I must start this post with saying that I am not a member of any gym and that I am not even sure if Planet Fitness has any gyms in my country. However, yesterday I retweeted a news post about how Planet Fitness revoked the membership of one woman, because she complained about a man constantly going in and out of the women’s locker room. In the space of two hours I was tweeted at over a hundred times. I only have just under 800 followers at this point, so this indicated to me just how big the issue of transwomen (read: Men who believe they are women based on superficial and stereotypical views people in patriarchal societies have of women) demanding access to female only spaces is.
The reason women have locker rooms and bathrooms separate from men is also because we live in a patriarchal society in which women’s bodies are considered the property of men. Our bodies are judged, gawked at, defined and altered all in the service of men. In patriarchal societies our bodies funtion as sources of titillation, reproduction, cheap labor and general amusement for men. This attitude towards our bodies puts women at risk. Men believe they have a right to access our bodies at all times and we can do little about it. They will touch us without our consent, put their dicks in us whether we like it or not, imprenate us and ridicule us for failing to stop them. This is why we have spaces that should at least shield us from the worst of it.
But men don’t like it when we congretate without then. Our bodies are theirs and if they can’t check up on us, control our identities and invade our spaces they get nervous. What are women doing when men are not around? They must know, they have a right to know in our society. After all it is men who decide what women are. They determine what we should wear, how we should conduct ourselves, what life choices we should make and above all, what we should do with our bodies.
Women are doing (female) gender all wrong. They are not conforming enough to the patriarchal mandates of feminity as set by men. Why, men can do a better job of being women than women can. After all men created the standards and are more familiar with the rules. Why can’t women see how they are supposed to act and dress and defer to men in all things? This must mean that (some) men actually are women, because women sure as hell don’t seem to have a clue. As long as they shut up and bow down to men’s superior knowledge of all things female men shall tolerate them, but no more than that.
Of course not all men insert themselves into women’s lives in the same way. Some men don’t touch us without permission or rape us. Some men just talk over us or tune out when we speak. But how do we know that? How do we tell the genuinely deluded men who believe they are women from the ones who will violate our bodies? How many women have been attacked in bahtrooms and locker rooms throughout history? How many women have been secretly videotaped and had their bodies turned into porn when they thougt their privacy was garanteed? And isn’t the performance of feminity itself a slap in the face to all women? Your body is made into a walking stereotype that can be performed. Nothing about your actual body is relevant, not the fact that you can get pregnant, that you bleed every month for a large portion of your life, that boys and men start leering at you and turning you into an object before you even had a chance to experiment with your own sexuality. Your history of being made to feel inferior for being born in that female body doesn’t even matter. It is all about identity and the proper performance of (female) gender.
Planet Fitness has made it abundantly clear that they care about men feeling welcome in their facilities, but they will kick out any woman for who “violates” men’s comfort. In 2014 women have been kicked out for wearing tank tops, for being pregnant, for wearing a headscarf and for being “too pretty”. All of these things staff of Planet Fitness told the women made other patrons (read: men) “uncomfortable”. This year they have gone one step further and kicked out a woman who just wanted the same comfort level Planef Fitness offers male members. This really sends home the message that actual women don’t matter.
As I have said before, transwomen are in danger from other men. There are other men who will attack, rape or even kill transwomen. But instead of calling men out on their abuse behavior they turn around and bash women for not kissing their asses, validating their massive, narcissistic, male egos and allowing them to invade their space even further than they already have. It seems to me that their anger and outrage is entirely focussed in the wrong direction.