Twitter owner Elon Musk just announced that he considers “cis” and “cisgender” slurs. Usage of these terms on Twitter may result in suspension, he said. But, it may shock you to know, Musk is wrong. “Cis” and “cisgender” are not slurs, and the efforts to paint them as such come from anti-transgender activists.
“Repeated, targeted harassment against any account will cause the harassing accounts to receive, at minimum, temporary suspensions. The words ‘cis” or “cisgender’ are considered slurs on this platform,” Musk tweeted Tuesday evening.
Repeated, targeted harassment against any account will cause the harassing accounts to receive, at minimum, temporary suspensions.
The words “cis” or “cisgender” are considered slurs on this platform.
— Elon Musk (@elonmusk) June 21, 2023
But “cisgender” and “cis” isn’t a slur—it’s merely the opposite of “trans.” “Cis-” is a standard latin prefix, meaning “on this side of.” It’s particularly common in geography, where it just means the same side as the speaker. For example, the region between the Jordan River and the Mediterranean Sea is called “Cisjordan”—”Transjordan” means east of the Jordan River, and was used as the name of a British protectorate in 1921. In chemistry, “cis-” is also used to talk about chemical compounds have atoms or groups that exist on the same side of a plane of symmetry.
“Cis-” was first used in regards to sexuality in a 1914 German book on sexology, however the word “cisgender” was first coined in 1994 on Usenet by Dana Defosse. Defosse at the time was a graduate student, and in an February 2023 article for Huffington Post, she said she was working on a paper about the health of trans teens. She needed a term for the opposite of transgender, and looked to chemistry for inspiration, and landed on “cisgender.”
“It seemed like a no-brainer. I had no idea that hitting ‘enter’ on that post would start an etymological time bomb ticking,” she wrote.
The term (and its sister term cissexual—the opposite of the then-common term “transsexual”) was popularized in the 2007 book Whipping Girl by artist and activist Julia Serano, and “cisgender” eventually entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015.
Critics like Musk often say they object to being “labelled,” but people are labelled every day, and it’s not always a value judgement. Hell, “man” or “woman” are labels, and Musk would likely not object to being called a “man.”
Defosse and others point out that those calling “cis” or “cisgender” a slur usually object on grounds of “I’m not cis, I’m normal,” defeating the whole purpose of the value-neutral term. Or in other words, as Twitter user @JinkiesJerrica puts it, “transphobic bigots say ‘cis is a slur’ because they have always used ‘trans’ as a slur”.
transphobic bigots say “cis is a slur” because they have always used “trans” as a slur
also, “cis” isn’t a slur because cisgender people aren’t discriminated against legally, institutionally or socially, on the basis of being cisgender https://t.co/tqox3KnVJ8
— The Hottest Jerrica You Know 😘 (@JinkiesJerrica) June 21, 2023
But as “trans” isn’t a slur, “cis” isn’t either. They’re mere descriptors, with clear linguistic pedigrees—and above all, they’re just plain useful terms when you’re talking about trans issues. It’s the very same issue Defosse ran into in 1994; if we can’t use the word she helpfully coined—what else is there?
Some go for “biological women/men,” but, last time I checked, transgender people are, in fact, biological creatures, just like cisgender people. (I will happily retract this if it turns out that all transgender people are revealed to be, and have always been, robots created in factories out of silicon and steel.)
“Genetic women/men” is another proposed option. After all, we’re taught in high school that men have XY chromosomes and women have XX. But as it turns out, biology is messy. Between 0.02% and 0.05% of people are born intersex—meaning that their sexual characteristics don’t neatly fit into “boy” or “girl”. Some women are born with XY chromosomes, but the male characteristics aren’t expressed—and some women in this situation can even give birth, according to a study by Claus Højbjerg Gravholt, a clinical professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine of Aarhus University.
Just use “cis.” It’s the easiest and clearest way to make the distinction. I’m cis and I’m proud—at least, as proud as one can be over something that I had absolutely nothing to do with and face absolutely zero oppression over.
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‘Abomination’: Fox Hosts Issue Stunning Trump Legal Judgment Critiques
Hosts on Fox News on Monday made several misleading claims about the American elections system, COVID, the rule of law, and Friday’s $450 million total civil judgment against Donald Trump and his executives.
“I think that these people clearly hate Trump more than they love America,” declared Fox News contributor Lisa Boothe on Monday. “You know, and by the time they finally get him if they ever do, what’s going to be left of the country? I mean, think about all the damage these threats to democracy people have done as they burn the country down to try to get him.”
“No one trusts elections anymore after they upended the system during a COVID virus almost as deadly as the flu as they append to the process that with mail-in balloting and trying to take Trump off the ballot. No one trusts the rule of law anymore. It doesn’t exist, as they’ve used it weaponized it against Donald Trump. The media’s debased itself lying about Donald Trump.”
It is untrue that “No one trusts elections anymore.” It is false that COVID is deadly than the flu. Mail-in balloting is a safe alternative to in-person voting.
