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Quote# 85178

A week ago, a Macy's employee spotted a transgender woman going into the women's dressing room, and decided to stop her and inform her that she wasn't really a woman. The company promptly fired her, but now the employee has enlisted the help of a hatemongering conservative organization and is claiming that Macy's discriminated against her religious beliefs by denying her the right to harass whichever customer she chooses.
On November 30, 27-year-old Natalie Johnson was working at a Macy's in San Antonio when she noticed a teenager shopping with a few friends. She tells KSAT, "I made sure to keep a close eye out on him because he was shopping for women's clothing." You see, despite the fact that the shopper was wearing women's clothing, shopping in the women's section, and wearing makeup, Johnson concluded she was a man. (KSAT is also good at determining what gender people are. While the customer fooled other news outlets into calling her a woman, the station consistently refers to the shopper as "he" in its report.) When Johnson saw the woman go into the women's dressing room, she told her she couldn't enter. "I had to just straight forward tell him, 'You're a man,' and of course that made him, that really got him steamed," said Johnson. The group the shopper was with said she was a woman, and pointed out that Macy's allows people to use the changing room of the gender they associate with.
Johnson says she told a manager, "I've made my choice the other day ... I refuse to comply with this policy." Since she was incapable of complying with company rules, Macy's fired her. Johnson went to the Liberty Counsel, a conservative organization that's called GLBT rights "a radical agenda," then filed a complaint with the federal employment commission. When asked for a response, Macy's said it doesn't "comment on personnel matters," adding, "At Macy's, we recognize and appreciate the diversity of our customers and associates."


Natalie Johnson, jezebel.com 77 Comments [12/12/2011 4:18:05 AM]
Fundie Index: 80
Submitted By: Karen
WTF?! || meh
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rebel

Great, this will be probably be hailed as "Christians persecution" or some such rubbish. Even I, an irresponsible apathetic teenager, knows that if you don't comply with company policies, no matter what you believe, you can be subject to dismissal. Quit ya whining and provide the service you're being being paid to do. Otherwise STFU!

Edit: Yay! First comment!

12/12/2011 4:26:17 AM

Nowonmai

maybe a bit of education on what a transgendered person is, instead of being a stupid shit heeled bully.

So, she can't follow store policy, she is rightfully fired.

12/12/2011 4:46:14 AM

agrf

Its not christian persecution...but honestly i dont think it offensive either to treat someone by biology.. but she still has to follow macys rules..

12/12/2011 4:48:17 AM

WWWWolf

> Liberty Counsel, a conservative organization that's called GLBT rights "a radical agenda,"

Yeah, good grief, if you want to attain liberty, it's very important you don't do anything radical or agenda-like.

12/12/2011 4:56:10 AM

TZL

There's no indication in this report that she was transgender. Maybe Natalie Johnson was looking for someone to pick on. The woman shopper's gender/sex is her business and no-one else's, of course, so I have no wish to find out for certain whether this was actually what happened.

12/12/2011 5:09:34 AM

Ken

Those darn LGTBQs keep bothering good Christians who are trying to mind everbody else's business.

12/12/2011 5:14:22 AM



Makes you wonder how she'd react if the shopper was a woman acting like a man.

12/12/2011 5:16:10 AM

John

A company is only required to accommodate one's religious beliefs if they don't cause more than an insignificant cost or burden to their operation. Being allowed to insult customers in a retail store - and by association, insult an entire class of customers in addition to those who sympathize with them - doesn't sound like something they'd have to accommodate. In addition, it seems likely she would have to demonstrate that the person was actually a man without compelling any cooperation from the defendant.

12/12/2011 5:19:36 AM

John_in_Oz

If she follows all the teachings of her religion she might have a point. Has she sold all her goods and given the money to the poor?

12/12/2011 5:35:57 AM

freako104

If they call persecution, I would point out she made her choice and didn't comply with policy. She deserved to be fired

12/12/2011 5:52:08 AM

tranz2deep

@TZL

It says the woman is transgender in the first sentence, but that's beside the point.

The point is, the woman was behaving, dressed, and acknowledged as a woman by her companions.

The point is that those in the process of *changing gender* should (and Macy's policy dictates they will) be treated as their target gender, particularly for matters like using the bathroom.

Personally, I doubt this was a religious choice at all, but it's going to create a religious stink.

That's why I just WTF'ed it.

12/12/2011 6:11:49 AM

Draken

So if I dress up and pretend being a woman, I can sneak my way in into areas normally reserved for women, at least at Macy's? I'd say that opens the door (haha) to stalking. Does Macy's own any sauna or solarium departments?

Maybe I don't quite get the point of this story.

12/12/2011 6:41:05 AM

shykid

Stuff like this is why I stopped thinking that employers should be required to make “accommodations” for people on religious grounds. Its primary purpose is an excuse to either discriminate (as is the case here) or deny people service (as is, for example, the case with access to birth control and emergency contraceptives). If your religion prevents you from doing your job, then you should find another one. That’s not religious discrimination. It has nothing to do with the fact that you’re a member of a particular religion; it has to do with the fact that you’re incapable of doing your job, regardless of why.

@Draken: As far as I know, there has not been one reported case of that actually happening. Still, that’s a problem that should be dealt with on an individual basis, and discriminating against transgender people won’t eliminate the problem. Gay people are just as capable of being dressing-room creepers; they don’t even have to dress as the opposite gender, either. But banning gay people from the dressing room is impossible: you can’t look at someone and tell their sexual orientation. (Compare and contrast gay bears and Prince.) More importantly, however, it’s not right to discriminate against an entire class of people just because of a few bad apples. Sexual profiling is no different or less vile than racial profiling.

