To describe cis lesbians not dating and fucking trans women based on cissexist views of us being men or of us all having the same physical traits.
The Cisbian Mythos or Myth(s) is a lot less US-centric (cuz Panty is a word that is very US centric for underwear) and The Panty Line is such a ridiculous pun.
I’m in favor of “The Cisbian Myth.” It pretty aptly states what’s wrong with this whole idea - the idea that only cissexuals are lesbians and that lesbians are only attracted to cissexuals.
It is the most intuitive, yeah.
I’m not really a fan of any of them. Because I think it’s a really privileged conversation to position a phrase towards OTHER people, people other than trans women. I’d much rather the focus be on trans women ourselves. Additionally the conversation is so remarkably complex that I don’t think it does us a lot of good to over simplify the HUGE over arching issues into a single phrase when there are about 4 intersectional issues at hand here.
It’s kind of tough to explain my perspective in a short amount of space (hence my 5 part series that part 1 just got released on) but I’m going to attempt to narrow things down.
- The Eunuch/Rapist False Choice: Trans Women are presented and prescribed a singular placement in society as a eunuch prescribed in compulsory asexuality because it’s the “price” we pay for “giving up” manhood. It’s drenched in a lot of concepts of evo psych (“men just experience more desire/sexuality!”) and sexism, but ultimately, trans women are only permitted to BE if we follow certain rules. Any deviation from those rules and we are perverts and NOT eunuchs but men. And a man who deviates from the ‘norm’ when it comes to sex is considered a sexual threat. So this all comes around to the concept that we are coerced into this placement of being de-sexed, and deviation from that places us into the “threat” category. This is the large basis for a lot of the issues we face as trans women with regards to our sexuality.
- Transmisogynistic Sexual Disgust: Sexual Disgust describes the visceral reaction someone has to certain sex acts or the thought of comitting sex acts with certain people. It’s a natural bodily function that gets stretched and perverted into something that’s influenced by homophobia, and insecurity in one’s sexuality, and social context. Which when externalized by those who experience it results in an enforcement of that disgust on others, society, and standards of beauty. When enforced onto trans women in particular, it becomes an insistence that trans women should feel shame for creating this disgust in others or for being an object of disgust by society. This shame then has a reinforcing impact on trans women and our sexuality
- Aesthetic Brutality: as an aggressive enforcement of ethnocentric, cisnormative and heteronormative/homonormative beauty standards. This results in the us being told to be ashamed or dislike our bodies, not because of others disgust, but because of our bodies non-conformity to their expectations. This applies to genitals, gender presentation, and non-cisnormative features, among other things. While similar to Transmisogynistic Sexual Disgust this is often a result of social pressure and context, while the former is a far more visceral or “gut” reaction.
- And cissexism, just plain old cissexism and ignorance which has the interpretation of presuming that trans women are not truly women. That, often due to the eunuch/rapist problem, presumes trans women are, in fact, neutered/lesser men. Ignoring the fact that this plays into sexism with the idea of women just being lesser men as well, this creates a stigma that enforces social discomfort with our sexuality in a much greater way than others.
These 4 things relate and interconnect and ultimately influence the way the greater society treats trans women, which in turn effects the way queer women’s communities treat us. It’s my contention that they are the root causes of the wholesale exclusion of, the disconnect, isolation of, and the culture of disgust, shame, and toxicity towards trans women within our communities and beyond.
So to me, the issue is so complex that I just don’t like the idea of crunching it down to a single phrase phrase.
I don’t agree with a chunk of this.
Cissexism is positioned towards other people and not us. So is cisnormativity. That’s not a privileged conversation. That’s attacking the source. Jabbing at the source of the badness.
As for the oversimplification argument, I can see where you’re coming from on that. The reason why I’m not comfortable with it is cuz shorter and simple phrases do have a place in this sort of stuff. We have a word like cissexism because describing the underlying concepts in paragraph form is exhausting when we have to do it every five seconds for ignorant shit cis people.
Sometimes we need something small and simplified so that it isn’t always an ordeal to tell a cis person what the fuck they’re doing wrong and it isn’t a college thesis to talk with other trans people about the crap some cis person put you through recently.
If some cis lesbian said some nasty awful cissexist crap when she hit on me and I revealed I’m trans, about how she’d never fuck a trans woman cuz we’re all rapists and we’re all men and we all look the same and all have dicks, I don’t want to have to go through that entire litany you just went through when complaining to another trans woman about it. I wanna be like, “that cisfuck sure is all over The Cisbian Myth shit, right?”.
My life is not a phD thesis. And I don’t think I should be required to put everything in that sort of format