Friday, April 22, 2016

What if Target just did what was good for ALL customers

Let's play "what if."

I shopped at Giant Eagle this morning--love that store, and it's a treat to see the fabulous and over priced products, some twice what I pay at Marc's. But it's also interesting to see how a major grocery retailer with a small profit margin has responded to consumer demands for organic, gluten-free, no hormones in meat, grass fed Buffalo burgers and cheese from sheep and goats, and maybe yaks--3x higher in omega-3 fatty acids than the cheddar cheese I bought for sandwiches.

So what if, instead of submitting to the gay mafia, Target had begun advertising, "Safe, secure, lockable, child friendly rest rooms for all if desired." No hoopla, just good customer service to let everyone know they are welcome to shop there without fear. Many of us already use lockable single stall restrooms in stores, public spaces or historical buildings that don't have enough space for two plus a handicapped on the main floor. It's in the building code, and is OK.

Giant Eagle doesn't tell me I can't select what I'm used to, or I can't purchase off brands at a cheaper price, or I can't buy processed food, even if the CEO is a vegan who thinks I'll go to hell. A good business in a capitalist economy does a market study and provides for all, even the majority.

"What if" doesn't work with this fantasy, because it isn't about good business. It's about pushing a set of values and narrow morality, as though the customer can't check out without getting a religious pamphlet. It's about blurring the clear differences between men and women. Toilets are just a small part of this cultural package. There's already a move to erase gender from birth certificates, the terms mother and father from school records of children, and husband and wife from marriage licenses. There are groups demanding respect for polygamy and incest. Check your public library and you'll find a huge number of YA books on gender bending far out of proportion to religion, but with the same missionary zeal. And for whom? A fraction of a fraction who for the most part just want to quietly live their lives without government, religious or social interference. That's a right that is NOT available for the other 97% of us.

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