Replace 10/30/2023: Elon is tweeting about this once more, so we’re re-running this submit to elucidate why he’s incorrect.
Elon Musk is numerous issues. A Tesla not-founder, a Hyperloop not-builder, and most lately the man making Twitter worse in practically each attainable approach. He’s had numerous enjoyable with that final function, utilizing his possession of the location to drive away advertisers and increase hateful “documentaries,” however now it appears he’s realized a larger calling: Arbitrarily deciding what counts as hate speech or harassment on the platform.
Beforehand, this meant eradicating the corporate’s insurance policies towards misgendering, declaring it open season to assault trans individuals on the location. Now, he’s gone one step additional, declaring the antithetical time period “cisgender” to be “harassment,” a “slur,” and worthy of suspension.
So, what’s the story behind “cis” and “cisgender” as phrases? Effectively, it begins with its reverse. The phrase “transgender” dates again to a medical journal from the mid-Sixties, changing earlier, less-accurate phrases, and was rapidly adopted by each the trans and medical communities. However by the mid-’90s, when trans people had been hanging out in Usenet boards, they realized there wasn’t actually a time period to distinguish non-trans individuals from everybody else.
So, they went again to Latin. The prefix “trans-” means “on the opposite aspect of,” and it has an antonym in “cis-” which means “on this aspect.” Chemists have lengthy used “cis” and “trans” as antonyms when describing sure molecular bonds, and in 1994 these Usenet customers carried the dichotomy over to gender: Transgender and cisgender.
Each phrases are generally utilized in medical circles when discussing the subject of gender, and see related utilization normally writing and dialog. Neither, when used as an adjective, is a slur — they’re simply medical descriptors. Musk’s banning of the time period begs the query: What would he reasonably be known as? Elon Musk, not-trans man? That would really be an “esthetic nightmare.”
The reply, in fact, is that Musk would favor to by no means consider the excellence in any respect. By inserting the “trans-” and “cis-” prefixes on equal footing, neither one will get to say they’re the “regular” aspect of issues — each are simply adjectives. Musk, who has introduced his intent to foyer for the criminalization gender-affirming care, doesn’t appear to need to share his standing with individuals he clearly deems as beneath him.
Musk’s transfer has been fashionable with the worst corners of Twitter, individuals who regularly have interaction in bigoted speech and behaviors, which is a market Musk appears to be focusing on with rising frequency. That, and the deeply alone robot-fucker market.