Trigger warning for cisfail.
I gave C. a massive piece of my mind the other day over her use of the word ‘tranny.’ I think maybe I was too aggressive over it, but the first time she said it she got my back up by saying I couldn’t make her, and the second time prompted me to bring out all the big guns.
Now then, guess the counter-arguments (from more than one person, I’m not just blaming C.)…
- It’s just a word!
- It’s nowhere near as bad as ‘nigger’.
- It’s a descriptor.
- You’re not my parent.
- Nobody else cares.
- I’m sorry you’re offended (I wasn’t; but the word is offensive) but no-one else is (everyone else referring to a bunch of cis folks).
- So should I use transvestite?
- Political correctness…
- Transvestite is just what it is!
- We’re not interested in this stuff.
- Trans? But that’s just like tranny!
Cisfail… Shall I pick these statements apart?
- It’s just a word. A word which is steeped in a history of abuse. People die with that word ringing in their ears.
- It’s nowhere near as bad as ‘nigger’. It should be pointed out that I was the one who brought the ‘nigger’ debate up; I said, ‘it’s offensive in the sort of way nigger is offensive’; while I know that nigger comes from a far longer history of abuse and oppression, I thought that it would perhaps give C. some idea of it. Also, in today’s society, explicit transphobia is perhaps less condemned than explicit racism. This is not intended to minimise the impact of racism on POC and I apologise if I have allowed my white privilege to get the better of me.
- It’s a descriptor. It’s not. It never was. It’s a term of abuse. It’s a term that’s being reclaimed by some as a descriptor; that doesn’t mean it’s okay for general, unaware use.
- You’re not my parent. So? I’m informing you of something that should be a matter of common decency – I don’t need to be your parent.
- Nobody else cares. Simple reason why – you’re cis. I’m not, and I’ve had it yelled at me, sniggered behind my back. Nothing too bad, but – if you’d experienced it, you’d know. You’d care.
- I’m sorry you’re offended, but no-one else is. Could this be again a matter of cis privilege?
- So should I use transvestite? Er – no. Transvestism is closer related to cross-dressing than being trans (-gender or -sexual), although there may be some overlap. The word can be inappropriate because it recalls the old man-in-a-dress trope.
- Political correctness… Politics isn’t correct on this. Politics doesn’t care about trans people. It’s not political correctness, it’s human decency.
- Transvestite is just what it is! Clarification – not referring to the person as ‘it’ but the ‘phenomenon’. Incorrect.
- We’re not interested in this stuff. What – human rights? You’re not interested in human rights? You’re not interested in being a decent human being?
- Trans? But that’s just like tranny! Incorrect (an ‘s’, an ‘n’ and a ‘y’ differentiate the two). Also, trans doesn’t have the history of abuse.
I’m a few days late in posting this, but really and truly I need to vent my anger somewhere. I think it will probably stick in C.’s head (and hopefully D.’s and anyone else who was there) and niggle away – I hope so. C. didn’t say everything on this list, and doesn’t deserve the full blast of wrath – I’m also sure I tackled it wrong, but I guess more practice for next time – although what happened was wrong.