The Ethics of Cissexual: a Guideline

Posted: August 24, 2009 in Troll Wars

I respond to Rebecca at Fridaythang. If we are stuck with these words, I argue for a code of conduct, to stop throwing the no-hormone transgenders under the bus.
1) do not use use cissexual when you mean cisgender (do not other us for no reason)
2) Stop using cis as shorthand (It others us even more, and pretends not to)
3) Do not talk about cissexual privilege without being specific (that others us and blame us too)
4) do not use cissexual in anger

Also stop using trans and transgender as synonyms for transsexual (that is appropriation)

keywords: cissexual, cisgender, politicallycorrect, ftm, mtf, ethics, marginalization, privilege, transsexual, nohormone, transgender, genderqueer

  1. Rebecca says:

    I was out of town, so sorry for the delay in my reply. Thanks again for taking the time to respond to comments! It’s really nice to be able to engage in a conversation. 🙂
    I completely agree about number one – specificity of language is really important. Cissexual and cisgender are (like transsexual and transgender) different concepts. They may be related or linked for some people, albeit not for everyone, but one term shouldn’t be assumed to mean the other.
    For number two, I guess I still see value of using ‘cis’ as shorthand for cissexual and cisgender individuals, but agree that it shouldn’t be used simply for one or the other. Again, specificity of language and, as you said, not othering people who aren’t actually of the group to which one is referring are both really important.
    I guess I need to think about number three a little more. I think I understand what you mean about simply slinging claims of privilege without being specific. That said, I’m realizing when I’ve said “cis privilege” I meant “the privilege of people who are both cissexual and cisgender.” As such, and going back to number two, I’m curious what your thoughts whether there’s a better or more elegant or less offensive way to say “a person who is both cissexual and cisgender.”
    Completely agree on number four.
    (And sorry if this comment isn’t as coherent as my previous one. I’m a bit short on sleep, so not sure if I’m being as clear as I’d like to be.)

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