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comment by kleinbl00
kleinbl00  ·  1129 days ago  ·  link  ·    ·  parent  ·  post: Advertisers want you to hate being single. Don’t buy in.

Dunno about you, but the use of the word "cisgender" in a sentence tells me that this article isn't for me. If I have to perform the mental aerobics necessary to configure myself to the opposite of transgender, I can safely assume that the article was written for a different audience.

Odder  ·  1129 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I can't stand that word either, at least out of the context of trans people or trans issues, which this article did not need to include to make its main point. From the trans people I have talked to, relationships within the trans community are even more confusing and complicated, so adding that topic to the article really shifts the focus and makes it harder to make a coherent point.

    Unfortunately for these marketers, having a uniform understanding of singlehood around the world is tricky and perhaps impossible. People of different genders, sexualities, ethnicities, religions and classes have varied romantic habits and concerns, even though many of those considerations overlap or intersect.

This part of the article is a definite misunderstanding of advertising. Advertisers don't just include gay or trans people in their ads just to sell products to gay or trans people, they do it in order to be seen as more socially progressive. Perhaps that's also the reason the author included "cisgender" in the article, even though you could delete the above quoted paragraph and the one talking about cisgender people, and the article wouldn't read any differently. The two paragraphs about media fragmentation, or whatever, distract from the article's attempt to universalize ideas of being single or in a relationship, and they come off as a tone-deaf attempt at being more inclusive.

francopoli  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

The very first time I heard that word, 'cis,' was at OWS as it began to implode. I know the exact people that would use that word, I know the dog whistle and I got a really good idea who the audience is. And it is not us, man.

kleinbl00  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I was first exposed to the term back in the late '90s when my girlfriend at the time was getting her Masters in social work. It was the term used within the trans community used to describe individuals whose gender identity and sexual preferences were normative - in discussions where minority gender and sexual preferences were the subject.

Gender studies ain't my expertise, but back in those halcyon days the intention was that "straight" was everybody that wasn't "queer" or "LGBT" and "cisgendered" were those people in your transgender discussion that didn't need their gender explained.

I can't say for sure, but I suspect that had you asked back then, nobody would expect the average person to wrap their heads around being "cisgendered" unless they were comparing themselves to people who weren't.

oyster  ·  1129 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Just to put it out there, did the use of words like straight make the article seem as though it was written for a different audience as well ? I imagine a few generations ago people took issue with the word "heterosexual" in the same way people take issue with the word "cisgender" these days. It's funny how little we actually change as humans.

kleinbl00  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

We use "straight" to distinguish heterosexuality from homosexuality (or any of the other non-cis-whatever stuff that all of a sudden people are offended over). You don't have to ask 'would you like cold water?' if you aren't offering hot. cisgender is used to distinguish from transgender, which is nowhere in the article. ctrl-F it. I'll wait. Here, it's used for far stupider, far more insulting reasons:

Here's the phrase:

    We could say, for instance, that gay cisgender men and straight cisgender women rightly share similar worries about aging and dating, since men of all sexualities are frequently youth-and-looks-obsessed. Conversely, straight cisgender men can put off long-term romantic coupling for much longer, if they are wealthy, powerful or successful enough to be attractive for reasons that outlast their waning physical appeal.

We could therefore say, for instance, that gay transgender men and gay transgender women rightly don't worry about their appearance... wait, what? Somewhere out there are people who are not concerned about their appearance?

    Conversely, straight cisgender men can put off long-term romantic coupling for much longer, if they are wealthy, powerful or successful enough to be attractive for reasons that outlast their waning physical appeal.

Oh, right. Because everyone else is so shallow that they'll fuck a rich dude for being rich.

In this case, we use the word cisgender to inoculate the author against accusations of being a prejudicial shithead. And it's bullshit.

oyster  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

No no, you said the use of the word in a sentence said this article wasn't for you. Somebody else said later in a comment that they didn't like HOW it was used for no reason. It wasn't exactly taxing for this person to write that out and if that's the thought you meant to express from the get go it wouldn't haven't been taxing for you either. Nothing in your original comment suggested that and actually made it seem like you were having trouble "performing mental aerobics" to figure out you were the opposite of transgender. That's not generally a difficult task by the way. You're more than capable of expressing your thoughts well so it's your own fault you didn't bother too with your first comment. You can't get your panties in a bunch because somebody assumed you had used your ability to express a full thought. Your original comment merely placed you among the tons of people who don't like new words.

