Sunday, March 8, 2015

"Nicky Arnstein's Big Number "You Are Woman, I Am Man" Will Be Next To Go...Mark Our Words...."

Old saying.

Where there's smoke, there's fire.

New saying.

Where there's smoke, get over it.

A Michigan woman's Planet Fitness membership was revoked after she complained about a transgender person in the women's locker room. 

Yvette Cormier, a 48, said she was walking into the Midland Planet Fitness locker room last Saturday when she saw someone "dressed like a man." 

The person was wearing a wig and "a little bit of blush," but was "huge" and appeared "very manly," Cormier told ABC News today. 

"I just stopped right there in my tracks," she said. "It was a man for sure." 

Cormier, who had been a Planet Fitness member for two months, said she went to the front desk immediately. The man at the desk told her that Planet Fitness policy is "whatever gender you feel you are, that's the locker room you're allowed to go in," she said. 

"And then he said, 'We've had lots of complaints about him but we told him to go change in a stall,'" Cormier said. 

"He said, 'if you're uncomfortable with that you can wait until he's done in there,'" she said. "I stood back and said, 'How about he waits until I'm done in the women's locker room. Or get a unisex bathroom.' He asked if I would like to talk to the manager and I said, 'I'm calling corporate.'" 

When she called the corporate offices, she said, someone there confirmed that the person at the front desk was correct about Planet Fitness policies. 

"I wouldn't have signed up for this gym if I knew that ahead of time," Cormier said, adding that the gym is "failing to protect me if anything happens in those locker rooms with a man." 

She said she went back to the gym the next few days and "told everyone in the locker room what happened." She said everyone she talked to "was appalled." 

On Thursday, Cormier said, Planet Fitness Corporate called and revoked her membership immediately. 

"They said, 'You are talking to people about him in the women's locker room. You are making people upset.' That's my whole point," she said. "I'm telling them and warning them because you are not doing that. You allow men in there, and we are appalled by it." 

Planet Fitness Director of Public Relations McCall Gosselin said the gym is "committed to creating a non-intimidating, welcoming environment for our members. Our gender identity non-discrimination policy states that members and guests may use all gym facilities based on their sincere self-reported gender identity." 

The statement continued, "The manner in which this member expressed her concerns about the policy exhibited behavior that management at the Midland club deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was cancelled." 

Gosselin added, "As our statement outlines, her membership was not cancelled as a result of complaints about our policy, as we welcome all feedback from our members. Rather, it was the manner in which her concerns were expressed that club management felt was inappropriate, which resulted in the cancellation."

Hidden, not so well, it turns out, amidst the ostensibly good intentions of the Planet Fitness corporate policy here is an attitude that could, arguably, be offered as evidence of the real problem.

Loosely translated, it goes something like this:

"...We don't really have the time, energy, patience or, frankly, ability to deal with the demands of so many individual preferences and their accompanying demands, so, in the hopes that it will be seen as our best effort to be all things to all people at all times, primarily out of fear that the chances are less that one average, everyday housewife type will make our public relations life miserable as opposed to dozens or, God help us, hundreds of gays, lesbians, transgenders, etc, potentially picketing outside our front door , we suggest you suck it up and realize that what's going to happen here is we're going to pretty much leave it up to all of you to work it out amongst yourselves. Because, you see the real, unspoken truth of the matter is that we are sincerely sorry you feel uncomfortable with a policy that pretty much opens the locker room door to anyone anytime, but we're not scared of you. We are, truth be told, scared of them. Thank you for choosing Planet Fitness and we hope you'll just turn a blind eye, turn your IPod up loud to drown out any male sounds you might hear in the locker room and shut the hell up about it."

This more and more standard approach to this kind of thing is, in fact and unfortunately, what "political correctness" is, too often, really all about.

The Quixotic quest to literally offend no one at any time by, literally, attempting to be all things to all people.

At worst, nothing less than surrender.

At best, an exercise in futility.

Because this approach fails to take into account the fly that inevitably shows up in any ointment intended to sooth any irritation.

In mathematics, it's known as the lowest common denominator.

