“Criticism is something we can avoid easily by saying nothing, doing nothing, and being nothing.”
I'm a believer in the free market. I vote on all kinds of things with my pocket book. I vote on the value of a product, the kind of service I receive, on what I find morally acceptable, and all kinds of other things. That said, I have almost never boycotted a particular company and I'm not about to start now. I tend to be rather liberal with my dollars as it relates to companies supporting various causes, political parties, and so on. I will, however, buy certain products or services because of the good they do with their finances. For instance, I will likely be supporting Lost Camo, which is owned by Mathews Archery, because 100% of the profits from Lost Camo goes to support missionaries and other good organizations. That doesn't mean I'll never buy another brand. When it comes to the recent controversies regarding the Target bathroom policies a lot of people called for a boycott and Targets stocks plummeted. I don't generally get all caught up in boycotts and I have been to target and purchased items their recently. That said, I will likely be spending my money in other establishments more frequently and at Target less frequently in the future. It isn't a boycott, but, it is related to their bathroom policies. Let me explain.
I have two kids. One is 17 and old enough to be less concerned about in many respects. I don't spend much time thinking that she is in danger in the bathroom. I may think about it a little more now, but when she was young, say 7 or 8 years old, I did think about her safety in the bathroom. When a dad takes a young girl to a store and that young girl needs to use the bathroom it can create difficult moments. At a very young age you can simply take her into the men's bathroom and take care of things. As they get a little older the men's bathroom becomes a place where they should not go and yet they are young enough to be very impressionable, possibly need help if things don't go smoothly, and possibly be victimized by voyeristic behavior or worse. As a result a dad may send such a young girl into a bathroom hoping things go well. In the past there would be a reasonable expectation that only women would be in the bathroom, even if it could not be guaranteed. With the change in policy by Target, Planet Fitness, and other organizations this can no longer be the expectation. In fact, this kind of a policy didn't start with Target. Planet Fitness allowed a man (who was a transgender woman) into a women's locker room a year ago; a lawsuit ensued. While it may or may not be transgender people who abuse these kinds of policies, sending a young girl into a bathroom or locker room where the rules make it easy for a predator to gain access creates danger. Many will retort by saying that transgender people are not predators. Perhaps, but the concern is not transgender people as much as people who will take advantage of policies that are easy to abuse. Whether they are transgender or not isn't really my concern.
As a result, I will make decisions based on safety and based on the kinds of safety policies I want to support. I am not saying that I will never buy anything at Target again...I probably will. That said, if the choice is Target or some other company that has what I believe are safe bathroom and changing room policies, I will choose the other company, especially if I have my kids with me. Every dollar I spend supports a product or company, and while I may not be 100% consistent, I will do what I can to support good products & services with my money; that includes considering their policies.
John Byrne is a pastor who has been spouting off his opinions his entire life (just ask his mom). This little blog is his venue for continuing in this tradition.