Argh! the dreaded ‘cis’ prefix has spread this far already!
As if any of us perform gender perfectly.
I think being cis gender is more about identifying as the same gender you were assigned at birth- if you’re taking hormones and have SRS, your biological sex can match your gender identity, but you can still identify as trans.
While cis isn’t perfect, I think it’s better than pretending the categories are “trans” and “normal”.
I have mixed feelings about this particular strip.
I mean, cis isn’t there to make you feel guilty, it’s just to have a word that means “not trans” without that word being “normal” as Ally says above. I’m fully covered by the word “male,” but I’m not cis.
I’m also a composer and the idea that musical output is without gender baggage is kind of funny, but I’m not sure it’s true. It’s also kind of discouraging that they smile as they retreat into privilege. They don’t have to talk about cis/trans issues if they don’t feel like it. They can just sing and be happy.
LOVE this! The universal language.
So is the note they’re humming a cis (C sharp)? :)
Dorothy, this is beautiful.
I’m with Ally,in “cis” and “trans” being better than “normal” and “trans”. Even if you define “normal” just as the more frequent thing, it sounds as if what is not “normal” would be bad, or ill.
YES! thanks from the genderqueers.
“You have to come look at this Cat & Girl”, my boyfriend said.
Shortly afterwards, I was rubbing my breasts on his head and whistling the end titles of Looney Tunes shorts. He was left feeling unclean.
So many cisgendered folk will probably feel like Girl initially does. It threw me when I first heard it last year, and I’m transgender about to do a graphic novel all about gender transition!
Methinks though that the last row demonstrates the correct response to many modern distinctions. As a (hopefully) active pagan I recognise that while we chop the world up into a million identifiable bits with our minds and language, ultimately it is all one.
It’s a perfectly fine word. geez. can’t i go an hour looking at the internet without running into this?
Oh hey Jay.
The cis/trans distinction implies an annoyingly Manichean distinction. “Trans” does not simply imply that I am dissatisfied with my biological [sic?] gender, but that I prefer the only available alternative.
It seems unlikely that there are only two options.
Yes, yes. I’m so sick of people throwing around “privilege” and related language. It is part of the reason I don’t hang out with other transfolk. :(
Music is the language of us all!
I love, love, love this strip. Thanks so much.
Ha-ha. I love that Girl carries The List around with her.
Grrl’s half-hearted attempt at stopping Girl from adding it to the list is also great.
Yes! Finally us cisgendered folk have been recognised as a legitimate group.
The list is great — also the relief Girl and Grrl feel when they just stop talking.
I understand the sentiment, but don’t hate the “cis-” prefix just because it’s being used by the gender scolds. :) My group of friends includes a lot of really laidback transpeople and genderfluid people, and we use “cisgender” because it’s just really handy to have a term for “not trans.” It’s a shame if the identity politics crowd is using it as a guilt hammer, but that’s not the word’s fault. Also, we have tried the whistling and it didn’t really work, especially when we needed to give driving directions that didn’t involve nectar. :)
It is rather frustrating that not all ideas can be put into words; that words are an imperfect attempt to describe reality. I like the music idea…. it’s better than words at capturing emotions, certainly, although it’s extremely inefficient at transmitting hard data.
I suppose you could encode data into it somehow. But then you’d still be using words, just translated ones.
Hmm hmm hmmm ta ta ta te tum tum…
Anyone else notice how Girl only smiles when she’s caught up in a rare moment of irrational optimism?
This, out of every Cat and Girl strip, did not just make me laugh but made me genuinely smile.
(e.g. – The Return, Hot Topic, Great Escapes, Secrets of the Sofas, Winners and Losers, Evangelists, CCTV, Surrounded, Pyramid Scheme, Hunters and Gatherers, Minus One, Morning in America especially…)
(Except for in ‘Grace.’ It is never irrational to be optimistic about bacon.)
reading this comic, i had the same reaction girl did. my sex and gender identity do happen to match and i started to feel bad about it.
i dont think the problem is with the words so much as their definition. who decided what normal is anyway? religion teaches were all far from perfect, evolution says we`re the culmintaion of the best of biological accidents. either way, we all have to breathe, eat, and crap to stay alive.
also, wether or not you believe in God, The Cribs and Streetlight Manifesto make a pretty good playlist. that is scientific fact. anyone who says otherwise is a communist. your not a commie, are you?
This made me incredably happy!
