Currently, my Beloved is a dues-paying member of the now-famous (or infamous, depending upon one’s point of view) Planet Fitness franchise of non-judgmental workout centers. The recent hubbub revolves around a female member who expressed her dismay (to PF management) and questioned the appropriateness of a naked – and obviously male – individual boldly ensconced in the women’s locker room. (In this HuffPost news story, the naked male is referred to as “a transgender woman.“)The outspoken woman in the story discovered almost immediately how seriously PF adheres to their stated policy of the facility as a “Judgment Free Zone.” In a move that surely defies the notion of “the customer is always right,” management at the Michigan facility immediately revoked the complainer’s membership! (Freedom of speech? Not here!)
The first time I noticed the nearby location of Planet Fitness with its highlighted “Judgment Free Zone” hype, I remember thinking how dopey that hype was. (I never actually entered the facility though.) The entire concept didn’t pass the smell test, if you will. I make judgments everyday … how fast to drive down my road, which brand of milk I’m going to purchase, when to pay my light bill.
And let’s talk about judgment in a slightly different sense: my Beloved endures daily judgments from me … and they’re always free! I never charge. He asks me whether I think he should paint the walls this color or that – as his consultant, I make a judgment call and don’t charge a dime.
I don’t recall how long my Beloved has been associated with the local PF facility. He and his brothers have worked out there. It’s the gym closest to our house. He was unaware the business model (according to many critics) is designed around gathering memberships – preferably from people who never actually darken the door. But our son was aware that the non-judgmental philosophy really translated as no serious gym-rats allowed. Notwithstanding the fitness half of its name, if you’re a fitness enthusiast, Planet Fitness isn’t for you.
In a separate story (but not completely unrelated), I read today that a student-led group (Young America’s Foundation) at George Washington University has come under fire because they’ve refused to participate in school-mandated sensitivity training in regard to preferred gender pronoun usage.
Now if you’re late to the party … as I was … please allow me to explain. According to various online sources, the preferred gender pronoun (or PGP) restructuring of the English language is designed around one’s personal (or preferred) comfort. Do you “identify” as female even though you appear (visually) to be male? Then in order to accommodate your gender confusion, I must edit the way in which I interact with you. To do otherwise would show how utterly hurtful and insensitive I am, you see. Your personal comfort should (apparently) be my highest goal.
If you take a close look at the PDF linked above, there’s even a chart (the authors call it a Handy dandy list of pronouns) to facilitate my accommodation of your gender confusion! The list even includes some new words – gender-inclusive terms – to enable an even greater bastardization of language!
Let me be clear. I’m old and I plan to continue using the English language as it was taught to me. Pronouns in my vocabulary will not be expanded to accommodate anyone’s gender confusion. I don’t care if you “identify” as a baboon or an all-terrain vehicle! Pronouns were never meant to be at your disposal (or mine). They are what they are!
To the students a GWU, bravo! Fight the Man! Our culture has been taken over by morons, especially the professional victims and victimizers who seem to proliferate on many college campuses. Thanks to YAF for drawing a line in the sand to say NO MORE!! We should all be proud of their willingness to draw that line … or be prepared to accept the inevitable take-over of women’s locker rooms … by those whose junk once signified their ineligibility for coming through the door.