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The use of cis gender

(111 Posts)
Ollycat Sat 17-Dec-16 10:05:49

I've read the trans threads and they've definitely been an eye opener! I would say I'm definitely Spartacus!

Can someone enlighten me on the whole cis thing? When did it start becoming prevalent and who was the driving force behind it? The phrase cis woman is something I find quite disturbing- I am a woman plain and simple- not something which needs a quantifier.

Sorry if this is really basic stuff but am intrigued as to how this sort of terminology has become a "thing" and how it's becoming ok for men to define/ explain to women what it means to be a woman?

Genuinely confused and shocked about the whole thing.

ChocChocPorridge Sat 17-Dec-16 10:40:23

It's a language trick:

If there are trans women and cis women then they're both women but with a descriptor - ie two subsets of a super-set 'Woman'

If there are transwomen and women (note the lack of space), then it's clear that transwomen are a separate set from women (which are a separate set from men).

This manipulation is one of the reasons I wouldn't use it - because I don't think that transwomen are a subset of women, but should be considered a subset of men (expanding the bandwidth of what being a man means - to hijack another's phrase)

shinynewusername Sat 17-Dec-16 10:47:15

"I do not identify as a cis woman" is a useful phrase wink

ChocChoc has it exactly right.

DameDeDoubtance Sat 17-Dec-16 12:42:39

What really pisses me off is when you are labelled cis women and are thought to wholeheartedly accept all the shit that is lumped on your sex, just 'cause you've not opted out by choosing one of the new shiny names.

MoreThanUs Sat 17-Dec-16 12:46:49

ChocChoc I agree.
Could you talk me through the significance of the lack of space between 'trans' and 'woman' though. I like it instinctively but not sure I get it. Thanks

TheGruffaloMother Sat 17-Dec-16 12:48:26

Essentially, everybody is allowed to choose their own terminology bar those who don't feel they need a qualifier. Then the terminology will be chosen for you by those who feel they do.

Go figure.

Ollycat Sat 17-Dec-16 13:09:51

Thank you.

To me, as well as being totally unnecessary the term cis woman doesn't sound massively complimentary- we are women not just a subset of women...

0dfod Sat 17-Dec-16 13:30:18

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Yoarchie Sat 17-Dec-16 13:37:35

Is this a woman thing though?

Are the terms cis man and trans man not used (I am asking as I have no idea, not to cause an argument)

Datun Sat 17-Dec-16 13:43:54


They are used, but the conflict is largely more between transwomen and women. Men don't tend to be bothered in the same way if a transman tries to compete with them in sport or want to use the bathrooms.

YetAnotherSpartacus Sat 17-Dec-16 13:49:45

FtT tend not to rabbit on about 'cis men' in the same way that MtT go on about 'cis women'.

FloraFox Sat 17-Dec-16 14:07:45

Look at this. No-one on this cover is identified as female whereas the male is not identified as cis male but just male.

ChocChocPorridge Sat 17-Dec-16 14:09:38

Could you talk me through the significance of the lack of space between 'trans' and 'woman' though. I like it instinctively but not sure I get it. Thanks

well, they're trying to say that 'trans' is like any other modifier - tall woman, skinny woman, asian woman, trans woman, just another type of woman.

If there's no space, then it's not a modifier, it's a noun, a thing in it's own right without necessarily a relation to another similar word.

Transwomen don't want to be a thing other than a woman, they want to be a type of woman. It's subtle, but language is important, it makes a difference (or marketing departments and politicians wouldn't hire so many people to make sure they use the right ones)

Aftertheraincomesthesun Sat 17-Dec-16 14:22:58

It's bollocks talk.

JAPAB Sat 17-Dec-16 14:39:30

To me, as well as being totally unnecessary...

If a stranger on the internet simply declares "I am a man/woman" this does not give all information about them. OK in a general discussion I would assume that they have an XY/XX chromosome respectively, and would overwhelmingly be likely to be correct - though not always.

For the times when it is important to know more detail "I am a non-trans, non-gender binary, non-agender man/woman" is a bit clunky.

If they just said "I am a cis-man/woman" this tells you the previous but quicker.

It is all very well a stranger knowing what they mean by a term but sometimes there needs to be distinctions made.

DameDeDoubtance Sat 17-Dec-16 14:46:44

Oh, I see JAPAB. So the new words are to help me, a woman, be better understood. Gosh. Hadn't thought of it like that before but now it all seems so clear.

Flora the female is probably making the tea for them all to enjoy afterwards.

Datun Sat 17-Dec-16 15:00:11

JAPAB. I do have a question. Under what circumstances would the word 'woman' be insufficient, but the words ' non-gender binary woman' be sufficient. Unless you're describing your personality.

FloraFox Sat 17-Dec-16 15:01:12

JAPAB "I am a woman" means just that. If a man says it he is lying. Women don't need to contort their words to accommodate a man lying about his sex.

ChocChocPorridge Sat 17-Dec-16 15:03:57

For the times when it is important to know more detail "I am a non-trans, non-gender binary, non-agender man/woman" is a bit clunky

If they just said "I am a cis-man/woman" this tells you the previous but quicker

Or, alternatively you can be even quicker, by having the shortest word for the most frequent - ie man, woman, then longer words for the variations, just like you'd do with virtually everything else.

As a programmer, who deals with vast quantities of data flowing through my code, which I have to process as fast as possible, I can assure you that this is the most efficient use of characters.

Bauble16 Sat 17-Dec-16 15:07:34

This actually offends me deeply. I read it earlier in complete disgust . I was originally very accepting of transgender men and women, I still am really.

But I will not accept that my 7 year old son has been taught about all this gender madness at school and I truly fear for his future. Too many labels, so much so that kids can't just be just kids. I went through many confusions as a teen, all normally although god knows what labels and how swept away I would have been in this day and age. Scary! I'm sure I read there are over 50 different gender labels. Wtf!

Datun Sat 17-Dec-16 15:11:48

One of the genders ( I forget which) means I am only interested in hooking up with someone on a romantic, non-sexual basis. But as they can all be 'fluid' this can all change tomorrow. In what self obsessed world to we need a label for every possible permutation of someone's personality. There are 76 genders now. Everyone's special.

SDTGisAnEvilWolefGenius Sat 17-Dec-16 15:17:40

I do not identify as a ciswoman, nor am I willing to be identified thus by anyone else. I identify as a woman.

Be whoever you want to be, but do not try to do so by taking something away from women - a group who have, throughout history, come second to men, and are now, apparently, expected to come last after every other gender and definition.

0dfod Sat 17-Dec-16 15:23:17

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Godstopper Sat 17-Dec-16 15:27:50

I am a female.

As a gay woman, I am supposed to be on-board with the expression cis-gender. I am not.

There is no 'match' between my sex and gender since gender is a social construct. I sometimes wear dresses (does this mean that my gender is female?) and also like fixing things (does this mean that my gender is male?). It is absurd. There is no-mismatch at any level: I am simply a woman, a full-fledged biological woman.

It is very strange how the expression cis-male is rarely used.

As for that National Geographic cover, it is all kinds of misogynist. Where is the 'Female'? It is o.k to simply have a 'Male', but we must be qualified as 'cis' to appease MEN who are trying to invade our space.

DameDeDoubtance Sat 17-Dec-16 15:29:55

Does that make my actual cat a cis cat, or a cat cat? What about if he is online, how should he describe himself? I don't even know if he feels like a cat. What does a cat feel like? Apart from fluffy of course.

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