Openly-progressive Target prides itself on allowing biological men to enter the women's restroom if that is how they self-identify. The policy, enacted in 2016, outraged conservatives for fear it would put women and girls at risk.
According to NBC Chicago, police are now on the hunt for a man who exposed himself to a child in the women's restroom at a Target store in the South Loop.
"A mother was with her young child at about 4:08 p.m. in the women’s restroom at the Target at 1154 S. Clark when the man entered and insisted he had to go to the bathroom, according to Chicago Police," reports the outlet.
When the man entered the restroom, he reportedly pushed into the child's stall and exposed himself.
Shoppers at the store expressed sorrow and dismay over the incident. "It's very sad. Children are innocent," said Target shopper Stanley Hughley. "However old the pedophile was, it's wrong. It's pure evil no matter how you look at it."
Target spokesperson Danielle Schumann claims the man was drunk when he exposed himself to the girl before leaving.
"At Target, the safety and security of our guests is critically important to us," Schumann said. "Immediately after a guest notified us of this incident, we called law enforcement and provided them with video footage from our store entrance to help with their investigation.”
A similar incident at Target occurred in 2016, when a man allegedly took photos of a woman as she changed clothes in the dressing room.
After enacting the new policy allowing people to enter their preferred restroom no matter their biological sex, Target suffered a $10 billion loss in value, a full 20% drop, which critics connected to the new policy, while defenders claimed was a result of other factors. As the protests against the store from pro-family groups escalated, Target's CEO Brian Cornell not only doubled-down on the controversial policy, but went as far as to compare those opposed to it as being akin to racists who opposed the outlet when they featured black models in their advertisement.
"We’ve had a long history embracing diversity and inclusion," said Cornell. "A couple weeks ago, one of our team members sent me a note reminding me that if we went back to the mid-60s, our company was one of the very first to use African-American models in their advertising, and back then, it wasn’t well received."