Now that that's out of the way, what is going on in your life lately that has made you so sour ?

kleinbl00  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

If you must know, the wife is being sued for malpractice and the job from hell? Yeah, not going to get my back pay and I won't get any hours from it, so I'm also going to lose my health insurance. Satisfied?

So. Words like "straight" imply that in some form or another we'll be talking about "straight" vs. "gay" or "queer" or "literally any sexual persuasion outside normative practices." I also had exactly two minutes to type out what I said, then spent the day battling the union, dealing with contractors and getting mired in a 4-hour lunch downtown, and spent the ten free minutes I had dashing out the two comments on this page. If I had it to do over again, I would have said "the way cisgender is used in this article demonstrates it wasn't written for me" instead of "in a sentence" but, you see, the phone rang to let me know that my career might be over so I hit "reply" and moved on with my day.

So yes. I could have been more nuanced in my speech and yes, it hasn't been the best of days. I sincerely appreciate you being condescending about it.

oyster  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

I'm sorry if I'm sour to people because of shit going on in my life that has nothing to do with them I won't be upset they were a little rude to me when calling me out. That's because ultimately I am responsible for my actions no matter what's going on in my life. Everything you told me here is a reason I can be understanding but not a reason I'm going to feel bad for calling you out. I sincerely hope things in your life start to look up and that you do something like take a bubble bath to decompress.

kleinbl00  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

But dude - you're still doing a shitty job of calling me out. The fact remains: "cis"anything is not an inclusive word. It's a word designed to exclude me. And I'm not being sour to people - I'm making a statement and then you decided to jump down my neck. In effect, you're saying "I don't want to acknowledge your argument, how 'bout I take it personal?" In effect, I said "the argument still stands, if you wanna take it personal I happen to have ammo today. Your move." Your response?

"I'm not going to feel bad for calling you out."

This discussion we're having is you "putting it out there" that "straight" means the same thing as "cisgender." It doesn't, though, and it doesn't have the same context. My acknowledging that the context is different isn't me needing "a bubble bath" it's me arguing that the "inclusive" language used is exclusive of normative gender alignments when not used comparatively.

You took it ad hominem, it didn't work, and here we are. The argument still stands: "cisgender" is a term used to counterbalance transgender discussion. Outside of transgender discussion it's exclusionary.

I sincerely hope you'll address my arguments, rather than attempting to change the subject through ham-handed attempts at pathos rhetoric.

oyster  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Honestly, I just don't believe that's what you meant with your original post. I think you just don't like the word because that's exactly what your original post suggested. Except you don't want to say that now so you took somebody elses opinion and are pretending it was what you meant the whole time. I'm not arguing with that person because they actually had a good point. So obviously when you pretend their point was yours I'm not going to argue against it.

I'm saying you should decompress because in a few days of being on the internet I've managed to know there was likely something wrong in your life. That should probably raise some questions about how you conduct yourself under stress.

kleinbl00  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

And now you're lecturing me rather than addressing my point, while also accusing me of duplicity.

bfv  ·  1129 days ago  ·  link  ·  

Is it that much stranger than "partner" becoming the term for every sort of significant other, so it takes some effort to figure out whether people are talking about their love lives or their law firms? It's an awkward term, but torturing everyday language is, for better or worse, part of social change now. The term exists because if it's not an explicit category then it's assumed and transgendered people are oddities. It's not a word I'm going to start using anytime soon either, but it's an awkward term with a function.

kleinbl00  ·  1128 days ago  ·  link  ·  

It's that much stranger because "partner" is an inclusive term meant to blanket everyone. "cisgender" literally means NOT transgender.

My wife is part of a two person committee whose sole role is to convert all of her professional organization's writing and copy into gender-inclusive language. cis-anything is gender-exclusive; the fact that it is used almost entirely by the transgender community to discuss things that aren't theirs does not promote inclusivity in the slightest.

Ain't nobody in Tuscaloosa, Alabama ever gonna think of themselves as "cisgendered." You can probably get them to accept Caitlin Jenner eventually, but they're always going to be "normal." Yeah, yeah. Transgender is "normal" too, I get it. But nobody is doing anybody any favors by requiring 65-year-olds to wrap their brains around a latin prefix so that nobody has the opportunity to be offended.