12/12/2011 6:46:40 AM

breakerslion

Never go to Europe, Natalie. The first time you see a unisex bathroom your poor little head will explode.

I have never been aware that there were sexually segregated dressing rooms. I thought the stall door was sufficient, and stalking behavior would be dealt with when it happened. I don't shop in the woman's department, but thanks for the warning about using the nearest dressing room.

12/12/2011 6:51:22 AM

dionysus

Johnson says she told a manager, "I've made my choice the other day ... I refuse to comply with this policy." Since she was incapable of complying with company rules, Macy's fired her.

Okay, then what's the fucking problem? You got your ass fired for not following the rules, deal with it! I thought you conservative types were all about personal responsibility, well, show some personal responsibility for your decision to disobey the company rules.

12/12/2011 6:57:45 AM

Draken

@shykid, you're right of course, but what you say to large extent defies the whole point of segregating dressing rooms.

12/12/2011 7:01:04 AM

shykid

@Draken: I agree. It’s silly if there are stalls.

12/12/2011 7:02:04 AM



Rock on, Macy's!

12/12/2011 7:31:00 AM

Brendan Rizzo

So, how did she even know that the customer is transgendered? Did she know her from somewhere else? Because that makes the whole situation that much more stupid.

Ms. Johnson seems like such a shrew that she probably would have done this to any woman who looked even remotely male, even if she happened to be completely cisgendered, as Johnson would most likely refuse to believe that. After all, you can't be a true fundie unless you shriek and holler when you don't get your way, and constantly poke your nose into other people's business, AND are a colossal jerk for completely arbitrary reasons. She just seems like a horrible person all around, but I'm sure her congregation will forgive all the sins she commits on a daily basis (such as gossiping, snooping around, presumption, caring about no one but herself, etc.) just because she was using those sins to harrass a member of the LGBT community.

I blame the culture of the American South for this.

12/12/2011 7:32:05 AM



What's it to this woman whether a transgender person goes into a dressing room or not? As an employee, it's not like she was using the dressing rooms herself and, presumably, the people shopping at the store are aware of the policy and choose to use the dressing rooms knowing that transgender individuals can as well.

Okay, she's a bigot and didn't like this person's lifestyle, but she could've just scowled from afar. As opposed to "taking a stand" and losing her job by confronting and insulting the individual just because she was in a position where she could... which is exactly what this was.

12/12/2011 7:39:03 AM

Horsefeathers

"The company promptly fired her, but now the employee has enlisted the help of a hatemongering conservative organization and is claiming that Macy's discriminated against her religious beliefs by denying her the right to harass whichever customer she chooses."

Like that was completely unexpected.

"She tells KSAT, 'I made sure to keep a close eye out on him because he was shopping for women's clothing.' You see, despite the fact that the shopper was wearing women's clothing, shopping in the women's section, and wearing makeup, Johnson concluded she was a man."

And?

"When Johnson saw the woman go into the women's dressing room, she told her she couldn't enter."

To which the proper response is, "Fuck you. Get out of my way."

"'I had to just straight forward tell him, 'You're a man,' and of course that made him, that really got him steamed," said Johnson."

Both your gender and sexuality should have been questioned. Just to piss you off.

"Johnson says she told a manager, 'I've made my choice the other day ... I refuse to comply with this policy.'"

Which is why you've been fired. And since you've publicly stated this, don't go trying to sue Macy's now.

"Johnson went to the Liberty Counsel, a conservative organization that's called GLBT rights 'a radical agenda,' then filed a complaint with the federal employment commission."

Uh huh. So, you fail to comply with a company policy and then publicly state that you consciously made this choice and now you want to complain that you've been fired.

You're not very bright.

12/12/2011 7:40:58 AM

Doubting Thomas

Excellent! Our plans to persecute Christians by allowing transgendered people into dressing rooms are working just as planned! Muahahahahahaha!!!!

12/12/2011 7:52:17 AM

LDM

What's a good little Conservative like you doing working for Macy's anyway? Shouldn't you be home cooking and pushing out babies for your husband?

I also find it ironic that she chose a group called "Liberty Counsel" to help her fight for her "right" to trample on the rights of others. And that complaint with the federal employment commission? Will probably just get laughed at. You were fired fair and square.

12/12/2011 7:53:59 AM

Noneofyourbusiness

@Draken

It's really not that important that changing rooms *be* segregated at all. They weren't in every clothing store I've been to. Most people are mature, not perverts, and the ones that are will find some way anyway.

12/12/2011 8:07:48 AM

TZL

@tranz2deep

I missed the statement at the beginning, my bad. My personal viewpoint is that it's none of my business if a person not known to me as a friend or relative is undergoing realignment. I support an individual's right to be the person they ought to be including using the same facilities as the target gender in the case of realignment, but the actual contents of the underwear of a complete stranger is absolutely not my business. If someone wants to be treated as a male or female and presents themselves in a way to elicit that treatment then that is what I will do. Anything else would be unforgiveably rude. I find it appalling that Natalie Johnson thought that it was up to her to be the arbiter of this woman's gender identity. Brendan Rizzo better makes the point I was attempting to - how did Natalie Johnson know the woman was transgender? Dividing people into male and female by observing them isn't straightforward as some people have hormone conditions (as well as being transgendered), another reason to remain incurious and accepting of the surface presentation unless I am honoured by being invited to share more of a person's life.

12/12/2011 8:10:43 AM
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