Bentonville, AR (KSR)
Early this morning, retail conglomerate Walmart jumped into the debate about bathroom choice for transgender employees and patrons, following last week’s announcement by rival Target, and the ensuing controversy. Not to be left behind, Walmart notified media outlets that they would soon add “Gender Check” machines in all retail stores. In a recorded statement Walmart CMO Tony Rogers said that he considered this to be the logical and pragmatic solution.
“This way everyone knows their gender, right? I think not only will this clear up any bathroom confusion for the individual, it’ll help put parents and others at ease. It’s a very simple machine. You simply pull the band of your pants out, put your genitals under the scanner, and your gender will pop up on the screen. Then, if you have a hot dog, you mosey on over to the men’s toilet and, if you have a taco, it’s the women’s toilet for you. See? Simple.”
The rollout of “Gender Check” is set to begin next few months with some stores seeing machines as early as June. Failure to use the proper restroom will be treated and prosecuted in a manner similar to shoplifting, according to a corporate press release. The release went on to say that, in the event of an equipment malfunction, a designated Walmart employee would use the TSA method to make any required Gender determinations.
In stark contrast to the Target announcement, Walmart’s release was met with a mixture of reticence and confusion. A representative of the AFA (American Family Association), told the AP she supposed it could be a good thing saying, “I mean, if those lasers work I guess it’ll do the job. They’re not going to burn our privates right? Have they said if the lasers are safe?”
The ACLU of Arkansas also released a statement that read, “While we prepare to research the legality of Walmart’s new bathroom policy, we would recommend consumers not expose the flesh of their genitals to lasers. Seriously. It hurts.”
[UPDATED: 9:08 AM]
In response to concerns espoused by the AFA, ACLU, and others, Walmart says they will add Great Value Burn Cream dispensers to both the Men’s and Women’s toilets.