Friday, November 23, 2007

I know where I won't be shopping

In this week's issue of the Hook, the weekly newspaper ran a column called Holiday howlers, which consisted of interviews with local shop owners about their stories of last minute holiday shoppers. Cynthia Schroeder of Spring Street's interview particularly caught my eye. The author of the article, Claiborn Thompson, writes,
In her second year running the women's clothing shop Spring Street, owner Cynthia Schroeder found the holiday season to be especially hectic. But things turned from hectic to strange when a man came into the store-- located at that time in Meadowbrook Shopping Center-- apparently looking for a gift for his wife or girlfriend. But no. Schroeder says he wanted to try the clothes on... himself! Realizing she had no rules against it, she allowed him to take his pick.

Then, while he was busily trying on clothes, a lady out in the parking lot backed into Schroeder's car and tried to drive away.

"Since then," she says, "we've decided that men should not try on women's clothes-- during store hours or otherwise!"

I don't even get how this was a story. Let's break it down: A man wanted to try on women's clothing. The store owner let him. An unrelated woman then backed into the store owner's car. Since then the store owner has decided men should not cross-dress.

All I have to say is, WTF?

This past Tuesday (November 20th, 2007) was Transgender Day of Remembrance, a day "set aside to memorialize those who were killed due to anti-transgender hatred or prejudice." The website for the day defines transgender as "a transsexual, crossdresser, or otherwise gender-variant" individual.

It's depressing that the Hook ran this story the same week as the Transgender Day of Remembrance. If this woman wants to exclude a group of people from her private business, fine, but it's ridiculous for the Hook to publish this as a humorous story that condones her bigotry.

The Hook dehumanizes cross-dressers and other transgender individuals with this story by making them a punch line in a joke and celebrating their exclusion from a business. It is exactly this kind of attitude that protects members of our society who commit violent acts against transgender people merely because they do not conform to our notions of what it means to be a man or a woman.

Shame on The Hook.


Patience_Crabstick said...

Yes, it's a tad unfair to blame the cross dressing man for the random woman hit and run driver. I was in Spring Street last year after Christmas, and the sales people were pushy enough to make me uncomfortable and not want to ever shop there again.

drh said...

WTF? indeed.

A friend of mine also had a really crappy experience at Spring Street. They must be really *super* people! ;)

Anonymous said...

I worked for Ms. Schroeder about two years ago. The experience was painful, to say the least. Eventually it became too draining for me to stay on, not only because of the bright lights and uncomfortable shoes. Schroader turned out to be a major pain in the ass, a truely ugly person underneath all her overpriced sweaters and skirts and pants. I realized she was willing to backstab, lie, cheat, point the finger of blame, all in an effort to retain her so-called reputation. The ultimate american snob, a true bitch (and I dont use the term lightly). I was glad to be free of her when I left (and her snotty customers).