Texas to Target: Try on Safety!

Barb Wire

For a lot of women, finding the right swimming suit is hard enough. But for one teenage girl, trying one on turned into a terrifying experience that could scar her forever. She was in a Target changing room with her mom, when she saw a 46-year-old “transgender” man looking over the partition at her unclothed body, videotaping her. Horrified, her mom ran after him to the parking lot, where he got in his car and sped away.

The man was ultimately caught, and last week, he confessed in court to “taking advantage of Target’s gender-inclusive policies” to gain access to girls like the 18-year-old he started filming. Although the man’s ex-wife did say that his gender confusion was a factor in their divorce, she agreed that he’s still attracted to women. Asked why he made the video, the man responded: “for the same reason men go online to look at pornography.” For the Target company, the headlines are another PR headache after a six-month string of them — brought on by the retailers’ decision to throw caution (and safety) to the wind and cast their lot with President Obama’s radical bathroom policy.

Now, a 1.4-million person boycott later, their brand isn’t the only thing suffering. Target’s stock has slumped more than $15 a share, and the business’s Chief Financial Officer Cathy Smith has already admitted that getting traffic in their stores has been the “number one challenge.” Now that sexual predators are coming clean that they’re targeting Target for their lax policies, the company’s numbers have nowhere to go but down. Suddenly, Governor Pat McCrory’s (R-N.C.) stance doesn’t seem so controversial after all. In fact, analysts are crediting McCrory’s sudden rise in the polls to the fact that he hasn’t given an inch on H.B. 2, a law that would make it a whole lot harder for perverts to gain access to teenagers like Idaho’s.

After trailing state Attorney General Roy Cooper (who is fully supportive of government forcing dangerous policies like Target’s upon private entities), McCrory has soared to within a half point of his opposition — largely, pollsters say, because he refuses to bend to the liberal bullies. Putting privacy above political correctness is something that North Carolina voters appreciate, based on the popularity of the law that the media has taken such delight in misrepresenting. “I don’t agree with the concept of redefining gender,” Governor McCrory has said. “That is major societal change, but it is being passed off as a political battle.” Liberal activists “have the media on their side,” he agreed, “and they have a lot of [public] support because people don’t understand the issue.”

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That may be changing, as Texas Lieutenant Governor Dan Patrick (R) hints at passing something similar in Texas — where predators are also preying on local girls at Target stores. With the help of State Attorney General Ken Paxton (R), Patrick has been calling on Target to reconsider its decision since one of Texas’s own was victimized. “After this latest incident, I hope Target finally recognizes the importance of protecting its customers, especially in environments where they can be at their most vulnerable. I am offering them the resources of my office to help assist them in improving their safety procedures,” Paxton said. Stubbornly, the retailer has stood by its policy – obviously more concerned about its relationship with cultural elites than the safety and privacy of shoppers.

“Transgender people have obviously been going into the ladies’ room for a long time, and there hasn’t been an issue that I know of,” Lt. Governor Patrick told a Dallas crowd late last week. “But, if laws are passed by cities and counties and school districts allowing men to go into a bathroom because of the way they feel, we will not be able to stop sexual predators from taking advantage of that law, like sexual predators take advantage of the internet.”

In response, he’s already working on a bill similar to North Carolina’s that gives the state the authority to set bathroom policies. He’s calling the legislation the Women’s Privacy Act and hopes that the move will help beat the drum against President Obama’s school bathroom edict. “We’re not gonna let boys and girls shower together,” Patrick vowed during his speech. “Not on my watch.”

The opinions expressed by columnists are their own and do not necessarily represent the views of Barb Wire.

Tony Perkins
Tony Perkins is president of the Washington, D.C.-based Family Research Council. He is a former member of the Louisiana legislature where he served for eight years, and he is recognized as a legislative pioneer for authoring measures like the nation’s first Covenant Marriage law. (Via FRC’s Washington Update. Tony Perkins’ Washington Update is written with the aid of FRC senior writers.)

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