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daddysambiguity in any_bodied_men

mod update: "bio men"

Hey, everyone.

I've received some complaints about the use of "bio men" in the community's userinfo. Although I did write the information, it was probably about 6 years ago (that is, I was young and naive) and, frankly, I agree with the complaints.

I've chosen to change "bio men" to "non-trans men" because I know lots of folks have issues with the term "cisgender" and "cissexual" as well, so "non-trans" seemed like the best way to go.

If you have any other problems with these terms, or with the userinfo in general, please let me or another mod know.



Thanks for moderating.
"Non-trans men" is good, I think. It avoids the potential miscommunications of the other two terms and centers the phraseology at transmen :).

I'm curious, though - and this is a question for anyone, not nec. Dylan - what are the common complaints against "bio-" and "cis-"? I haven't heard many except that "bio-" seemed silly to one person I knew because, well, everyone is "biological". But that was more of a "ham-handed use of English" complaint than anyone taking offense.
:) Thanks for the feedback!

The complaints I've heard about bio/genetic are those that you've mentioned -- that it implies trans men are somehow not biological or genetic or maybe even somehow less real.

There are complaints against "cis" as well, but I am unsure what they are. The only one I really know about is that some people have problems with it from a linguistic standpoint, I guess. Or something. I am less clear about the problems with that pre-fix.
i think the issue with "cis" is that 98% of the population has never heard of the term, so it doesn't mean anything to anyone outside of the trans/queer community. i don't think that's too big of a problem in this livejournal community, but for real life/practicality, it's not that helpful.

non-trans men is my preference as well.
Re. "bio-", that makes sense, especially since I think it started out as "biologically male" which IMO is ehh-ok because it at least differentiates sex and gender, but is still a little depressing to hear all the time because who wants to be reminded of what one isn't? ...but then it morphed into "biological male" which no longer makes sense and sounds like transmen are robots or engineered by Monsanto - in any case, as you say, less real/natural/meant to be/etc.

Re. "cis-", I wonder if it has to do with people using "cissexual" vs. "cisgendered" - I've heard the former a lot more recently - and arguing that they can't be used interchangeably? ...and/or that it sounds weird to say :).

I think people think cis- is too academic or something. It's use as far as I can tell was largely popularized by Julia Serano's book Whipping Girl, which while fairly accessible, does have a lot of lingo and can be found in the gender studies section of the bookstore...which is apparently hallmarks of its elitism? personally i think that critique is bullshit, but non-trans works too.

male assigned, female assigned are good too.
"Cis-" (apart from the bit about -gender and -sexual being different) makes a blanket assumption that nontrans people are perfectly fine in their gender, sex, and societal role enactment around those. Not only is that simply false, whether one is speaking of GLB or straight people, but it also makes the mistake of doing to "the other" what has been done to oneself and one's community. That is not a strategy for shifting the paradigm.

Nontrans isn't perfect either. But as an example of "reverse discourse," it throws a light onto a privileged category which has for a long time not even been seen as a category, or which has been seen as the default. At least for a while, we can say that our lives and embodiments are the default, that we can be centrally inhabiting ourselves and our communities, and that -- again, at least for a while -- the default and the exception are in fact merely relative.

Also, for some gay men, "cis" sounds like "sis" - which for some resonates with sissy. That is a side matter, of course, but on the screen for some people.

OK - this might be the smartest way I have ever expressed it, so I am going to copy this into my own LJ to use the next time I have to explain my refusal to call nontrans people "cis."
doesn't "non-trans" really make the same assumption, when you get down to it?
i personally don't use cisgender and hardly ever use transgender because I have similar concerns as you--i don't want to presume someone gendernormative if that isn't how they feel or identify. but isn't calling them non-trans pretty much the same thing?
but see, if they aren't gendernormative in identity, than they aren't non-trans so it doesn't apply to them.

Sorry if I'm bringing up something from forever ago, but I'm a cis person who does not feel gender normative.

I don't feel that calling myself cis implies that I am perfectly fine with my gender and social expectations thereof; to me, it means that I am not trans -- that I have not made a transition away from the gender I was identified as at birth; that, as uncommon_crow says below, I am a male who was assigned male at birth, rather than not being assigned male at birth, and that I benefit from certain kinds of privilege and have certain perspectives and not others as a result of that.

I certainly understand my gender differently than others do, and I have changed my way of thinking about my gender, but I think most people do so, and it would be inaccurate of me to suggest that I had in any way transitioned in the way trans people do.

At any rate, I identify indifferently as cis and non-trans. These are just my personal reasons for doing so and not meant to reflect on others, &c., &c.

(And the bit about how I could be a "cissie", to me, is a feature, not a bug ;)

Edited at 2009-09-04 03:32 pm (UTC)
I see nothing wrong with using cissexual/cisgendered, in the same way that I have no problem using 'straight' or 'heterosexual'; they're descriptive terms. If we have terms like transsexual for men who weren't assigned male at birth, why shouldn't there be a linguistically corresponding term for men who were assigned male at birth? I don't buy the 'but nobody outside our community knows the term' argument- nobody's going to get to know it if it's not used, and Christ knows transsexual's a familiar enough term which I imagine went through a similar stage at one time.

Sure, one has to be careful not to apply cisgendered/cissexual to those who don't identify that way, but the same goes for any other label out there you'd care to name.

Also, I know men who were assigned female at birth, transitioned and no longer consider themselves trans, so IMO, non-trans isn't always a helpful term.
Thanks! I think 'non-trans' is a good choice for the info page; it's pretty self-explanatory.