Your Silence Is Deafening: An Open Letter To the Target Boycotters

target

I hear you.

You’re angry.

I get it, I’m angry too.

I’m not talking to the people who are angry at Target because their Pro Transgender bathroom policy flies in the face of their cherry picked moral compass. I’m not under any obligation  to respect their beliefs. 

I’m talking to you… the people who have no issue with sharing a bathroom with LGBT people. I’m talking to those of you who are speaking out about this bathroom policy, expressing concern over the women and children who you fear will be in danger because of this policy.

You’re reasonable people. You aren’t expressing hate or bigotry. You just worry. You worry about your kids, your wives, your sisters. I worry too.

I probably worry too much. I have always accompanied my younger kids to the bathroom in public places. When my son was too old to go into the women’s room, I would stand right outside the Men’s room door. If he was taking a while I would yell through the door, asking if he was ok. So, yes, I’m that mom.

I worry. I have always been a little leery of public restrooms.

But I’m not boycotting Target and I’m no more worried about my kids’ safety than I was before.

Even though I’m a worrier, I read and I research. Facts help to calm my fears. Facts that show that in states with pro-Transgender bathroom policies, there has been no increase in assaults. Research that leads me to find an article by a Sexual Assault Victim’s Advocacy Group that is stating very clearly that pro-Trans bathroom policies do not increase the danger of sexual assault for anyone. They in fact minimize it for LGBT people.

What I see is a lot of fear mongering going around. Stories of men sneaking into the ladies room, emboldened by these laws. Stories that have proven to be false.  And some that are orchestrated to incite more fear.

So, I’m going to try to say the rest of this gently because to be honest, it’s all got me worked up and more than a little angry. It’s got a question bouncing around my head for the last few days… one that makes me angrier every time I think it…

Where have you been?

You say you are concerned for women and children. That the thought of sexual assault in a Target bathroom is so concerning that you may boycott, that you are forgoing your usual pleasant FaceBook anecdotes and memes to shout about the new policy…

Where the hell have you been?

You, the protectors of women and children. Where have you been when we’ve been writing and talking about rape?  When some of us have been shouting about these things for years, begging for people to listen, to care. To see the pain and destruction of these things that plague our society.

When we’ve been the ones to make you feel uncomfortable because we are invading your mindless FaceBooking and Tweeting with rants about injustice and startling statistics of rape that should have any sane person’s hair standing on end?

Where were your angry voices when a Presidential candidate suggested that women who don’t want to be raped shouldn’t go to parties?

When actual real life Congressmen claimed that rape victims can’t get pregnant because their body “will shut that down.”

When a court rules that oral sex is not rape if the victim is unconscious from drinking?

When a state legislator in Tennessee is ordered by the TN Attorney General to stay away from women at work because he is a danger to them?

Where were your petitions? Where was your concern? WHY AREN’T YOU SHOUTING ABOUT THESE THINGS???

Where were you when yet another woman was killed by her abusive husband? When a mother was beaten repeatedly. When the “system” that is supposed to protect her allows her violent husband to keep his gun , which he then uses to kill her and her children? Where has your concern been for the 3 women murdered every day by their intimate partner?

Where were you when your favorite college or professional sports hero was accused of rape? Or caught on video beating his wife? Are you still a fan of some of these guys? Do you still cheer them on? Where was the moral outrage to a society that looks past it because he can throw a ball and win games?

Where were you when R.Kelly was allowed to perform, put out another album, collaborate with famous pop singers? Even though he was accused of raping minors and committing cruel acts and even video taped himself doing these horrific and illegal things? Did you stand up and protest then? Did the account of a 15 year old girl’s “disembodied stare” at the video camera as he assaulted her not make you angry?

Where was your angry voice when a rapist was sentenced to 45 days for raping a 14 year old girl?

Where were you when girls were slut shamed after coming forward about their rape?

Where is your loud voice standing up for the homeless women and children? When the U.S. has largest number of homeless women and children among industrialized nations? Is the Target bathroom more of a concern than a mother and her children sleeping in their cars? Or on the street? Or bouncing around homeless shelters?

Where was your self righteous indignation when a child was killed at a park playing with a toy gun? When the police officer who shot him within seconds of arriving on the scene was let off without being charged?

