A Wellington women’s gym has received a sign-up request from an unexpected source.
Dick Surprise, who identifies as a non-binary pansexual Wellingtonian, sports male genitalia but claims to be a “woman inside”.
“I walk past this gym all the time,” Surprise told reporters. “And it really bugs me. Sure, men may control and dominate almost every aspect of social life from the military, to politics, law, business, finance, media, academia, most households and sports in general – and at women’s expense. Okay, I get it. I already know that, because I am a feminist, actually probably the biggest feminist you could ever meet.” In his own estimation, Surprise is one of the country’s most prominent and underrecognised feminists, alongside Gavin Hubbard, who has won gold representing New Zealand in women’s weightlifting.
“But it is 2018. After thousands of years of patriarchy, people who were assigned male at birth just for having a penis still do not even have access to most women-only gyms, safehouses, toilets, or lesbian dating pools. That’s crazy. How have we let this happen?”
“And this business has the gym, and changing rooms and toilets. And showers,” Surprise points out. “There are probably lesbians in there! Imagine – at any given moment, there might be a number of women using this selection of facilities, not one sporting a penis. Not one. How can that be okay? That is exclusionary and gross. It is bigoted, essentialist, and basically fascist and genocidal. It makes me think of Queen Victoria, Milo Yiannopoulos and Stalin all combined – if they were all part of Destiny’s Church. As I said, I am a feminist, so I want to smash the patriarchy as much as the next person. But only feminazis would defend the idea of a penis free space! In 2018!”
The gym appears to remain undecided about Surprise’s request for membership.
“They told me that I could sign up as a member,” Surprise admits, “But I wasn’t sure if that was actually a sly pun. Then, when I asked to see the facilities first, which should be my right before I sign up, the receptionist actually had the gall to ask me why I sprung this issue on her out of the blue!” Surprise says that this kind of questioning is inherently pathologising. “Why did she question my demands?”
“I am not an “issue”, I am a human being with human rights. Treating me like an “issue” is pathologising hate speech that denies my humanity, invalidates my identity and fosters literal violence.”
“She basically told me straight up that I was making her uncomfortable for coming in without warning. But it’s not my fault I am Dick Surprise. I was assigned Dick Surprise at birth. Anyway at that point I just left to call back up,” Surprise says. “There are plenty of professional diversity consultants, journalists and people with law degrees nowadays who are paid handsomely to educate women about what a woman is and how women should do their jobs. I don’t get paid for it. And I am quite tired.”
Suprise may be rethinking his request. “I have to admit that some days I just think females in general are really overrated. And I wonder why I fight to be part of women’s spaces knowing that I make plenty of them feel intimidated. I mean sure, a lot of them might be coming from a place of trauma, for instance because of past assault. One in three and all that – bless. But a frightening proportion of them are ignorant prudes with no fashion sense and the bloodlust of Henry Kissinger who should all be no-platformed immediately. It is 2018!”