Fox Host; No one trusts elections anymore after they appended during COVID, a virus almost as deadly as the flu
(This is not true and not the first time Fox has made this comparison) pic.twitter.com/hIZW9LgXtf
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 19, 2024
Boothe’s remarks, while inaccurate, expose the effects the Trump campaign has had on confidence in U.S. elections.
“Few Republicans have high confidence that votes will be tallied accurately in next year’s presidential contest, suggesting years of sustained attacks against elections by former President Donald Trump and his allies have taken a toll, according to a new poll,” the Associated Press reported last summer. “The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research poll finds that only 22% of Republicans have high confidence that votes in the upcoming presidential election will be counted accurately compared to 71% of Democrats, underscoring a partisan divide fueled by a relentless campaign of lies related to the 2020 presidential election. Even as he runs for the White House a third time, Trump continues to promote the false claim that the election was stolen.”
As for COVID, as recently as today The Mercury News reported, “COVID deaths in California dropped dramatically in 2023 but still 17 times higher than flu deaths.”
Boothe wasn’t the only Fox News host who spread questionable claims on Monday’s show.
Emily Compagno pointed to the recent threatened Truckers for Trump boycott of New York, without mentioning the truck driver who sparked it retracted his video.
“Chicago Ray deleted his original post and shared a new one on Monday in which he distanced himself from the boycott calls and stressed that he was not encouraging anyone to do anything,” Newsweek reports. NewsNation also reports “Chicago Ray backs down on calls for truck boycott.”
Quoting a comment, Compagno read: ” ‘If all of us patriots stand up we will make a difference. We have to push back against the ones trying to purposely destroy our country.’ And I can’t help but underline that is how everyone is perceiving this abomination of a ruling that had no victims.”
“Everyone” does not perceive the civil business fraud ruling against Trump as an “abomination,” nor as adjudicated to “purposely destroy our country.” Some legal experts have supported and praised the judgment. One called it “a powerful predictor of what’s to come in his criminal trials.”
Boothe: The irony is New York is probably going to end up bankrupting itself in the process of trying to bankrupt Trump
Compagno: There are truckers for Trump that are now refusing to drive into the state pic.twitter.com/7r2cwcxjjj
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 19, 2024
Last year Fox News settled a defamation lawsuit brought by Dominion Voting Systems for a reported $787.5 million, called “one of the largest ever in a defamation case.”
“The case held the potential to make public a stream of damaging information about how the network told its audience a story of fraud and interference in the 2020 presidential election that many of its own executives and on-screen personalities did not believe,” The New York Times reported last April. The paper noted the lawsuit was “over the network’s promotion of misinformation about the 2020 election.”
Watch the videos above or at this link.
House Republicans Flee DC for Early Vacation Amid National Security ‘Crisis’
Facing multiple national security threats and another two possible federal government shutdowns of their own creation, House Republicans, who still control the majority, announced on Wednesday they are leaving Washington, D.C. early for their winter vacation.
On Tuesday Speaker Mike Johnson told reporters, “national security begins with border security.” House Republicans have been calling the border a “crisis,” but have killed bipartisan legislation to fix it.
Speaker Johnson on way to House chamber…
“National security begins with border security.” pic.twitter.com/7TAABPAKUu
— Sam Lisker (@slisker) February 13, 2024
The House won’t be back in session until February 28, barely days before a partial government shutdown that is slated for March 1, with the rest of the government shutdown slated for one week later – unless the House and Senate pass legislation keeping the government funded.
The House was scheduled to be in session through the end of the week, but Republican Majority Whip Tom Emmer announced Wednesday the final vote will be Thursday at 2:30 PM, as Punchbowl’s Jake Sherman reported.
Just two weeks ago Emmer called the situation at the border “the worst crisis we’ve ever seen.”
— House Republicans (@HouseGOP) January 31, 2024
Meanwhile, just hours ago, Republican House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Turner stunned the nation by sounding the alarm about what he called “a serious national security threat.” Later reports state it appears to involve Russia, possibly Russian capabilities to use nuclear weapons in space to shoot down satellites.
Earlier Wednesday, a reporter asked House Speaker Mike Johnson about the bipartisan Senate border bill he and Donald Trump killed.
“You yourself were part of killing the Senate compromise bill,” the reporter said. “You called it ‘dead on arrival.’”
“So my question to you is, while you say there need to be solutions, what are House Republicans doing to get to a solution on the border, and on Ukraine. Or are you going to actually do nothing? What is your proposal, what are you doing?”
Johnson insisted, “We’re addressing each of those issues,” before adding, “We are not going to be forced into action by the Senate.”
The House has yet to address what for months it has called the “crisis” at the southern border, Ukraine’s desperate need for military funding, funding for Israel, funding for Taiwan, and humanitarian aid for Gaza. By killing the Senate border bill ICE is now being forced to plan to release thousands of immigrants into the U.S. due to a $700 million budget deficit that bill would have solved.
