Thursday, June 25, 2015

Oxford Dictionary adds ‘cisgender’ along with ‘twerk’

Yeah! it has happened at last.

The word “cisgender” to denote someone whose gender identity matches the gender they were assigned at birth, has been added to the Oxford English Dictionary. 

The word is one of 500 new entries into the dictionary, alongside the word “twerk”, a dance move synonymous with singer Miley Cyrus. 

According to the Oxford English Dictionary, “cisgender”, is a word : “Designating a person whose sense of personal identity matches their gender at birth”. A word has to have been in popular use for ten consecutive years in order to qualify for the Oxford English Dictionary. 

It is understood an entry from Hansard, where former Liberal Democrat MP Julian Huppert used the term in Parliament during a discussion of trans issues, was submitted as evidence to the OED. Other words such as “meh”, “Twitterati”, “hot mess” and “Fo’ shizzle” were also added to the dictionary. The definition of “twerk” means to dance “in a sexually provocative manner, using thrusting movements of the bottom and hips while in a low, squatting stance”. It was dated back to 1820, when it was spelt “twirk”, and some have speculated that it may have been mixed with the word “jerk” to form the modern day version.

Last month, OED staff also "flagged" gender-neutral honorific "Mx" (pronounced "mux" or "mix") for possible inclusion in the dictionary, and are still deliberating. The term, used among some gender-nonconforming people and their allies, has gained the most traction in the U.K.

Despite being listed by media alongside pop culture references, "cisgender" is an important word politically, say trans activists. As LGBT activist group Basic Rights Oregon explains on their website:

"Referring to cisgender people as 'non trans' implies that cisgender people are the default and that being trans is abnormal. ... [W]hen we say 'cisgender' and 'transgender' neither is implied as more normal than the other.

"Using the word 'cisgender' is also an educational tool. To simply define people as 'non-trans' implies that only transgender people have a gender identity. But that's not true. Like sexual orientation, race, class, and many other identities, all of us have a gender identity."

Cisgender — sometimes abbreviated to "cis" — is a neutral descriptor akin to gay people labelling non-gay people as "straight," say trans advocates, and can be applied whether a cisgender person personally uses the word to describe themself or not.

Some cisgender people have argued against this assertion saying, as gay writer J. Nelson Aviance did last year, it "imposes" an identity on others, implies that all cisgender people are "normatively gendered," and is used with hostility. But while the term remains fraught for some, many trans advocates maintain that it is simply a practical classification aimed at making language more inclusive.

African American transgender blogger Monica Roberts said via her blog:

Our TERF haters love to flap their gums and claim cisgender not only isn't a word, but weakly try to claim the word is a slur. 
As we say in the Lone Star State, that dog won't hunt,

Because the English language is one that is constantly evolving, the Oxford English Dictionary adds words to it every year, This year, one of the words added to the volume that is considered the definitive and authoritative volume when it comes to English in addition to twerk was cisgender. 
That sound you just heard was TERF heads exploding, 
Yep, cisgender is now officially an English language word, so you can stop telling that lie that it isn't. It will be not only included in the 2015 edition of the Oxford dictionary, but will soon be included in other online and offline dictionaries tat look to the Oxford one as their standard for deciding what words do and don't get included.

Another one for public awareness.

Peace and tolerance



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