Skepticism

Transwoman Caught Creeping in Target

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A transwoman has been caught trying to take photos of a woman in a Target dressing room, leading to a lot of handwringing over whether or not Target was right to institute trans-friendly policies in the past year, and whether or not the entire population of transgender people should be blamed.

But as usual, let’s look at the facts because they’re way more interesting than losing our minds and grabbing our pitchforks. Also I don’t even own a pitchfork because it’s 2016 and I live in a city without easy access to hay bales.

Target has been in the news for instituting a trans-friendly policy for their bathrooms, basically just saying, “look, you don’t need to show your long-form birth certificate to pee in a Target bathroom,” which I think is a quite sensible policy.

But this crime occurred in a dressing room, and a unisex dressing room at that. Target has had unisex dressing rooms for about the last decade. Unisex dressing rooms, by definition, allow people of any gender to use them. So this clearly isn’t a case of a man pretending to be trans in order to take creep shots of women, since in this dressing room even men pretending to be men could do that.

It’s also not evidence that transwomen are in any way creepier than the population at large. Cis-men invented creep shots, for god’s sake, and then they invented subreddits to collect them on for easier sharing, and then when those got banned they invented new subreddits that were poorly concealed versions of the old creepshot subreddits.

Does that mean we should ban unisex dressing rooms and bathrooms? No! It means we should, as a society, make a stand for all people’s right to privacy and not celebrate creepshot subreddits or leaked celebrity nudes whether they’re male, female, or other. And it means that people who are caught violating people’s privacy should be prosecuted whether they’re trans or not.

Finally I’d just like to add that I am 100% against gender segregated dressing rooms. Not only does it make it more difficult for transgender people to perform the simple act of making sure their damn clothes are going to fit, but it also means I can no longer go to department store dressing rooms located in the men’s section on weekends where there’s almost guaranteed to be less of a line. This has been my habit for the past 20 years and I’m not about to change it because one asshole doesn’t respect personal boundaries.

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca Watson

Rebecca leads a team of skeptical female activists at Skepchick.org. She travels around the world delivering entertaining talks on science, atheism, feminism, and skepticism. There is currently an asteroid orbiting the sun with her name on it. You can follow her every fascinating move on Twitter or on Google+.

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2 Comments

  1. July 23, 2016 at 6:36 pm —

    Rebecca Watson,

    Also if people are going to be so terrified of transgender women doing stuff like this, shouldn’t they be equally terrified of cisgender lesbians doing stuff like this? In all seriousness no man is going to go through sex reassignment surgery just so they can look at naked women in the women’s dressing room or the women’s bathroom.

  2. July 24, 2016 at 1:16 am —

    If we’re going to ban entire groups of people from certain activities when one or a few of them commit a crime, then maybe Christians should be banned from receiving medical care, since some of them have murdered doctors. I mean, how can we trust that the mom with the cross on her neck is really taking her kid for a check-up and not going to murder a doctor?

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