Where were you when a child was shot because his radio was too loud?

Where were you when a child was killed after walking home from buying Skittles? When his murderer was acquitted and went on to make assault two different girlfriends and threaten them with his gun. That he’s still allowed to own.

Where were you when these children were killed? Because I didn’t hear any of you then. I didn’t hear a whole lot of yelling and hand wringing for these children who were mowed down by white male outrage and misguided fear.

When we speak or write or Tweet about everyday sexism and rape culture -that you damn well better believe gives rise to rape and assault- you shrugged. Or rolled your eyes. Or looked away. Or clicked “Unfollow.” Did we make you uncomfortable? All of our ranting and raving about the insidious nature of a society that views women (and hell, children too) as commodities, did it make you feel icky?

You see, I care about women and children (and boys and men) outside of the Target bathrooms. I care about them at home, at school, on the bus, at work, on the street. I care about them regardless of how they’re dressed, regardless of their economic class, no matter their sexual orientation. I care about them when they are being victimized and the world just looks on in apathy.

Those predators you’re so worried will sneak into the Target bathroom? They’re all around you.

They are your Priest, your kid’s coach, your neighbor, your uncle, your youth group leader, your United States Speaker of the House.

They are a savvy bunch, these sick bastards. They flock to places where they can gain your trust. They go to great pains to appear normal and friendly. They don’t sport a beard and a dress and waltz into the bathroom to attack your women and children.

And I can’t help but question concern that only seem to flare up when it’s anti-something. When it’s an “alternative lifestyle.” I question the motivation. I wonder, where the hell have your morals been? Where was your moral outrage when kids were gunned down and college girls were sexually assaulted and women serving in the military were being raped? When women and children were murdered by angry husbands? When restraining orders were granted but in reality offered no protection. When women were threatened online with violence. With rape. With comments like “I know where you live and I will find you and kill you.” Comments that are generated because the woman had the audacity to speak up or write or actually just do her job.

Because I haven’t heard from you about these things. I haven’t heard of petitions or moral outrage from the masses on these things. I haven’t heard much from you at all.

Until now, your silence has been deafening.

So excuse me if I find your newfound activism a little disingenuous. Excuse me if I am rolling my eyes over the furor over using a public restroom. Excuse me if I’m a little worked up over the idea that the “problem” is a Target policy but not the fact that women and children have to be careful and on guard because of a culture that has encouraged male entitlement and subversive sexism and blatant sexualization.

The “problem” you’re screaming about is not the problem. The problem is your apathy all these years to the reality that you refuse to see or acknowledge. It’s a lot easier to believe in the boogey man in the Target bathroom than the real threat that is woven into the very fabric of your Made In the USA security blanket.

Excuse me if I’m a little put off by a flurry of chicken scratched signatures on a fear mongering petition. Excuse me if I think your priorities seem a little slippery.

Because until now? Your silence has been deafening.

45 Comments

    1. Bs. Bs. Bs. Until you have a man poking a camera at you you will change your tune especially with kids. This is liberal nonsense . No one said transgender are committing these sex crimes it’s perverts target opened the door wide for. Your perspective is nauseating

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  1. Little benongst to most people! We have “ALL OF US” have been going to the bathroom with transgender people for probably my re than 50 years, and never cared to notice or discuss this subject! No one cared, now all of a sudden everyone Care’s! Amazing hypocrisy! 😦

    Liked by 1 person

      1. MaDE up word for a liberal fool. We may have been going to the restroom with transgenders as long as you say but that is not the question that we’re talking about we’re talking about perverts that come in and molest little girls or little boys with cameras or whatever is on their mind Target open the door for these people to commit these kind of crimes if everything was okay as you say with the transgender why did they even have to change the laws another nauseating post

        Liked by 1 person

        1. “if everything was okay as you say with the transgender why did they even have to change the laws”

          Maybe you should try asking the republican fools who decided to make their bigotry a matter of law?

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  2. My thought is that this is a fantastic article. Unfortunately the ones boycotting Target will not read it. They are busy worrying that a Transgender person might use their restroom and spread their germs so that more people will become a Transgender person.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. At what point in time did a micro minority obtain the right to dictate the morals, rights and laws of the majority? One of two things is going to happen to Target. They will close their doors forever or they will can their CEO and reverse a policy that caters to mutants.
    KA-BAR, making a man into a woman so their won’t be any questions.

