The ideas and language of gender and identity

By , September 4, 2009 12:35 am

(Brace yourself, this is going to be a long post.)

An Introduction

As usual, Daisy had an interesting post over at Dear Diaspora. (Although I think I found it more interesting than she may have originally intended!) She set the post up as intending to clarify some terms surrounding gender and identity (cissexual, transsexual, cisgender, transgender, etc) so that she could use the terms in later posts. She assumed that her readers were generally familiar with cissexual and transsexual, but used the following to define cisgender:

cisgender: not transgender, not genderqueer; having a sex that aligns with one’s social gender (i.e. female/feminine/woman or male/masculine/man)

I had to read that definition a few times to make sure I understood, because it’s not the definition I’m familiar with. That definition would look something more like:

cisgender: not transgender, not genderqueer; having a gender identity that aligns with one’s assigned sex

That is, the definition of cis/transgender I’m familiar with – and what I think is the more commonly accepted definition – is concerned with how one’s gender identity relates to assigned sex. Conversely,  Daisy’s definition is concerned with how one’s gender presentation (“social gender”) relates to one’s gender identity (as I think we determined in the comments that she meant by “sex”).

Interesting.

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