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Term ‘Cisgender’ Flagged as Slur on X

GLAAD: ‘Elon Musk has been engaging in this disingenuous and inherently bigoted effort to redefine this term for nearly a year’

Term ‘Cisgender’ Flagged as Slur on X

The word “cisgender” is now being flagged as a slur on X.

When users attempt to use the term, X provides the following message before allowing the post to be published: “This post contains language that may be considered a slur by X and could be used in a harmful manner in violation of our rules.”

“Cisgender,” or “cis,” is a politically charged term that signifies a person who accepts the fact of their own biological sex.

Users who reject the gender ideology that underpins the use of the word have voiced their objection to its use on X.

“Yesterday, after posting a Tweet saying that I reject the word ‘cis’ and don’t wish to be called it, I receive a slew of messages from trans activists calling me ‘cissy’ and telling me that I am ‘cis’ ‘whether or not I like it,’” reported one user in June of last year.

“Repeated, targeted harassment against any account will cause the harassing accounts to receive, at minimum, temporary suspensions,” X owner Elon Musk replied at the time. “The words ‘cis’ or ‘cisgender’ are considered slurs on this platform.”

“As we reported in March of this year, X has recently started applying a ‘Hateful content’ label to posts using this word,” X Daily News post on Wednesday. “Elon has first announced the platform would consider this word to be a ‘slur’ in mid 2023, though it took some time for the new policy to be implemented.”

In a quoted post, Ian Miles Cheong said, “c-s is a slur and should not be used.”

Musk replied, simply, “Yup.”

The new development sparked mixed reactions from the platform’s users.

“Elon Musk has been engaging in this disingenuous and inherently bigoted effort to redefine this term for nearly a year. The list of his hate-driven rhetoric and behavior is too long to even list,” a spokesperson for GLAAD, a nonprofit LBGTQ advocacy group, told TechCrunch. “This would appear to be another of Musk’s endless exercises in catering to his new right-wing extremist user base of X — one more coded, but very clear, signal from the company that transgender people are not welcome on the platform, and another strong indicator to advertisers that X is not a safe platform for their brands.”

The recent popularization of the term “cisgender,” which was added to the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015, stems from a motivation to distinguish people who identify as transgender from others.

According to McGill University’s website, the prefix “cis-“ derives from the Latin meaning of “on this side” – a contrast from the prefix “trans-“, which is defined as “beyond” or “on the other side of.”

“In chemistry, the prefix ‘cis-‘ is added to the name of a molecule when two atoms or groups are situated on the same side of a plane of symmetry passing through the molecule, like a double bond between two carbon atoms,” the site states.

Though the gendered use of the “cis-“ prefix can allegedly be traced back to a 1914 book by German sexologist Ernst Burchard, modern coinage has been claimed by researcher Dana Defosse.

“It began innocently enough,” she wrote in 2023. “I was in graduate school and writing a paper on the health of trans adolescents. I put a post on alt.transgender to ask for views on transphobia and inclusion on the campus of the University of Minnesota. I was struggling because there did not seem to be a way to describe people who were not transgender without inescapably couching them in normalcy and making transgender identity automatically the ‘other.’”

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