    Like

    1. Fortunately, hopefully just to spite you, neither will happen! People like you are the reason a good chunk of the population is terrified to leave their homes, knowing that at least behind their front door they won’t be assaulted without cause. We’re people too, our DNA is still the same so we’re not “mutants”, as you called us.

      In fact, we’re better people than you, as you’re not showing any humanity at all.

      Liked by 1 person

    2. No “micro-minority” is dictating anything to anyone. The members of the LGBT community are simply asking to have the rights guaranteed under the Constitution. LGBT population is heavily discriminated against, despite the fact that their identity issues are real.

      It is actually they who are being dictated to: You cannot use the restroom most appropriate to your identity.

      It is difficult for me to understand the pictures that these bigots have running through their minds. A good percentage of the time one isn’t even aware a transgender person is present.

      And by the way, what are all those stalls with doors for?

      And my town’s two Targets are going gangbusters, thank you. But then, I suspect we live in the 21st Century rather than the 19th Century time-frame in which your mind seems to reside. But then, how can one respect the opinion of one so afraid that he/she hides their own identity by being “anonymous”.

      I don’t usual engage in commentary on people afraid to stand behind their own words. So I naturally wonder at the reality is of your identity. Is the realty that you’re a teacher with bigotry in your heart? A cop, who is supposed to support LGBT people but hates it? A politician whose career would tank if your constituents knew your bigotry? Or just a good ole boy redneck who wants the little woman in the kitchen cooking dinner, barefoot and pregnant, and bringing you a another brew while you watch Ultimate Fighting?

      Whatever the truth, “Anonymous” gets two thumbs up for bigotry, intolerance, and cowardice.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. LOL, there goes the name calling. When you can’t win on any other merit, there’s your go to. Leave it, it is so old it’s not even funny. The point is not that transgenders can use a bathroom it’s the fact now that a straight man can go in and no one can say shit about it. Get it? I’d rather live in the so called 18th century than the twilight zone buddy

        Liked by 1 person

      1. More than likely nothing will happen because fortunately (or unfortunately depending on your perspective) idiots like you, a minority by the way, have a very short memory.

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  4. How do you or can you possibly know what any of these folks boycotting Target, because apparently that was the catalyst for your anger, are protesting about in the name of women????

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    1. That’s an easy question to answer. The protesters are very loud about whhy they are boycotting…to any one who is listening.

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  5. I did a blog post similar to this a few years ago. I feel the same way. These people don’t actually care about these issues. They are trying to force their prejudices on others. It infuriates me what abusers get away with! Yet, few seem to care. I don’t respect those people at all. They don’t give a flying falcon about what happens to girls in bathrooms. Is they did, they would have spoken up long ago. They are just uncomfortable with Transgender people (even though they might meet a Transgender person and never know it). So they try to find away to never have to see a Transgender person. To them, if we don’t see them, they don’t exist. That’s not okay!
    http://homewithmommy-fran.blogspot.com/2013/09/when-women-are-victims.html

    Like

      1. Just because this law was passed does not mean straight guys are going to all of a sudden use the ladies room. If someone wants to do harm to someone else in a restroom, a law isn’t going to stop them. So I just don’t understand why this is an issue. The reason this is scary to some is because most of us will never truely understand what it’s like to be a transgender person. We need to support each other, show some understanding and compassion, and ask questions, instead of immediately and automatically saying awful things and cutting each other down. I’m so tired of the hate we see from each other in social media. I’m sincerely not trying to be melodramatic, but I’m sick of us destroying each other. I like to think most people are inherently good and genuinely want peace. I’m hoping others understand what I’m saying, while others might say nasty things.

        Liked by 1 person

  6. I’m gonna come at this from a few different angles. First, as a supporter of the LGBT community, as I have friends who are gay and proud, struggle with identity issues, and who have undergone expensive, horrifically painful surgery so they can feel “whole.” I respect their beliefs, their views, and their right to pee.

    I am also going to come at this as a victim of a few of the attrocities you mention that I have faced in my 32 years of being a woman. I understand fear. I understand violence. I speak out now because it hits close to home.