Although as a chemist we often shorten cis to ‘Z’ & trans to ‘E’ when naming isomers (molecules with the same parts just layed out differently), so my first reaction was to think of the contraction Z-Gend. & E-Gend. Also to think of cis people/Trans people standing in the appropriate shapes :D
Still just to throw something else into the mix, I don’t particularly identify as Male of Female, more just as mentally androgynous, or something to that affect…so while it doesn’t usualy bother me too much (I figure there’s not too much to do about it, & just get on as I normaly do) I am somewhat between the two categories…
“cisgender” doesn’t mean “normal.” The whole idea is to remove any standing for a “normal.” You have people who are cis and you have people who are trans. That’s all it means. It deconstructs normal, and does not reinforce it.
Nick, “gender scolds?” I don’t recall finding anyone trying to use “cis” to make anyone feel guilty, but I certainly see a lot of cis people who certainly react that way.
i like what Erika said:)
:( I can’t seem to find who’s whistlin’/singin’/playin’ the same tune as me (or I the same as them?)
The so-called humanities sometimes have something ingenious to say, and sometimes they seem to get confused. While I can sympathize with an amputee, I will not attempt to equate such a state with ‘normal’ and ‘healthy.’ I know that some blind and deaf persons are offended by their state being considered lacking in any way, but I cannot offer them any other honest evaluation.
Yeah, this totally gets it. “That’s not the (point)-” it’s not about guilt for having privilege, but starting off with being aware of it, y’know?
This strip is basically every kind of win.
Hmmmmmm hmmm hmmm ta ta ta te tum tum
haters gonna hate
I’m OK with the idea that non-transsexual might want a label other than “normal.” If not “cis,” invent something.
But it seems to me that this “gender” stuff is like calling urinating “wee-wee” and table legs “limbs.” Gender refers to nouns. Sex refers to people. I don’t understand why we can’t use the grownup words any more – sexual identity, transsexual, sex, and so on. Are we that uncomfortable with saying “sex”?
Maybe I should just go hum a nice tune in the corner.
Gender is about more than screwing.
I would like to table the notion that people who spend a lot of time complaining about the term “cis” shall be labelled “fac-persons” until they stop whining.
Sorry Fred Davis, but if one group of people were “fac-persons”, their counterparts would actually be called “mer-persons”.
Which implies the existence of fishtails, and I don’t think that’s the image we’re going for…
Mr. Lapin: http://political-philosophy.suite101.com/article.cfm/what_is_the_difference_between_sex_and_gender
the last I checked, Word was a virus, pretty sure about that one
No, no. “Virus” is a word.
Gender has been borrowed from linguistics, and will soon include other meanings: “I think he’s perverted, Stan. He told me he had gender with a woodchuck.” … “Pull up your pants, Russel. I told you, anal gender is high-risk fun!” — George Carlin
Ultimately I don’t see the need for this kind of categorizing, we’re creating labels exponentially to try to break down the use and need for labels. Which is kind of making everything worse. I know plenty of gay straight trans queer and everything in between people, and sweating over labels seems like more effort than good.
No, no — I’m adding it to the list.
I don’t have anything more intelligent to add than the rest here, and I love this comic, but I don’t think ‘cis’ as a prefix necessarily has to incite guilt.
For the ‘privileged’ (however defined), don’t waste time feeling guilty – it’s a miserable, useless emotion! However, adding a new prefix, ‘cis’, seems like a small adjustment to make if it starts to lessen the discrimination faced by trans folk.
And the moral of the story is… singing sounds better than speaking in sqeaky voice!
I love this strip, I am white, male, heterosexual, cisexual, et cetera. I totally have a List.
Oh boo hoo, the cisgender kids have to “feel bad” about a term that was created to empower. What poor, troubled souls. Haha, oh wait who fucking gives a shit? Cisgender is a term that is both important in discussions on gender theory and necessary to bring cis and trans folk just a little bit closer to a level playing field. I am completely disgusted by the kind of people who refuse to accept the term “cisgender.” As much as I love Cat and Girl, this one leaves a bad taste in my mouth. As is mentioned above, cis is not a term used to make cis men and women feel bad, it’s used to validate everybody’s gender identity.
Can I be cis~human?
I’ve just become sort of ok about being born human.
That feeling Girl gets… that’s the feeling of running face-first into the glass door of privilege awareness.
If Girl wanted something to feel bad about…before this comic I felt like I connected with her. Now I will have to try and remember that she views me as the “other”. I have been catching up on Cat and Girl recently…hopefully she will grow past this.
Makes me think of Vonnegut’s Harmonium’s
Heh, organic chemistry was worth something. And CJD, Kuru and BSE are caused by prions doing a sort of cis to trans refold on proteins in the brain which renders them totally useless killing the brain matter that contains them. The prions being indestructible, continue being a catalyst in this process till the brain resembles Swiss Cheese. When passed on by consumption, this inert, lifeless molecule melts the next brain it infects.