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Things you just don't get - Page 485

post #7261 of 12446
Speaking only for myself it just seems a bit contrived to come up with the term "cisgender." Also, apparently "cissies" and "cis scum" are pejorative terms in use.
post #7262 of 12446
I agree that the term is contrived, but I don't see any way around that. The term gives expression to an idea that is not at all a part of our tradition of thinking. Anyone who wants to advocate for that idea will have to contrive some expressions, which will seem awkward and forced at first. (Of course a lot of these kinds of expressions never catch on; time will tell.)

As regards "cis scum," I think that's really nutpicking of the kind you could do with any group of people. Moreover, I think a lot of people who are transgender have probably taken a hell of a beating (psychologically, but sometimes also literally) from people who are not transgender, and so it's not surprising that some would have a lot of resentment that doesn't hit its target very precisely.
post #7263 of 12446
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post

I agree that the term is contrived, but I don't see any way around that. The term gives expression to an idea that is not at all a part of our tradition of thinking. Anyone who wants to advocate for that idea will have to contrive some expressions, which will seem awkward and forced at first. (Of course a lot of these kinds of expressions never catch on; time will tell.)

As regards "cis scum," I think that's really nutpicking of the kind you could do with any group of people. Moreover, I think a lot of people who are transgender have probably taken a hell of a beating (psychologically, but sometimes also literally) from people who are not transgender, and so it's not surprising that some would have a lot of resentment that doesn't hit its target very precisely.

The contrived part, at least for me, is that the status quo, the norm, doesn't really need an artificial label. This is not a judgement in regards to labeling, quantifying, or defining outliers but the norm is understood and does not need an identifying label.

As to your second paragraph I don't think your justification is going to fly. There's no doubt people of non-traditional gender identity have suffered. I'm not sure this excuses hating "cis" folks, mocking them, etc. And no, I'm not nitpicking as the loudest voices in the trans community are going to define it in the eyes of the general community.

One of the sweetest and happiest people I have known was a trans person that worked in one of my kitchens. That this person was trans was not hard to tell, and I can only imagine the grief in this person's life, but this person was always so pleasant, upbeat, happy it was almost heart breaking to think of anyone harassing them.
post #7264 of 12446
Again, though, I would say that giving the statistically more normal condition a name has an important practical effect of treating different experiences on one scale. The fact that there's a name for straight people is a good thing, IMO. "Cisgender" isn't a well known term, so it hasn't succeeded in doing the same work, but if it eventually does, that will be good too.

As regards your second paragraph, I didn't say you were nitpicking, but rather nutpicking (i.e., picking out somewhat "nutty" outliers and treating them as representative of a whole group). It is absolutely inevitable that there will be *some* transgender people who are angry and who don't aim their anger in ways that are perfectly fair. The analogy is imperfect, but it is absolutely inevitable that there will be some rape victims who don't have perfect aim in their anger either. It may not be right, but it is understandable at the very least. That's just what happens when people experience trauma. Not everyone will respond to their experiences with that kind of anger, and that's great for them and for the people around them. But to expect no one to respond that way is to expect too much, IMO.
post #7265 of 12446
I don't know why it kind of annoys me, L'inc. it just does. Just being honest here - and by your post after mine, it seems that it's a pretty common reaction? Maybe there's a lesson in there somewhere that I haven't seen yet.

Maybe it's because there's some resentment about a label being created for "our kind" to differentiate us from a niche group that's existed only very recently? Or maybe it's because the term itself just sounds really stupid.

But maybe it's because I naturally dislike labels and try not to use them. The woman in the mail room is just Christina (not real name), period. It's rarely relevant for me to mention that she used to be a man, so it rarely does.
post #7266 of 12446
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

The contrived part, at least for me, is that the status quo, the norm, doesn't really need an artificial label. This is not a judgement in regards to labeling, quantifying, or defining outliers but the norm is understood and does not need an identifying label.

As to your second paragraph I don't think your justification is going to fly. There's no doubt people of non-traditional gender identity have suffered. I'm not sure this excuses hating "cis" folks, mocking them, etc. And no, I'm not nitpicking as the loudest voices in the trans community are going to define it in the eyes of the general community.