In our day to day lives, it's the he/she/and/or it who would take advantage of a situation for no other reason than they are self absorbed and that presents in the form of being self centered and selfish.

C'mon over baby / whole lotta selfish goin' on.

Reasonable people of any and all stripe (the key, and unintentionally hilarious, word being "reasonable" here... ) would, let's assume for the sake of our discussion here, have no problem with doing their best to accommodate others where possible.

Reasonable people would try, again we assume, to have, if not a sympathy, then, at least, an empathy for those who find themselves in the position of living a life filled with confusion and/or consternation about their gender identity.

Even reasonable people, though, would, once again, we assume, find themselves lining up on the "lock and load" side of any battle line resulting from having their own lives rudely and crudely disrespected by those who insist on exercising their rights by shoving them down the collective throat and/or using said "rights" as a justification for exhibiting not a moment's hesitation to live their lives in full tail mode, ready, willing and, even anxious, to wag the living shit out of the dog.

The fault, dear Brutus, isn't so much the presence of militancy.

The fault is the absence of manners.

And, at least until America joins other nations who have welcomed the 21st Century and starts thinking safe, practical unisex facilities, absence of manners will continue to be the fault line.

Which brings us back to smoke.

There was a time, in the not so distant past, that those who wanted to indulge their need for nicotine managed to feed their habit without flipping off those around them.

And nowhere in the exchange was there any mention of ridicule, chastisement or judgement of the smokers on the part of the smokees.

People were simply considerate of other people.

Both ways and all ways.

Simplistic as it might seem, this business of gender identity bringing a big brouhaha into the locker rooms and bathrooms of America is, whatever else it may or may not be, just another page from that very long and very established book.

How To Be Courteous, Vol 1.

Why, reasonable people ask reasonably, should it be a problem for those who "feel like a woman" but still possess the physicality of a male to simply do the courteous thing and use the male facilities?

The oft offered reason (read: excuse) is that ridicule, chastisement and judgement await the aforementioned Man! Who Feels Like A Woman! in that male facility.

So, let's see. What's really going on here is that the women's locker room isn't so much a place of actual, and rightful, belonging as much as it is a refuge from the bully faction?

Well, gee, that really is unfortunate, but, reasonable people once again interject, why should women be put in the position of having to deal with wondering whether that male standing next to them in the locker room or bathroom is a female feeling male or some red blooded peeping Tom male who knows a advantageous loophole when they come across one?

And let's not even go to the extreme of the child molester who uses this "gender equality" schtick as an E ticket to work his way into the ladies room and choose from any number of elementary school age opportunities that might come in.

Reasonable people are, for the most part, inclined to be understanding, conciliatory, even empathetic to males who, once committed to their sense of self, make the actual, complete move from male to female.

Or vice versa.

I doubt Chaz Bono creates much of a stir at his local Planet Fitness.

And Bruce Jenner will probably not be given much of a second thought.

But an actual male, regardless of his inner struggles, who wakes up on any given morning, feeling pretty, oh, so pretty and finds the door to the women's locker room open to him because of some cowardly avoidance of any reasonable stance by a fitness center.....

Well, now...that's a horse, or mare, of a different color.

Which, one more time, brings us back to smoke.

Reasonable people have no problem with someone asking them if lighting up a cigarette would be a bother.

Reasonable people have no problem with women being in the women's locker room.

Whether they started out in life as a woman or not.

But, reasonable people would agree with Yvette Cormier.

That a policy that is, underneath the jockey shorts or panties, as the case may be, no policy at all is, simply, an abdication of responsibility.

And those males who "feel like a woman" on any given day and choose to consider that feeling and no one else's?

Whatever else it may, or may not be, it's simply rude.

Was a time when folks asked "do you mind if I smoke?"

This man in a woman's locker room scenario is just a different plot twist in the same play.

And it's hard to disagree with a reasonable person who has a problem with someone saying to them.

"I'm lighting up and probably going to blow smoke in your face...get over it..."

The controversy is seemingly about chromosomes.

When, in fact, it's about courtesy.