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About Bixi

  • Our first pets were two black-and-white kittens named Bixi and Slippers. They were both male, but I insisted on referring to Slippers (my cat) as "she" and Bixi (my brother's cat) as "he." When we went away on sabbatical, Bixi and Slippers went to roam on our friend's farm, and when we got home, Slippers came back to 4803 Keswick Road, but Bixi wanted to remain free forever, a hunter...

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While I agree that "patriarchal physical standards" influence the exercise schedules of women across the nation, I wouldn't say that Healthworks' success depends on it. Other motivations for journeying to the gym are myriad, and you celebrate many of them in your post, especially the sense of community fostered by the space. And I know you haven't forgotten that exercise (in moderation) is healthy and life-prolonging. Exercise can be empowering and we shouldn't strip women of their agency by assuming that they are motivated by extrinsic or negative factors, especially when they choose to sign up at an all-women gym, away from the prying male gaze. That said, if Healthworks goes women's center, I'll be first to sign up, but both for the community and the treadmill.

bixi chicks

Ahh, the problem with ideology as explanatory practice -- agency gets thrown out with the poisonous patriarchal bath water. Fair point. I still maintain that the valorization of exercise provides a very convenient cover for a compulsive thinness mentality, but I'll write about this more substantively in a subsequent post, I promise.

Also, I enjoy deploying my prying female gaze on many an unsuspecting body part in the Healthworks locker room. Such fun.

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