Friday, 6 March 2015

Regional News Outlet in Michigan Unabashedly Engages in Transmysogyny

I always wondered how WNEM brought all of the bigots to the yard.

See, for example, how WNEM's audience reacts to Rev Dr Martin Luther King, Jr Day. Well, now I know. WNEM intentionally appeals to bigots.

WNEM, a TV station in Saginaw, Michigan which serves the Greater Lakes Bay Region (GLBR) and Flint has been posting over the past couple of days about the case of a woman who lost her Planet Fitness membership for expressing transmisogynistic opinions about another member there. Rather than carry the story in a way that demonstrates respect for the transgender gym member, WNEM has been consistently using bigoted, cissexist language to attract viewers to its news article and Facebook posts.

In one post aired on Thursday 05 March 2015, WNEM intentionally misgendered the women who had been targetted by the complainant. In another post on Friday 06 March 2015, WNEM insinuated that taking action against a bigot is "judgmental." In the article posted to its website, WNEM extensively conveyed the opinions of the transmysogynist woman who was complaining about the transgender woman at Planet Fitness. They did not attempt to interview the transgender woman. They did not even interview her. Further, WNEM did not do any research on transgender issues; and that showed in the glaring absence of any information regarding transgender persons.

In conducing itself so inappropriately and with such a lack of regard for journalistic integrity, WNEM added fuel for bigots in the GLBR and Flint areas to use when they harass and attack gender and sexual minorities or air their bigoted views in public spaces. WNEM has also demonstrated its commitment to appealing to a bigoted audience and encouraging their bigotry.

Below are screenshots of WNEM's Facebook posts, as well as the text of its article as it appeared at 11:30 am Friday 06 March 2015. WNEM can be contacted by email at or by phone at (800) 522 9636.

TW: Transmisogyny, cisnormativity

Planet Fitness drops member after gender identity complaint
Gino Vicci, WNEM
06 March 2015

MIDLAND, MI (WNEM) - It's a business that sells itself on being non-judgmental but Planet Fitness has allegedly revoked the membership of a woman for complaining.

Yvette Cormier, a member at the Midland location, says she had no idea what that meant until a few days ago.

"I was stunned and shocked. He looked like a man.. He did not look like a woman," says Cormier. Cormier is talking about a man who walked into the woman's locker room while she was getting undressed. She says she couldn't believe her eyes.

"This is very unprofessional. This is very scary," continues Cormier.

Not knowing why the man was in the women's locker room, Cormier says she immediately complained to the front desk and eventually to corporate offices.

"They told me the same thing, that he was allowed in there because that's the sex he wants to be," says Cormier.

Cormier says she understands that some men self-identify as women and some women self-identify as men but says this man looked like a man and that caught her off guard.

Cormier lost her membership for violating the company's no judgement zone policy.

Moving forward, Cormier says she isn't concerned with getting her membership back. Her concern now is to warn other women at this gym to make them aware of this policy, because she says planet fitness failed to warn her.

The company told TV5 that Cormier's concerns about the policy regarding gender identity was inappropriate and disruptive by complaining to other members at the gym.

Representatives with Planet Fitness issued this statement:

"Planet Fitness 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.

In expressing her concerns about the policy, the member in question exhibited behavior that club management deemed inappropriate and disruptive to other members, which is a violation of the membership agreement and as a result her membership was cancelled."

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