April 26, a piece titled “Target’s Trans Bathroom Policy Really Isn’t about Bathrooms” appeared at csnnews.com, a site launched, according to them, in order to combat “…a liberal bias in many news outlets.” After an opening-paragraph bald-faced statement that Target is risking “the safety of their customers in the name of ‘political correctness’ ” by allowing trans-gendered folk to use the facilities corresponding with their gender identification, the op-ed gives the impression that all 840,000 people who are registered as sex offenders are queued up at women’s bathroom doors across America ready to pounce on unwary victims. I presume this includes the registered children, as young as nine, the females, and those physically disabled as well.
I suppose it is immaterial that the vast majority of those individuals have lived and functioned in their communities, some for 35 or 40 years since their offenses, without having committed another sexual crime. This new policy will surely bring them forth from their homes in hoards, the males donned in wigs, skirts, and heels, to converge on the bathrooms of their local Targets and any other public venues foolish enough to institute such a policy.
Then, in a segue that few will notice, the op-ed’s author moves from the 840,000 on the registry to all who have ever been or are currently inclined to commit a sex crime by saying that Target’s new bathroom policy is one that allows “…sexual offenders to pose as trans-gender individuals to obtain entry into the bathroom of the opposite sex.”
Just as this op-ed claims that Target’s policy is not really about bathrooms, I am of the opinion that the op-ed is not really about Target’s policy or even trans-gender individuals. It is rather about propagating the myths that registered citizens, as a group, are an imminent risk to women and children and that the greatest risk of sexual assault to women and children is from strangers skulking in public places.
This is contradictory to all evidence – and there is a lot of it — about the low rate of re-offense of registrants living in the community, the fact that virtually all new sexual crime – up to 96% — is committed by individuals not on the registry, and the fact that the vast majority of sexual crime is perpetrated by those known by the victims.
The op-ed says that, according to a cited source, 33% of women who are sexually assaulted are attacked “on school property or in a public area such as a commercial venue.”
The segue — from bathrooms to school property and public areas — is a little more noticeable this time. School properties and public areas do not automatically translate into bathrooms.
According to the op-ed, “There are numerous cases of sexual assault in commercial venues.” Three are given; all three are cases of “peeping toms” and attempts to take photos. None were rape or contact-assaults. One was in a college locker room. Why did the op-ed not use examples of more serious forms of sexual assaults in bathrooms if they are so numerous?
Speaking on behalf of Concerned Women of America, the author of the op-ed calls for a boycott of Target stores in order to protect women and girls from the dangers lurking in their bathrooms.
I call for an end to fear-mongering and the blatant disregard of facts.
I call for a massive dissemination of evidence and truth about the very complex issue of sexual crime. As a woman and mother, I want women and children protected from harm. I want policies in place that are fact-based and shown to further the interests of public safety. I want parents to know the truth about how best to talk with their children regarding sexual abuse issues, and I want women and girls — and men and boys — to know how best to protect themselves from being victims of sexual assault.
None of these goals will be accomplished by obsessing over who goes into what bathroom.