Let’s get one thing straight. I’m a woman and I do not like, want or appreciate being called cisgendered. It’s offensive.
Women around the world have, for years, been telling members of the LGBTQIA, Hollywood, the media, universities and every other institution that will listen, to stop calling them cisgendered. But, those pleas, and at times, demands have fallen on deaf ears.
On the surface, the word cis seems relatively harmful. It’s a scientific term to denote that a person’s gender identity corresponds with the sex registered for them at birth.
Many, particularly those in the LGBTQIA+ community, use the term cisgender as a way of distinguishing between biological men/women and trans women/men or non-binary individuals.
But beneath the surface lurks a great deal of disrespect and devaluation that is growing more insidious by the day.
I know there are individuals who have no issue being called cisgendered. If that’s the case, call them cisgendered. That’s their choice, and I respect it.
But, for myself and people like me, we don’t like the term and it needs to stop.
I’ve found that when men or women stand up for themselves and say they don’t want to be called cisgendered, they are quickly labelled transphobic or bigots. It’s a bullying tactic and a way to shut dissenters down.
As a result, many voice their concerns anonymously or from the safety of an online chat room, but very few people have written articles expressing their disdain for being referred to as that term.
“Wait, how in the hell is not wanting to be called cis a bigot? How in the hell is it equal to bigotry, ” said @thatsbrujaafrikana on YouTube.
Another commenter agreed.
“I’m not a damn trans hater or bigot just bc I’m not gonna agree with everything the LGBTQIA+ community does. This sh*t is bullying and stupid.”
Another YouTube poster known by the handle @michellespathelf1454 in responding to the label cis said, “so, they don’t want to be called ‘trans women’ because they are just women, but the biologically born women now need a differentiating term to distinguish between them and us? So they can be women and we have to be cis women?”
Meantime, @jelwell32 said, “This is were be kind gets you [sic]. Along with cis, bleeders, chest feeders etc. A sexual health charity in Canada referred to women as vulva people. The British Medical Journal, The Lancet called women, “Bodies with Vaginas.”
Disregarding people’s self-identification
As far as some biological men and women are concerned, there is no need for a qualifier, and if there absolutely must be a qualifier, they prefer the term natural or biological man or women. If that is how they choose to self-identify, that should be respected.
I don’t misgender anyone. In fact, I go to great lengths to respect people’s pronouns and self-identity, so long as it is not hurting anyone. So, I expect the same level of respect in return.
But, what I have witnessed in person and online is far from respect.
There are activists, feminists and trans people ascribing that term to men and women who have asked repeatedly not to be referred to as cisgendered.
Some even taunt those individuals and double down on the term.
Things got so bad this year, that in June, Twitter CEO, Elon Musk declared “cisgender” a slur.
Musk made the declaration after a Twitter user who said he did not want to be called cis, claimed he was targeted by trans activists who kept calling him, “cissy.”
Musk, in a Twitter post said, “repeated, targeted harassment against any account will cause the harassing accounts to receive, at minimum, temporary suspensions. The words ‘cis’ or ‘cisgender’ are considered slurs on this platform.”
Not everyone was pleased with Musk’s decision.
USA Today in an article written by writer, Rex Huppke called the move a “transparent dig” at the transgender community.
I found Huppke’s article absolutely dismissive. He was so hell-bent on attacking Musk that his column hurt men and women in the crossfire.
In addition to being called cisgendered, women have had to contend with individuals attempting to diminish their womanhood by calling them everything but woman.
As a result, women are being called “chest feeders”, “birthing persons” or bleeders.
In 2021, the British medical journal, The Lancet, described women as “bodies with vaginas.” The backlash was swift.
The labels have gotten so out of hand that even some members of the LGBTQIA+ community have taken exception to these terms.
1.6 million people identify as transgender in the US
According to the UCLA School of Law’s Williams Institute, a think tank, 1.6 million people ages 13+ identify as transgender in the US. That translates to 1.3 million adults and 300,000 youth identifying as transgender.
Of the 1.3 million adults who identify as transgender, 38.5% (515,200) are transgender women, 35.9% (480,000) are transgender men, and 25.6% (341,800) reported they are gender nonconforming.
If you want respect, give respect
What many feminists, activists and members of the trans community need to understand is that if they want people to respect them, they have to show respect.
We live in a time where a person can be fired, harassed, doxxed and cancelled for misgendering a trans person or not respecting their pronouns.
In May, Newsweek published a report on a former Christian primary school teacher who announced she was taking legal action after being fired for not adhering to an eight-year-old student’s preferred pronouns.
That teacher now works for a sandwich shop in England.
In the US, an Indiana music theory teacher was “pushed out of his job” for refusing to call transgender students by their preferred names and pronouns.
Colleges and universities are also notorious for policing its students’ speech.
I suspect that if a group had used a term to refer to blacks, hispanics, Jewish people or Muslims that those groups were not comfortable with, those terms would not persist.
A Medium article, titled ‘I Don’t Give a Damn if You Don’t Want to Be Called Cisgender‘, written by an individual only known as The Transgender Therapist, dismisses women’s objection to the term, “cis.”
While the article makes some valid points that highlight the plight that many transgender people experience, it is incredibly disrespectful to biological women and men who are uncomfortable with the cisgender label.
Imagine a writer penning an article titled, “I Don’t Give a Damn if You Don’t Want to Be Called A Trans Woman, You’re A Man”
Oh, I can just imagine the backlash that would ensue.
While my focus here is on women, I know that men are also deeply impacted by the cis label.
Society attempts in every way shape and form to strip men of their manhood. When men share their feelings, they are often mocked or dismissed as privileged crybabies. It’s not right.
We’re living in a time of “tolerance” and “acceptance” regarding people’s self-identification. So, let’s tolerate and accept people’s self-identification across the board.
For those of you who missed it: I’m a woman. End of story.
To watch my YouTube Video on this topic, click the link below.
This Bahamian Gyal