Dear Planet Fitness,
I went to your website today looking to cancel my membership, but it says I have to do it in writing. I hope this letter will satisfy that requirement.
Now, because you need this written down like it's a divorce filing, I thought I should tell you why our relationship isn't working out (pun very intended). You might call it "irreconcilable differences." Or you might just say I was utterly disgusted and perplexed when I read this story about a woman named Yvette Cormier, who quite reasonably felt intimidated and uncomfortable when she encountered a man in a Planet Fitness women's locker room. She expressed her concerns to your staff, and then to your corporate office, but she was informed that because the man "identifies as a woman," he is free to use the bathrooms and changing facilities of actual women.
And as if so profoundly violating the privacy of your female customers wasn't enough, you then proceeded to ban Ms. Cormier as punishment for complaining. If that lady has the audacity to feel threatened by a man who waltzes into the locker room while she's potentially exposed, she isn't welcome in your place of business, you announced.
[sharequote align="center"]I find this policy and the decision idiotic, repulsive, asinine, irresponsible, backward, and insane[/sharequote]
I find this policy and your decision idiotic, repulsive, asinine, irresponsible, backward, and insane. I couldn't possibly continue giving you my money after something like this, but, in all honesty, I should have broken up with with you long before. You guys are just so cheap, and I'm such a tightwad that the marriage seemed destined to be.
But I was mistaken.
Indeed, I realized during my first workout at your gym that you are the undoubtedly one of the biggest frauds and worst false advertisers in the country. And when I say "false advertiser," I'm not just referring to the "women" sign on the door to the female locker room.
Your slogan is "no judgment," yet you are probably the only health club in the nation that centers its entire business model around being judgmental. Rather than sell your product based on its merits (a flimsy foundation, that), your commercials make fun of fitness enthusiasts, painting them with all of the familiar stereotypes. You even have a giant alarm positioned near your paltry collection of dumbbells, designed to blare out anytime someone makes the mistake of grunting or otherwise exhibiting signs of physical exertion, because those sounds might interfere with the normal folks who came to the gym to stand around the ellipticals for 45 minutes gabbing with their friends before heading to Starbucks for a muffin and a venti mocha frappucino.
You have signs on the walls singling out those of us who drink out of gallon jugs or wear sleeveless shirts. You prohibit your customers from doing any exercise that might frighten the sort of people who think "deadlift" means bench pressing corpses. Your mantra is that you don't want "lunkheads," and then you define lunkhead as, essentially, anyone (well, any man) who wants to build muscle.
I get it, though. It's a clever trick. You market yourself towards people who aren't interested in fitness, charge $10 a month, and then give out free pizza and bagels; you do everything in your power to repel anyone who might be intent on getting stronger and healthier, while going to great lengths to entice the kinds who come once and never return but keep paying membership fees anyway, and now you have a business built to basically service nobody. You get people to buy a membership, but then discourage them from getting in shape, and the result has made you millions.
Well done, you shameless con artists.
Anyway, that's beside the point, but since we're on the subject of you, I thought it bears mentioning that you were already terrible before this whole "transgender" fiasco. I mean, come on, you're a gym that serves pizza.
You're a joke.
And now you're a danger to women.
If I was cut from a more litigious mold, I might encourage Ms. Cormier to sue you for creating an environment where sexual harassment (and worse) might prosper. You say only men who "sincerely self-identify" as women can use the women's locker room, but how do you quantify the "sincerity" of that belief? Answer me this: is there anything stopping any man from walking into the women's room to ogle naked ladies?
You're already facing a class action lawsuit after someone managed to put recording devices in the room where people take off their clothes and use the tanning beds. Who is to say that one of these cross dressing men can't do the same in the locker room, now that you've granted them unfettered access? And when that happens, I wonder how many hundreds of millions of dollars you'll be on the hook for. I don't know, but I'm sure we'll find out soon enough.
You see, when you allow a man to invade the privacy of women as long as he professes to feel like a woman himself, you've invited all kinds of intended and unintended consequences. It's long been considered quite self-evident that human society must make the rather clear distinction between "male" and "female," once you've torn it down, what you're left with is disarray. In fact, if I were malicious, I might foment the disarray. I might encourage everyone who goes to your gym on a regular basis to start using the facilities of the opposite gender. I might tell them to make a complete mockery of your politically correct policies, until you're forced to change them. But I won't, because, well, nobody goes to your gym on a regular basis, and also because that would put the women and children who use your locker rooms in potential danger.
Carlotta Sklodowska, the transgender woman at the heart of the Planet Fitness story. Photo credit: Facebook
I'm actually more concerned about the safety of your customers than proving any kind of ideological point, can you say the same?
Hey, tell me this, Planet Fitness: what happens if some male cross dresser enters the women's facility and terrifies a 13-year-old girl? If she comes out in tears crying that a man just sat down beside her and began to take off his clothes, will you kick her out, also? Whose side do you take in that confrontation?
