Is “cisgender” about to be relegated to the dustbin of history?
The term, which has relentlessly been popularized by gender ideologues and their liberal media allies, refers to a person “whose gender identity aligns with the sex assigned to them at birth,” as the Human Rights Campaign, a major LGBT activist group, puts it in a handout.
It’s a term that has a clear ideological objective: Get people to buy into the idea that one’s gender identity and biological sex can be different. That’s the foundational principle of the transgender movement. After all, if it’s not true that gender identity and biological sex can be different, why does anyone “need” to transition to become their “true” gender?
But now billionaire Twitter owner Elon Musk and “Harry Potter” author J.K. Rowling—who has already faced the full fury of the gender ideology mob for her prior comments—have pushed back on the term, with Rowling calling it “ideological language.”
Earlier this week, James Esses, a writer and co-founder of Thoughtful Therapists, tweeted, “I formally and publicly declare that I reject the label of ‘cis.’ I don’t believe in gender ideology. I don’t self-identify as ‘cis’.”
“Using this term makes me feel unsafe and is demonstrative of your hatred towards me,” he added. “Anyone who uses the term ‘cis’ to describe me is a bigot.”
Now, under the general terms of the leftist mindset, self-identity should be—pardon the triggering language—the ultimate trump card when it comes to getting your way regarding language, right? After all, it is our feelings that reveal our truest reality, not something inane like our bodies.
And as the rush to adopt “preferred” pronouns should supposedly demonstrate, don’t all words need to cater to an individual’s feelings?
But, at least on Twitter, Esses faced ample hostility. “Yesterday, after posting a Tweet saying that I reject the word ‘cis’ and don’t wish to be called it, I receive a slew of messages from trans activists calling me ‘cissy’ and telling me that I am ‘cis’ ‘whether or not I like it,’” he tweeted Tuesday. (On Thursday, he tweeted that he had received death threats as well.)
Musk responded to Esses’ “cissy” tweet, saying, “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.”
Then Rowling—no stranger to the power of words—tweeted why the fight over the word “cis” matters.
“’Cis’ is ideological language, signifying belief in the unfalsifiable concept of gender identity,” she wrote. “You have a perfect right to believe in unprovable essences that may or may not match the sexed body, but the rest of us have a right to disagree, and to refuse to adopt your jargon.”
Cue a meltdown.
“In the latest episode of ‘Wealthy White Dudes Get Their Tender Feelings Hurt By An Adjective’ self-proclaimed free-speech absolutist Elon Musk has decided the word ‘cisgender’ is a slur,” sneered USA Today columnist Rex Huppke. A leftist activist responded to Rowling’s tweet by calling the author a “c—” (not censored in his tweet)—and was rewarded with more than 1,500 likes.
(The tweet below contains offensive language.)
Another tweet, with more than 85,000 likes, repeated “JK Rowling is cisgender.” A third tweet, which gained 5,000 likes, went straight to the reductio ad Hitlerum approach, with the Twitter user, dubbed “cis not a slur,” tweeting, “Elon Musk is anti-trans and is on the same side as Neo-Nazis. JK Rowling is anti-trans and is on the same side as Neo-Nazis.”
But it’s no wonder people are upset. There’s a lot at stake here. If people start thinking about why the word “cisgender” is absurd, it might lead them to other, not politically correct, conclusions about today’s gender debate.
Make no mistake: There has been a relentless push to make “cisgender” a term Americans know.
In 2015, The New York Times included “cisgender” in an article headlined, “A Gender-Neutral Glossary.” That same year, the term was added to the Oxford English Dictionary and, in 2016, it was added to the Merriam-Webster dictionary. By 2020, a writer for The New York Times’ parenting section was asking a doctor, “Have you found differences in the concerns of trans fertility patients and cisgender patients?”
Of course, children were targeted as well. Manhattan Institute senior fellow Christopher Rufo reported in City Journal in 2021 that a California public school teacher had used the term in a third-grade class. But why wait so late? A year later, Rufo reported, also in City Journal, about a curriculum for first- and second-graders in Portland, Oregon, public schools that included the term.
In a February article, the Associated Press used “cisgender” in an article about female athletes fighting for fairness in women’s sports. “The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City said the full court will rehear the appeal of four cisgender runners who said they were unfairly forced to race against transgender athletes in high school competitions,” the AP wrote.
Imagine that sentence written accurately: “The 2nd U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in New York City said the full court will rehear the appeal of four female runners who said they were unfairly forced to race against male athletes in high school competitions.”
Reads a little differently, huh?
Musk and Rowling are both incredibly influential—and it’s welcome to have their support. For too long, the gender ideology movement has relied on people’s misguided sense of compassion leading to them saying false things in order to “support” their transgender friends and loved ones.
Too many people, hoping to be polite and kind, have given their pronouns, have asked others their pronouns, have called men women and women men, and have respectfully listened, not rolled their eyes, when terms like “cisgender” have been used.
But the result, instead of harmony, has been a relentless push for more, more, more. It’s not enough to use the fake pronouns if you can’t also agree that men should be in women’s sports competitions. It’s not enough to use the new name if you can’t also agree that we ought to say men can get pregnant, too.
It’s not enough to say cisgender, if you still dare to think that maybe women’s restrooms or domestic violence shelters or locker rooms should be limited to women. It’s not enough to say “gender-affirming care” if you harbor any doubts about the wisdom of minors having body parts surgically removed and using hormones that can cause sterility.
It’s never enough.
So, it’s time for something new: telling the truth.
Cisgender is a ridiculous term. We ought to laugh at it. We need to stop pretending that there’s some ephemeral gender identity unconnected to our bodies.
That doesn’t mean we trade in absurd, narrow stereotypes about gender. There’s plenty of women who love sports. There are plenty of men who enjoy fashion. Etc., etc. That’s fine, that’s great. Let’s actually allow diversity of gender expression, instead of suggesting that anyone who feels uncomfortable with the specific stereotypes about their gender undergo horrific mutilation.
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The post Is Truth Winning? Musk, Rowling Deride Use of Term ‘Cisgender’ appeared first on The Daily Signal.
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