7. Women are privileged: "cis"

While AFTAs are busy redefining "woman" as a male fantasy they can inhabit at will, they are also redefining actual female people, so that we only exist in relation to them - and that relation is one in which female people are privileged oppressors.

"Cis" is a prefix from chemistry, ostensibly meaning "on the same side as." This is what transgender identity politickers label anyone who is "not trans." Of course, "trans" is itself a moving target, and women who pursue a clear definition of "trans" are told that's not our place even as we are told we must accept a label that means "not-that."

These feminists have all been denounced as bigots for daring to write essays about why they don't identify with the term "cis":

Elizabeth Hungerford: A feminist critique of "cisgender"
Rebecca Reilly-Cooper: Am I cisgender?
Caroline Criado-Perez: What Does Being "Cis" Mean For A Woman?
Sarah Ditum: Notes from a non-cis woman
Glosswitch: Beauty and the cis

If "cis" means not-transsexual, that would be over 99% of people. Why would we need a special label for that? We don't have special labels for people who are not-diabetic, not-arthritic, not-colitic, or not-anorexic, just to name a handful of more common conditions.

If, on the other hand, "cis" means "comfortable with your gender stereotype," then that is an odd thing to call feminists, who are devoted to deconstructing and fighting those stereotypes, not to mention lesbians and gay men, who are persecuted for failing to perform the compulsory heterosexuality that is central to the social construct of gender. Yet as a function of the trans/cis binary, if a female person does not "identify as a man" she must then accept the label "cis woman" and the uncontested relationship with gender stereotypes that implies.

(I'm not going down the internet rabbit hole of "non-binary" identities in this blog, which is too long as it is. Suffice to say young people who think they are special for not identifying as walking gender stereotypes need to accept that nobody is a walking gender stereotype. No woman was born to serve men, no man was born to dominate women.)

Nevermind that the practice of individual women claiming some "inner maleness" will never solve the problem of sexism - if I declare myself to have "always felt like a man," I will not magically receive twenty years of backpay. Young women being subjected to FGM cannot escape by claiming a "male hypothalamus." Women who are pregnant when they do not want to be, with no access to abortion, cannot simply state "but I view my clitoris as a penis, thus deliver unto me full bodily autonomy under the law." Identity politics only work if you have the power to enforce your special feelings about yourself on others, a power that male people have over female people, but female people do not have over male people.

To add injury to insult, once labeled "cis," women must confess to a laundry list of imagined privileges that only reveal how little AFTAs know about women's lives. In AFTAs' fantasy worlds, women never encounter sexism in our medical treatment, we aren't belittled for failing to meet arbitrary beauty standards, we don't face violence in the family and on the street. Being a girl is like playing Life on easy mode. Being a woman means relaxing into the bliss of non-personhood. There is no female oppression.

And once labeled "cis," women become, by Orwellian linguistic magic, oppressors of any male person who claims transness. (Funnily enough, in this topsy-turvy worldview, female people who do identify as men - trans men - are men period, and thus also privileged over transwomen. There are no female people who are not privileged in relation to any male who claims the label "trans.") It doesn't matter if a woman is visually gender-conforming but experiences femininity as a compulsory expression of preemptive surrender to male dominance, and it doesn't matter if a woman is visibly gender non-conforming and is constantly punished for it. If a person 1) was born into a female body and 2) accepts the dictionary definition of the word "woman" - she is now the cis oppressor.

Let's take the oft-repeated assertion that "cis" women are privileged over transwomen just as white women are privileged over black women.

To even make the comparison between "cis" women and transwomen, one must erase the biological and sociological differences between female and male humans and define "woman" according only to male imaginingsYet AFTAs are forever accusing feminists of erasing/debating *their* existence. Reversals: the official language of patriarchy.


"Cis" is also a handy way for AFTAs to express their intense misogyny:

To cut through the newspeak and vitriol:

AFTAs and their allies think 1) female people are privileged rather than oppressed via social treatment of our sexed bodies and 2) male people who don't live up to alpha male stereotypes needn't question masculinity but instead are oppressed by women.

This is, again, very reminiscent of men's rights activism. We might as well lump AFTAs and MRAs all under one acronym: PRAs. Penis Rights Activists.

Further reading: some thoughts for men who call themselves "cis."

Next page: Women who resist are witches - burn the TERFs

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