Athlete, Hero, Woman!

America loves sports heroes, especially improbable ones.  That’s why the newest superstar on the scene of women’s sports is garnering such unprecedented accolades (except from the usual Catholic dinosaurs).  With 5 victories in her first 10 LPGA events, this previously unknown woman has rocketed to celebrity status in a matter of a few months.  But what’s more amazing, she’s done it all since declaring her womanhood only a year ago!

Unlike most gender transformations, Hank Purtzel’s was a sudden one.  “It was strange,” she says.  “I went home after missing another cut on the PGA Tour, knowing that I had just lost my tour card.  I walked past a stack of bills on the kitchen table, sat down in my underwear with a beer and turned on the T.V. in despair.  There was an LPGA event on, and when I saw where the tees were located and the size of the winner’s check, suddenly it was like a veil fell from my eyes and I just knew who I really was. I knew I belonged there, and not with the men.”

Hank says that while the LPGA officials were surprised at first, they quickly realized that she belonged on the tour.  “After all, I have the right to be whatever I want, and they need to accommodate me.  And although this may look sudden to many people, it’s not for you to judge how I feel.  My desire to hit from the red tees should be proof enough of my womanhood for anyone.”

Hank (she seems comfortable keeping her original male name) is rather vague about any physical steps she has taken toward womanhood.  Her before and after pictures look, frankly, identical.  By now her hairy, bowlegged gait is becoming a normal sight around the LPGA tees, where she routinely outdrives her competition by 40 yards.  When a NOW reporter asked why she has apparently not done any breast augmentation or hormone treatments, she immediately shot back “My body, my choice.” Her brave response led NOW to issue a press release praising her, saying that Hank understands the full essence of womanhood, which boils down to “the right to do whatever I want with my body.”

How has this change affected her upcoming wedding?  It was touch and go at first.  “My fiance was pretty upset,” she says.  “But it was the strangest thing.  The night I won my first tournament on the LPGA, she experienced her first lesbian feelings.  And after Starbucks, Apple, Target, and General Mills started tripping over themselves to sponsor me, compared to the one local dry cleaner I had before realizing my true self, she knew that she wanted to marry a woman, me.”

But despite her astounding athletic accomplishments, Hank is fast becoming a hero to a generation of women for a different reason – her total lack of concern for stereotypical female beauty pressures forced on women by a male-dominated culture.  “I idolize her,” gushed one obese fan in stretch pants.  “Her deep voice, her chest hair, her sweat-soaked shirts….We need more strong, successful women who don’t care what society thinks they should look like.”

Hank has also put the ESPY awards in turmoil this year.  According to one anonymous ESPN official, “I’m embarrassed to admit that due to socio-cultural hang-ups and deep-seated sexual hostilities, some of our voters couldn’t bring themselves to consider Hank for Female Athlete of the Year.  We have since realized the horrible stigmatization of our award’s name, and changed it to Woman Athlete of the Year, since womanhood is obviously a personal choice and thus not subject to silly disputes about X and Y chromosomes or genitalia. She now appears to be a slam-dunk for the award.  Hank will also likely win the Courageous Athlete of the Year award for her bravery in coming out as a woman while scorning the silly social expectation that a woman should appear to be female.  We are still debating whether she is eligible for Comeback Athlete of the Year for taking the LPGA by storm after getting kicked off the PGA Tour.”

To be fair, Hank still has her share of critics, particularly in the LPGA locker room.  One golfer sums up the litany of complaints.  “She belches, she passes gas, she chews with her mouth open.  She leaves toilet lids up everywhere she goes.  She forgets our names and calls us ‘Babe.’  She used a lace doily from the clubhouse to check the oil in her car.”  It’s sad to hear these sour grapes coming from so-called professionals.

Hank recently lit up the twittersphere when she was photographed coming out of the men’s room at a concert.  But instead of blaming it on temporary gender-misorientation, in the pioneering fashion to which we have become accustomed, she said that she was making a political statement.  Hank blamed the city for allowing separate male and female bathrooms.  “It’s not right,” she said.  “Besides, did you see the line outside the woman’s bathroom?”

It remains to be seen whether Hank will continue her amazing run on the LPGA tour, but it looks like her days may be numbered.  At last count, 13 former men who lost their PGA tour cards have discovered their womanhood and will be joining Hank on the LPGA tour next year.  Some of the current tour pros have publicly complained, but thankfully the LPGA is ignoring their hate speech and considering penalties against them.  Another eight men cut from the European basketball league are reportedly coming into the WNBA.  Hooray for these American heroes!


  1. Timshel says:

    Well done, Didymus! I had an idea for an extra “Sunday” post this week, entitled “The Slippery Slope of Choose-Your-Own-Identity,” but then I saw this in the hopper. It’s right on the mark — consider not only the well-publicized case of the NAACP official who appears to have self-identified as as mixed race despite her white parents insistence otherwise: see No Lobbyists, I Guess and Rachel Dolezal and the Overearnest Uplifters, but also the case of transgender MMA fighter Fallon Fox, who is demolishing the competition. As First Things put it, perhaps it’s Time to Address the Issue of Hatesport and eliminate the apparently outdated distinctions between men and women in sport. As Sir Walter Scott wrote, “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive!”

  2. Hythloday says:

    OK … you got me. I was madly googling “Hank Purtzel” when I hit the second paragraph, I should have kept reading. Aren’t you the one who feigned shock and surprised when I pointed out a certain “biting sarcasm”? Well, it seems your sarcasm has bloomed into satire provided the inaugural post of what could have been the PCJ spin-off blog: The Catholic Onion.

    Humor + creativity + relevance = great post.

    • Timshel says:

      I scanned it quickly and did the same thing, Hythloday — especially after reading the MMA article, seemed almost credible!

    • Didymus says:

      Thanks for your kind words. “Biting sarcasm” has never sounded so endearing. I actually got the idea for the post last week when Timshel mentioned that MMA situation to me.

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