    When I was very, very young, my grandfather crossed so many boundaries that I knew what sex was by the time I was 4, and it took my mother coming home early one day for that to come to a screeching halt. She reported him. He was incarcerated. I never had much of a relationship with him, and was not sad when he passed away. He used to send me birthday cards with a $25 check, and in his final years, would send them with pictures of himself as a young man in the navy. I wish I could have known him, but to me, he will always be a monster.

    In my mid-twenties, I was raped by a very close friend. We were drunk. I trusted him. We had previously had a relationship, but he knew I wasn’t interested. I woke up with a hangover and bruises on my wrists and thighs and he was obviously ashamed. We were drunk. We were close.

    It was still rape. I have to live with that, and so does he.

    My ex-husband was manipulative and wanted me to gain an incredibly unhealthy amount of weight. I didn’t know that he would ask this of me before we were married. I suffered that, too, trying to please a man who told me he loved me. His family was unsupportive and hated me because I spoke up when I disagreed. His father was a drunk and his mother a woman who had no control in her life, physically or financially. He was NOT happy when I filed for divorce, and to this day still thinks we were a great couple.

    I never knew true anxiety until my last long term relationship ended. During the 5 years we were together, I was going through school and had very little money or freedom. I felt really trapped with a man who was depressed and manipulative. I ended it and wanted to see someone else. Fear drove me back, and less than a year later, he got a woman at his work pregnant. I left, stronger this time. Until she lost the baby, and I took him back, even though my friends and family shouted at me to let him go. I couldn’t hear them, and that was my failure. He was sick. Depressed. Needed me.

    And when I had finally had enough, I left for a final time, but not before he cornered me physically for over an hour. I had never felt fear OF him until that point, and I still get anxious when I think i MIGHT be in the same area as him.

    These were men I knew. Trusted. Enjoyed days with that will live on as great memories. I CHOSE to be around all but one of them. All of them failed me in ways that have left me with the scars of a survivor.

    I do not ask for pity. I ask for people to open their eyes and really LOOK at what goes on, even behind your own closed doors. Your home bathroom is “gender neutral,” and don’t respond with “but I only let people that I know and trust use it!” Have you ever had a party where you invited people to bring a friend and someone new set foot in your house? Or a repair man had too much coffee and needs to pee? Do you make them go outside and use a tree? Or do you shrug and say “yep, down the hall, second door on the right”?

    And don’t think a transgender man doesn’t know what it’s like to be a girl. He started that way, and likely has far more respect for you and your children than you give him credit. Trangender women, at least the ones I known, are kind and considerate, and all they want is to love someone. Most of the gay couple I know have children that are well taken care of, happy and healthy and allowed to simply be children. They should NOT be punished because some book you don’t really follow unless it’s convenient says so. God didn’t write the Bible. A bunch of MEN did.

    “Gender neutral” removes archaic boundaries set forth by practices many of us have interpreted to fit our own lifestyles. I have had some pretty awful experiences in my life, and I do NOT fear sharing a bathroom with a man/transgender person, and I find myself questioning why anyone would want these boundaries in place when they stunt our own developement. Our double standards are ridiculous. Men in Scotland wear kilts, and it’s “manly” but a boy like the color pink and suddenly there is worry that he might be gay. A girl is lorded over and taught she is “less than a man” her whole life, and when she finally speaks out, she is a “lesbian” or a “b*tch.”A transgender person who has gone through a lifetime of trying to feel “right” or “whole” knows well the struggles you will face in accepting their existence because they have had a hard time accepting their own.

    Honestly, just stop and think. Just because you can’t always see from someone else’s point of view doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist, and being respectful sometimes means giving support, even against things you “know” to be true. It could be your son or daughter that faces the things this article speaks of. It could even be YOU. There is nothing more infuriating than people that only speak out when something goes against things they fear and don’t understand, or choose to remain ignorant to the world we have created because they simply think “it won’t happen to me.”