Meanwhile, critics are expressing frustration with the House GOP.
“The government shuts down on March 1st and Speaker Johnson is cancelling session for Friday. That gives us tomorrow and three days at the end of the month in DC to keep the government open,” lamented U.S. Rep. Maxwell Alejandro Frost (D-FL).
“Are you kidding me!?” wrote Democratic activist Aaron Parnas. “House Republicans are leaving D.C. for two weeks after scaring the country over a national security threat, refusing to pass aid to Ukraine, and while a shooting is impacting Kansas City.”
Wednesday’s shooting at the Super Bowl parade left one person dead and up to 15 others injured.
The official House calendar shows Congress is scheduled to be in session just 114 days this year. Amid last year’s three weeks of not having a Speaker, and thus not performing its legislative responsibilities, no effort was made to “make up” any of those days in 2024. Last year the House was scheduled for 127 days.
Even those schedules are light. For example, according to the research website ThoughtCo, the House in 2018 was scheduled to be in session for 174 days, and in 2017, 192 days.
Watch the videos above or at this link.
Speaker Johnson’s Latest Move Adds to His Conflicting Quagmire of Divergent Border Positions
Speaker of the House Mike Johnson currently holds several conflicting positions on addressing the U.S. southern border, not to mention sending funds to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan – which he has insisted be linked together. He’s now created an even more confusing quagmire exacerbated by a joint statement released Monday afternoon by his House Republican leadership team.
In their latest shot across the bow to the U.S. Senate, Speaker Johnson and his leadership team declared the just-released Senate immigration and border security funding bill, which includes critical aid to Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, “DEAD on arrival.”
“House Republicans oppose the Senate immigration bill because it fails in every policy area needed to secure our border and would actually incentivize more illegal immigration,” reads the statement from House GOP Speaker Mike Johnson, Conference Chairwoman Elise Stefanik, Majority Leader Steve Scalise, and Majority Whip Tom Emmer. “Because President Biden has refused to utilize his broad executive authority to end the border catastrophe that he has created, the House led nine months ago with the passage of the Secure the Border Act (H.R. 2). That bill contains the necessary components to actually stem the flow of illegals and end the present crisis. The Senate must take it up immediately.”
“America’s sovereignty is at stake,” the House leadership statement adds. “Any consideration of this Senate bill in its current form is a waste of time. It is DEAD on arrival in the House. We encourage the U.S. Senate to reject it.”
After spending months promoting HR2, the House bill immigration experts and House Judiciary Committee Democrats have called “draconian,” Speaker Johnson recently declared President Joe Biden had to “close” the border and needed absolutely no help from Congress to do so, just merely sign executive orders. President Biden says that’s false.
Over the past few days it has been the stated position of Speaker Johnson that no legislation is needed to secure the border, the House’s HR2 is needed to secure the border, and the Senate bill is “DOA.” Additionally, on critical funding for Ukraine, Israel, and Taiwan, Johnson says he will bring to the House floor a stand-alone bill solely for funding for Israel, after insisting a U.S. border bill be tied to funding for those three countries. Over the weekend CNN called that an “about face.”
Meanwhile, there’s little to no chance the Senate will even consider HR2.
The right-leaning news outlet The Hill has said HR2 is “a sweeping bill that would drastically restrict the asylum process while establishing a vast new surveillance system to forcibly freeze regional migration and crack down on the existing undocumented population.”
Calling for a “balanced, bipartisan approach,” House Judiciary Ranking Member Jerry Nadler (D-NY) last month said, “House Republicans insist they will only consider H.R. 2, their draconian enforcement-only bill that would destroy the asylum system, gut protections for unaccompanied kids, and end all parole programs. Policies that stand no chance of passage in the Senate, which shows that they’re not interested in real solutions.”
.@RepJerryNadler: House Republicans insist they will only consider H.R. 2, their draconian enforcement-only bill that would destroy the asylum system, gut protections for unaccompanied kids, and end all parole programs. Policies that stand no chance of passage in the Senate,… pic.twitter.com/yJE1eyaTsf
— House Judiciary Dems (@HouseJudiciary) January 17, 2024
On Monday, Greg Sargent at The New Republic wrote, “Why Mike Johnson Is Having a MAGA Meltdown Over the Border Deal.”
“The House speaker,” Sargent explains, “is afraid that if the Senate bill passes, the GOP will partially own the border crisis. He—and Trump—also fear the bill will work.”
On Sunday, confronted by NBC News’ Kristen Welker, Speaker Johnson was asked if Donald Trump was “calling the shots.” He said, “of course not. I am calling the shots.”
Welker: Is Donald Trump calling the shots here, Mr. Speaker?
Johnson: Of course not. He’s not calling the shots. I am calling the shots for the house. pic.twitter.com/hzgwkGuXYM
— Acyn (@Acyn) February 4, 2024
Watch the videos above or at this link.
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