One of the sweetest and happiest people I have known was a trans person that worked in one of my kitchens. That this person was trans was not hard to tell, and I can only imagine the grief in this person's life, but this person was always so pleasant, upbeat, happy it was almost heart breaking to think of anyone harassing them.

I think the "cis scum" stuff is sort of a joke.
post #7267 of 12446
How often, if ever, do you all hear the term cisgendered outside of Style forum?
post #7268 of 12446
Quote:
Originally Posted by HRoi View Post


But maybe it's because I naturally dislike labels and try not to use them. The woman in the mail room is just Christina (not real name), period. It's rarely relevant for me to mention that she used to be a man, so it rarely does.

I think the point about labels is absolutely central to this issue. I am not a trans person. I enjoy an enormous privilege because of that: when people interact with me, they don't interact with me qua person with a particular gender identity. I am allowed to deal with the world as L'Incandescent, not as L'Incandescent the trans person. If I were a trans person, on the other hand, my gender identity would very often be the most salient feature of my social dealings. And in the vast majority of cases, that fact would work to my disadvantage: I would be subjected to lots and lots of strong signs of social disapproval, and I would need to be very aware of the threat of physical violence. As someone with the statistically normal gender identification, my privilege is more or less invisible; it seems like the most natural and obvious thing in the world. If a name is given to my gender identity, then the naturalness of my privilege disappears. My gender identity is all of a sudden commensurable with the gender identities of those other people, and that is galling because those people are an insignificant minority, or a niche group, or unnatural, or pathological, or just plain bad. In short, those people just aren't to be taken all that seriously.

I have no doubt that you treat Christina as just plain Christina, but I also have no doubt that a very large percentage of her social interactions--and the very worst ones at that--have been as Christina the trans person. I'm sure she'd love to be regular Christina just like you are regular HRoi, but that is not an option for her. Having a word for the statistically normal gender identification brings that out.
post #7269 of 12446
I also am getting tired of the whole "privilege" phenomena. The fact my genitals align with my mental construct of my gender identity is not "privilege."
post #7270 of 12446
Quote:
Originally Posted by Piobaire View Post

I also am getting tired of the whole "privilege" phenomena. The fact my genitals align with my mental construct of my gender identity is not "privilege."

The term is less than ideal, and without a doubt there are people who put it to unfair rhetorical use. But I would not think to deny that I am privileged--that I am lucky, that things turn out much better for me--because my gender identity lines up with my biological sex. At very minimum, I am certainly glad I don't have to deal with the difficulties attendant upon having a gender identity that does not match my biological sex. Many of those difficulties are straightforwardly social: we treat trans people in really shitty ways. Thus, I enjoy the social privilege of not being treated in a shitty way on account of my gender identity.
post #7271 of 12446
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post

The term is less than ideal, and without a doubt there are people who put it to unfair rhetorical use. But I would not think to deny that I am privileged--that I am lucky, that things turn out much better for me--because my gender identity lines up with my biological sex. At very minimum, I am certainly glad I don't have to deal with the difficulties attendant upon having a gender identity that does not match my biological sex. Many of those difficulties are straightforwardly social: we treat trans people in really shitty ways. Thus, I enjoy the social privilege of not being treated in a shitty way on account of my gender identity.

First, trans people do not necessarily have to give any cues they are trans. They could choose to blend in. Please note: I am not saying being trans is a choice but I am saying manifesting cues in general social situations is more than likely a choice. We all make choices in social situations in order to be more socially acceptable so this is not a burden they face alone. I, for one, would love to punch people in the face on a regular basis but I control these urges so as not to meet up with social issues. Are people that do not have regular urges to punch people in the face "privileged?"

Second, you are not "lucky" in this regards. The vast majority of humans are representative samples of the expression of the human genome. This is not luck but rather the result of the fact biology is a pretty good copying machine. The poor folks that are not representative samples might be unlucky but I do not think being one of the countless billions of accurate copies is an outlier we can call "lucky."
post #7272 of 12446
I tend to talk to myself when I am at home, but for the sake of impression management, I hold back from doing that in public. That is at least 10,000 times easier than holding back from expressing a gender identity that I can't not experience myself as having. If someone told me to go out and act like a woman or face massive sanctions, I would struggle mightily. Because almost nothing in my experience suggests to me that I'm a woman. I'd slip up for sure. (If you are referring to people who are already transitioned, then I think asking them to pass completely unnoticed is asking quite a lot.)