    Thank you for writing this article. I see a lot of support to the cause of being a rational human being, and this was great. 🙂

    Liked by 3 people

  7. This is asinine. People do speak out about these things, myself included. The fact that you think no one else does shows the limited bubble you have chosen to live in. My response to this is simple. Let me get this straight, so I fully understand, because there is danger in the world for women anyway we shouldn’t concern ourselves if some stupid politician does something to increase that danger? Those rapists, people that would assault your daughters, people that would take pictures of you in the toilet, and so on can now walk into a public bathroom claiming they are transgender, and no one can say or do anything to stop them. Do you believe for even a second that there are not going to be a LARGE number of sexual predators who will not take advantage of this? If so then you are naive. The fact that there is already danger out there should spur you on to try and DECREASE the dangers, not add to them.

    Liked by 1 person

  8. My husband and I were discussing this and his whole line of questioning to me was “Why? Why do transgenders find it so important to go to the women’s bathroom?” My husband is a smart, caring person, but he had only imagined a group of people angrily demanding rights. It took me saying “Honey, they’re scared too.The men’s room can be a really scary place for them” for him to even see that viewpoint..

    Like

  9. Writer claims to have an open mind, then accuses everyone else of not caring as much about women’s issues as she does. Nice.

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  10. After reading it is clear that you are indeed agenda driven while you have valid points linking this to Target’s Policy which just the announcing of their agenda gives perverts and flashers a reason to be in the other sexes restroom or changing room make no sense its apples and oranges just trying to blur the real issue, this announcement I believe puts women and children at risk for their safety and privicy!

    Like

  11. Rather than reply, it’ll be better to make a new comment as this responds well to many other comments here and not just one as well as the article itself.

    The matter is quite simple and to best put it into perspective is to bring up a different element within the LBGT community and that is to bring the other three letters (particularly the L and G) into this.

    Do gay guys use the women’s washrooms/locker rooms? Do gay women use the men’s? Of course the answer is no to this but have you ever asked why?

    The answer is simple. The segregation has nothing to do with sexual orientation. It has to do with what you have on the outside of your body. So it should go without saying that just as sexual orientation doesn’t dictate which washroom you use neither should your “feels”. In this case what gender you feel you are (aka what gender you “identify” as).

    If you identify as female but you have the outward body of a male, you use the male washroom. Once you get a sex change to get an outward body of a female then you use the women’s washroom.

    This isn’t about denying rights. Nobody is being denied any rights. This isn’t about people being transphobic. This is simply a matter of personal safety.

    Do yourself a favor just to get a little perspective. Do a search for ‘spy cams in the bathroom’ with the adult filter turned off and the results will both shock and disgust you. Given the American population, even if every single trans person were to be assaulted in a washroom simply for being trans, it would still pale in comparison to the number of women who become the victim of assault or a victim to the results of the earlier mentioned search.

    While there are no cameras inside washrooms, there will often be cameras outside the washroom aimed at the entrance. For a guy entering the women’s washroom it means being caught on those cameras. If we allow people with an outward appearance of male into the women’s washroom simply because that person says “I identify as a women”, it give the perv men an excuse to be caught on those cameras. It nullifies that evidence in an assault case bringing it back to a simple ‘her word against his’. It makes it easier for the pervs to be pervs.

    Nobody is calling trans pervs simply for being trans. That’s not the case at all. This is about the pervs (who are likely straight, non-trans, males) simply lying about being trans when they really are not just to gain access to the women’s bathroom.

    The discomfort of some trans and the small % of those who are the victim of some form of aggression toward them is the lesser of two evils. Allowing people to enter the women’s washroom simply because they say they identify as female (and vice versa for the men’s washroom) may alleviate the discomfort but it won’t reduce the number of victims within the trans community. If anything it is more likely to increase the number of victims both within and without the trans community.

    Is that really something you want?

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    1. I..i…this makes literally no sense. firstly people ARE saying trans people are pervs and pedophiles. secondly gay and lesbians dont use the other washroom because THATS A SEXUALITY NOT A GENDER. massive difference

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      1. First off, please point me to where people said that it’s the trans themselves that are pervs because all I see are people saying that the change only makes it easier for pervs to be pervs.

        Regarding “sexuality” vs “gender”, if you have the body of a male but “feel” female, then that isn’t all that different to sexuality. Neither are a matter of choice yet both boils down to signals firing in your brain. The ‘feeling’ of attraction to members of the same sex, and the ‘feeling’ of being the other gender than what your physical appearance dictates.

