new policy in stores. The boycott, which now boasts a petition that has amassed more than a million signatures, began in earnest late last month after Target announced it was changing its bathroom policy to counteract recent laws and proposed laws in several states that bar transgender people from using the bathrooms of their choice. “We believe that everyone — every team member, every guest, and every community — deserves to be protected from discrimination, and treated equally,” Target said in a statement announcing the policy shift. The move by the retailer sparked all sorts of backlash, from the boycott petition to one Florida woman who declared on social media that she’d be carrying a gun into Target bathrooms as a “bodyguard” as a result of the policy.

The latest direction the backlash has taken involves men using their smartphones to document themselves “testing” the new policy in actual stores — even if not all of them are being completely honest about why they’re doing it. 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. The managers also dutifully field a number of other concerns expressed by the men recording the exchange, concerns that center on the women in their lives running into some form of trouble inside a Target bathroom because of the policy change. Watch the video below posted by a user named “CoachDave,” who probes a woman store manager about the policy. It’s been viewed more than 131,000 times as of this writing.

Naturally, there’s a group inspiring this latest movement: the American Family Association. Sandy Rios, the group’s director said in an interview on a Breitbart radio show, that it was asking men to see if they can gain entry into women’s rooms at various Target stores around the country. “I think there’s no question that when you say that there are no barriers in the bathroom and that if men or women feel like they are men or women, the [opposite] of however they are equipped, and you have no restrictions, the net effect will be that people will not be stopped,” Rios said during the radio appearance. “We’ve already had people testing this, going into Targets and men trying to go into bathrooms. There is absolutely no barrier,” she said. Indeed, in the videos viewed by Women in the World, men are told they can enter the women’s bathroom if they identify as female. In the above video, “CoachDave” approaches the women’s room, but doesn’t actually attempt to walk into it. In the below video, a user named Dylan R. Harrington only speaks with a manager and then leaves the store after learning he would be allowed to enter the women’s bathroom. As he leaves and his smartphone camera continues to roll, Harrington confesses to the camera that he fibbed to the store manager he’d been speaking with. He doesn’t have three sisters whose safety he was concerned about, as he told the manager. He only has one sister.

Read the full story at The Washington Post.


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