I never did quite wrap my head around why the cis- discussion at Pam’s went as it did, with nobody asking why “cis” was such a nasty word, and what we ought to have replace it. Then I got wind of it not actually being about the particular word, which, yes, makes quite a bit more sense.
The argument seems to be that “cis-gender” has been used in anger, with trans activists who will have a prefix whether they like one or not angrily denouncing a cis-centric LGBT movement. And, since “cis” was originally envisaged as a nice, neutral, polite prefix—drawn from Chemistry, for goodness sakes!—meant to just lightly tag—oops! there you go, darling—cisgender privilege, this new use in anger was a very nasty twisting of the word indeed.
Which does seem a little off from where I’m standing. I mean, you name a privilege, it seems more than a little naïve to figure that nobody will ever get angry about it. Hurl it about a bit. Maybe attach an invective or two? “Fucking white supremacists” surely have feelings too, you know, so if you’re trying to be really polite about it all around, it’s probably best to avoid all that nasty “privilege” and “liberation from oppression” business altogether. Just let it drop, bite your tongue, and sweep it all under the rug like you’re good friends who truly can’t stand each other getting together at the only coffee shoppe you can ever manage to agree on for a nice, steamy cup of fair-trade, organic joe. Skone?
Oh, and if you’re cisgendered and feel a bit glum that I just called you such a nasty thing, DGlenn would like to have a word with you. It’s a very good word. (There are tables.)