        So just as sexuality doesn’t dictate which bathroom you use, neither should what gender you feel you are. Instead you use the one based on the gender you physically are.

        Like

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  13. Interesting how I stumbled into the article. I saw the “Open Letter To Target” title.. it’s late at night, so I gave it a read as I did understand it was about the recent ‘bathroom’ issue.for transgenders. I think the article is pointed and well done and I appreciated the viewpoint. But it’s all the crazy comments and replies that made me a tad incensed.

    Again, the same as with all this race issue, being an older white guy, and straight, somehow makes me feel unqualified to even venture into discussion since I’m not part of any of the social victimization. If anything, my demographic is usually considered part of what’s making every other demographics life impossible. Damn my persecution!

    I must be a stupid idiot on this subject so bear with me here as I am neither female, gay, transgendered, or black (just trying to cover it all here). So let me get this straight (uh.. no pun intended).
    1. Public separate sex rest rooms are normally never locked.
    2. I never knew there were any laws prohibiting men/women from entering each other’s domain to begin with. I mean, after all, women have stalls that can be locked so I dunno what value it is for men to poke around in there anyway (yes, yes, I know it’s happened but that’s been very rare). Both men and women are likely too embarrassed to be in the same men’s room together watching what flops into the urinal (thank gawd for Victorianism!). Am I right?
    3. Given that, I presume the risk for perverts and pedophiles to enter either rest room with reckless abandon prior to any law, would be the same if there were a law?
    4. Also, if a transgendered-in-progress person goes into a ladies room would they not also retain privacy by tinkling (or whatever) in a locked stall?
    4. Soooo… if all that is true, then why the hell is there some argument about it all when there are far more important things in this country to worry about than who’s pot one can piss in without attracting perverts??

    But, hey. What do I know. I’m white, male, straight, and obviously a member of the demographic responsible for holding back another social minority from expressing themselves. Jeez.. I’m surprised we haven’t heard from the perverts yet!

    Like

    1. I agree. but, i know you probably didnt mean this as such, but transgendered is actually a highly insulting word for trans people because its a defining noun and reduces our existence to just us being trans.

      Like

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  17. I am a member of the LGB community. 5 -10 years ago i probably would have agreed with the author, but not now. I have seen too many friends targeted by trans activists, especially online, with death threats, rape threats and horrible verbal abuse, just because they believe females have a right to gather on private land or spaces without male bodied individuals being present.

    The target policy is a very slippery slope. Its not just restrooms, its locker rooms, its prisons, its any space that is sex segregated. Yes, these spaces are segregated by sex, not gender. The reason they are sex segregated is do to male violence. This is the same reason that male to trans people dont want to use male restrooms. . .male violence. I have yet to see a female to trans person fighting to use the mens rooms, again. . .male violence. Lets name the real problem here.

    Studies have shown that male to trans commit violent crimes in the same persentages an non trans males. Males convicted of rape are demanding to be housed in womens prisons, wanting taxpayers to pay for their surgeries and hormones. Females have a right to be free from preditory males, reguardless of their gender, or how they identify.

    I resently attended the Womens March on Washington, and was horrified that one of the main stage speakers was a male to trans, who has publicly admitted, on line, to having raped a female to trans friend, with the express purpose of getting her pregnant. And they gave this rapist stage time and a platform to speak at the womens march. Male to trans comments following the march were so misogynistic, they felt the pussy power signs and hats were transphobic because to them “not all women have pussys, or vaginas, or uteruses”. Yet the preditor in chief didn’t brag about grabbing their penises or scrotum, he bragged about grabbing women by the pussy. So, if it is transphobic to even mention female genitalia, where does that leave women? When we can not even name our bodies, our organs without getting harrassed, are we to go back to invisibility?

    Last, but in no way least, the trans community lost my support when many male to trans started harrassing lesbians who refuse to consider them as romantic or sexual partners. Lesbians are female homosexuals, women who are attracted to other females. It is not transphobic for a lesbian to say no to a male to trans. And when male to trans claim to be lesbians, sorry, but no. If you are born male, and attracted to women, you are heterosexual, reguardless of your gender identity. Born males can not be lesbians.

    So when people say “we just want to pee”, no, it is about much more than that.

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