As regards lucky, I just mean it in the sense that I benefit from something that was not my doing and that is largely out of my control. If I'm not paying attention and run a stop sign in a school zone, and avoid hitting a child by inches, then I am lucky: I benefit enormously from facts for which I am not responsible, and I don't deserve any special credit for being a driver who doesn't hit children in school zones.
post #7273 of 12446
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post

I tend to talk to myself when I am at home, but for the sake of impression management, I hold back from doing that in public. That is at least 10,000 times easier than holding back from expressing a gender identity that I can't not experience myself as having. If someone told me to go out and act like a woman or face massive sanctions, I would struggle mightily. Because almost nothing in my experience suggests to me that I'm a woman. I'd slip up for sure. (If you are referring to people who are already transitioned, then I think asking them to pass completely unnoticed is asking quite a lot.)

As regards lucky, I just mean it in the sense that I benefit from something that was not my doing and that is largely out of my control. If I'm not paying attention and run a stop sign in a school zone, and avoid hitting a child by inches, then I am lucky: I benefit enormously from facts for which I am not responsible, and I don't deserve any special credit for being a driver who doesn't hit children in school zones.

One is not getting credit for being part of the norm. I understand what you are trying to say but I reject it.

Also, as to the bolded: this cannot be said of trans people. They actually do have plenty of experience suggesting to them they are the gender their genitals indicate. They will have been raised in this fashion for years, if not decades, and have a vast pool of experience to draw on in being the gender their genitals indicate. While they might not feel this alignment they will indeed have vast social experience of being their genital determined gender hence very likely could chose whether or not to be trans in social settings or not. I am not saying this is "fair" but I am saying it's probably doable as counter to your lack of experience of being female.
post #7274 of 12446
The analogy I'm about to make runs a very big risk, but I'll try it anyway. Someone who has multiple personality disorder (or dissociative identity disorder) experiences herself as many people. She understands perfectly well that she is supposed to be one person. And you can tell her 50,000 times that she has one birth certificate, one social security card, one relatively coherent public history, and she will understand that. But experientially, those facts have no hold whatsoever. She cannot experience herself as one person. And in many cases, she will resist others' attempts to "correct" her experience, because there is nothing in her lived, day-to-day experience that suggests to her that she is one person. Again, all the facts that we would point to from the outside have no hold on her. Likewise, a trans person knows that she is "supposed to" be a man. But that is completely at odds with her lived experience. The fact that trans people would endure all the sanctions they endure to express their gender identity suggests pretty strongly that it's not very easy to keep it hidden.

And I still want to argue that I get enormous credit for being part of the norm. But since it's the norm, it is invisible and goes without saying. I get the benefit of being treated as L'Incandescent, and not as L'Incandescent the weird, pathological trans person.
post #7275 of 12446
Quote:
Originally Posted by L'Incandescent View Post

The analogy I'm about to make runs a very big risk, but I'll try it anyway. Someone who has multiple personality disorder (or dissociative identity disorder) experiences herself as many people. She understands perfectly well that she is supposed to be one person. And you can tell her 50,000 times that she has one birth certificate, one social security card, one relatively coherent public history, and she will understand that. But experientially, those facts have no hold whatsoever. She cannot experience herself as one person. And in many cases, she will resist others' attempts to "correct" her experience, because there is nothing in her lived, day-to-day experience that suggests to her that she is one person. Again, all the facts that we would point to from the outside have no hold on her. Likewise, a trans person knows that she is "supposed to" be a man. But that is completely at odds with her lived experience. The fact that trans people would endure all the sanctions they endure to express their gender identity suggests pretty strongly that it's not very easy to keep it hidden.

And I still want to argue that I get enormous credit for being part of the norm. But since it's the norm, it is invisible and goes without saying. I get the benefit of being treated as L'Incandescent, and not as L'Incandescent the weird, pathological trans person.

Bad analogy.

This is has been interesting but we have reached an impasse. I sincerely doubt if another 20 pages of exchange will move either of us off our positions.
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