Saturday, November 11, 2017

What's in a word

It is infrequently that I come across an unknown word. Today however I was reading some hullabaloo (on both sides) about NZ sinking into the shadows of far right influence.An opinion piece was published by the Washington Post, "How the far right is poisoning New Zealand, " and duly responded to by Tim Watkin at RNZ.

Here's the sentence, from the first piece, containing the word:

"Appealing to ethnically homogenous, overwhelmingly cisgender male voters with limited education and economic prospects who feel they’re being left behind in a changing world is nothing new for the far right."
Cisgender. I had to google it.

 Cisgender is a term for people whose gender identity matches the sex that they were assigned at birth. Cisgender may also be defined as those who have "a gender identity or perform a gender role society considers appropriate for one's sex". Wikipedia
No surprises in a politically correct world that a new label has been attached to a group to categorise and explain with reference and respect to anyone who falls outside of it.

My interest is, am I the only one who wasn't aware of this term? Am I such a dinosaur? You see I think my ignorance of this word is just part and parcel of my whole ignorance about how to really solve problems.

In fact I can't even see the problem a lot of the time. Why are we trying to fix stuff that isn't broken? Why are we obsessing about problems in advance of them actually happening?

Cisgender first appeared in 1994. Our newest generation is full of anxiety. While there have always been global scares, the rate they occur at seems to have sped up. Now our young are worrying about manmade global warming, the 'future of work', inequality, and often the very personal nature of their own sexual identity. Labeling stuff helps them try to sort it, to make sense of it. To feel logical about the illogical.

Because so often much of what they spout is illogical - not all, but even thinkers struggle with the bombardment of paranoia engulfing them.

It is totally redundant to explain to them that they have been born into a world that is more peaceful and more prosperous than any other time in history.

That's not their problem.


Homepaddock said...

I'd come across it before without understanding what it meant.

Do you think people are worrying about the illogical not in spite of but because the world is more prosperous and peaceful so they no longer have to worry about the logical?

Could it also be part of the 'snowflake' phenomenon - young people growing up without resilience because they've been over-protected?

david said...

I have seen it a few times but only very recently. I didnt know what it meant but i gather its the new derogatory term for people who are normal and therefore have no empathy for the victims of the world. A sort of shorthand for racist and sexist.

Brendan McNeill said...

Imagination grounded in reality produces creativity.

Imagination divorced from reality produces delusion.

Anonymous said...

I too had to look it up recently. David's comment on how it is used is spot on.

Mark Wahlberg said...

"Cisgender" I wonder if "ethnically homogeneous, overwhelmingly male voters with limited education and economic prospects," would have any idea what the author of the piece is talking about?

I'm pretty sure I'm heterosexual, though I've been called queer most of my life.

Knowing what box I should be standing in, doesn't get any easier as the years fly by.!!

Anonymous said...

I'm doubleplusgood cisgender but its not my fault - the men in white coats assigned that to me at birth because everyone knows genetics are completely irrelevant.