In the spirit of spite, I’ve got a whole lot of shit to say that has nothing to do with kink. So let’s talk about one of my many, many pet peeves. The idea that the term “cis” as in cisgender (which describes people whose gender identity matches the gender they were assumed to be at birth) is a slur is completely fucking ridiculous. I will mostly be talking about trans women and cis women here because I’m a cis woman and I never agreed to be used to make trans women feel shitty about themselves.
The term cis was created, as far as I know, to work around the binary created by calling people with trans histories (that is, people whose gender identity does not match the gender they were assumed to be at birth and who may or may not have taken steps to make their bodies better match their identities) trans women and trans men, but calling cis women and cis men just women and just men. The reason calling trans people trans women and cis women just women is a dick move is because it implies that trans women aren’t really women.
So calling people trans women and cis women puts us on a more even playing field. Using those terms doesn’t imply that I’m normal and trans women are weirdos, it makes it clearer that we’re just women with different histories.
Speaking of histories, the idea that all trans women’s childhoods are somehow vastly different from all cis women’s childhoods is complete and utter bullshit. I will bet you any amount of money that my childhood was more similar to a North American cis boy’s than to a girl, trans or not, who was born in India or China or Thailand or Russia or Korea or Brazil or Nigeria or Egypt. Not to mention the fact that although my parents fucked plenty of things up, they never ever told me or my sister that we couldn’t do something because we were girls. We moved firewood, we mowed the lawn, we helped bleed the brakes when the car needed fresh brake fluid, we played in our sandbox, we built huts in the woods, and we helped build a fucking house. Not to mention neither one of us regularly wore skirts when we were kids or worried much about our hair or obsessed over fashion or whatever. If there really is some sort of shared girlhood that makes all cis women similar, I’ve already failed. Not to mention that both my sister and I have ended up in extremely male dominated fields. I’m a programmer and she’s a construction worker. If you have to be girly as a child to be a woman, neither my sister nor I are actual women.
…It’s obvious that’s ridiculous, right?
Another reason it’s fine and dandy to use the word “cis” to describe me and other cis people is that nobody gets hurt because someone found out they were cis. Slurs like tr***y and n***er are slurs because they are used to remind people that they are considered less than, that people can hurt them without facing any consequences, that they will be denied jobs and housing and medical care and nobody will do a goddamn thing about it. Cis, on the other hand, is nothing more than a reminder that shit is easy for me. I won’t be denied a job because someone found out I was cis. I won’t have a date mysteriously stop returning messages if they find out I’m cis. I won’t have anyone ask massively inappropriate questions about my genitals if they find out I’m cis. I won’t be beaten or raped or murdered if someone finds out I’m cis. In short, nothing bad happens to me if somebody finds out I’m cis or calls me cis.
So go the fuck ahead and use cis, it’s not hurting anyone and might conceivably help trans people by helping break down the supposed binary between trans people and non-trans people.