I realize your "tolerance" of the "transgendered" might earn you adulation from the liberal fringe. That's an easy thing to earn, especially because many liberal outlets have dishonestly reported on this (and on everything else), with headlines like "Woman Complains About Transgender Woman in Her Gym", as if she had a problem with the man being anywhere in the building, rather than specifically in that one place where women change their clothes and use the bathroom.
These are the tactics of despicable liars, but the truth, the practical reality, is that you are putting the deranged desires of a tiny minority over the security and privacy of everyone else. You say that 99.9999 percent of your customers should just deal with it when someone of the opposite gender invades their privacy, but that .0001 percent shouldn't have to just deal with being forced to use the facilities appropriate to their biological sex. How is that fair?
Sorry. Look at me, now I'm playing the game. "Biological sex." Is there any other kind? Answer: no. There are women and there are men. And then there are a small assortment of mentally disordered people who claim to be what they are not. You wish to cater to their delusions because that's the trendy thing to do, but as is always the case with progressivism, the implementation is problematic.
It turns out that men who "self-identify as women" are still men, and they will always be men, and in no physical way can their desires alter that biological imperative. You can pretend otherwise when you're writing your locker room policies, but it still boils down to a man with a penis sauntering into a room where women with vaginas are changing and using the toilet. And, in this moment, when the unflinching stupidity of liberal "gender theory" crosses the boundary into The Real, most rational people recoil in horror.
It's easy to sit from a distance and say, "Oh, transgender? Sure, that's a thing. That's fine." But when you're a woman trying to change into your workout clothes, and that penis-bearing creature previously known as "a man" opens up the locker right next to yours, suddenly it's much more difficult to play along. Suddenly, it's not so fine anymore. It's wrong. It's gross. It's crazy.
And it's malicious. These "transgender" people refuse to use their anatomically correct bathrooms because it makes them feel bad, but in order to assuage those feelings, they have to impose themselves on other people who will be made to feel much more uncomfortable than they would have felt had they stayed where they belonged. That decision on their part is inexcusable and selfish. It's the kind of obnoxious, self-entitled behavior that a place truly dedicated to making people feel "welcomed" and "accepted" would work hard to combat.
Ah, but I don't blame you, Planet Fitness. You're just following the cultural cues. You place the comfort and convenience of a delusional few above the safety and privacy of the majority; you tear down the most basic rules of civilized human behavior to accommodate the demands of a protected class of severely confused individuals, and you do it because that's what our society says you should do. What else could I expect? You're a gym with a jar of Tootsie Rolls sitting at the front desk, I can't very well expect leadership and integrity out of you.
[sharequote align="center"]I can't expect leadership and integrity from gym with a jar of Tootsie Rolls at the front desk, [/sharequote]
Our civilization is becoming unhinged, my dear Planet Fitness. We are swirling around the edges of a black hole, and rapidly our faculties for common sense and rationality are disintegrating into the void. Ten years ago it at least would have been seen as controversial to propose that a man ought to be treated as a woman so long as he claims to "sincerely" feel like one. Now it's forbidden to even question that proposal. We have slipped so rapidly into madness that sometimes I wonder if we'll ever hit the bottom, or if there is a bottom at all.
Is it possible that we might just hurtle forever into this eternal chasm, the light of sanity and clarity never to shine upon our faces again? Did will we all die and go to Hell and no one told us?
I fear it, Planet Fitness.
I wake up in cold sweats, hoping that our society is a phantom conjured in my nightmares, that day will break and I'll venture outside and into a world where things generally make sense.
But that world is long extinct.
I'm stuck here. And so are you. Stranded in this land where male is female, up is down, wrong is right, and a placed called "Planet Fitness" gives out pizza and candy, and worries that their customers might be intimidated by a man using free weights, but not by a man using the women's toilet.
It's a terrible thing, but I find solace in knowing that those of us who retain our powers of reason can take steps to restore hope and mental stability in our culture.
Today, one of those steps includes canceling my Planet Fitness membership, and encouraging everyone who reads this to do the same.
It isn't much, but it's something. It's necessary. It's for the best.
Because, seriously, you guys are just awful.
And I mean that with all my heart.
P.S. To avoid lawsuits if and when your "inclusive" attitude results in a woman or child being hurt or abused, you might want to post this disclaimer on your door:
"Planet Fitness cares more about the feelings of gender confused men than the safety of our patrons. As such, if any woman feels afraid, imperiled, or violated by any man who chooses to enter the women's bathroom/locker room facilities, we ask that she shut her mouth and learn her place. Her concerns are not valid. Her safety is unimportant when weighed against the urgent need to bend to every whim of the LGBT lobby. Enter at your own risk, and keep your feelings to yourself (unless you're gay or transgender, in which case we bow before you, O Master)."
That ought to make the situation clear. And they can't say you didn't warn them.
Just a little friendly legal advice. You're welcome.
P.P.S. My wife wants you to know she's canceling, too. Can this letter count for both of us, or do you need a separate one from her?
Listen to Matt's latest podcast here. Contact him with general comments and inquiries about speaking engagements at MattWalsh@TheMattWalshBlog.com.
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