Thursday, March 21, 2013

Cisgender Heterosexual Privilege

(For those of you unfamiliar with the term "cisgender": cisgender, essentially, is when you identify with the gender you were assigned with at birth)

Okay. Here’s the thing. There’s this little thing in the world that exists. It’s called “privilege”. Only when I say “little”, I really mean “monstrously huge large incredibly enormous”. And there are lots of them. The one I’m going to focus on in this post is cisgender and heterosexual privilege.

Now, I want to start out by saying that I am both cisgender and heterosexual. Both of these things mean that I get preferential treatment over those who are not cisgender and heterosexual. Now, when I say preferential treatment, I don’t mean “oooooooh you’re a cis hetero chick, you get into the club now”. I mean the fact that as a cis hetero individual, I am represented in media ALL THE FREAKING TIME. I turn on the TV and hey look straight cis girl, straight cis girl, straight cis girl (I’m also white, and that’s another way I’m fully represented in the media, but I’m not really going to cover race in this post).

I’m also pretty much accepted by everyone. I don’t get asked on a daily basis about my genitals or how I have sex. But guess what? That’s not how it is for everyone (even though it should be). Because for some screwed up reason, a lot of cishet people think it’s perfectly normal to ask a trans* woman about her genitalia. They also find it not invasive at all to ask a lesbian “so wait how do you have sex?”.

Would you be annoyed, offended, and even horrified if someone asked YOU about your genitals or how you personally had sex, especially someone you had just met? Maybe not, but if you were, no one would blame you because you’re perfectly right to be outraged.

And not only are there no (accurate) representations in the media and people ask horrible questions, but almost all legislation, especially in the United States, has completely ignored the existence of LGBTQ individuals.

I’m straight and I’m cis, so I can get married in Vegas while drunk as all hell (remember the episode of Friends where Rachel and Ross got married?) and get it annulled 2 months later and laugh about it and be like “oh how stupid of me”.

I’m straight and I’m cis, so I can get married 5 times and divorce 5 times and, while some might roll their eyes, I AM STILL ALLOWED TO DO IT.

But god forbid we allow two women, two men, or trans* individuals to marry. DESTROYING THE INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE AUGH!!!!

This is privilege. Cishet privilege is not having to think about being able to get married because YOU’RE CIS AND HETEROSEXUAL.
And if you tell anyone that is not cis and/or heterosexual that they shouldn’t hate cishet people for this privilege, then you’re so unbelievably wrong. They have every reason to hate us (though most of them don’t.)

When a trans* individual posts a status saying “SCREW CIS PEOPLE”, they don’t necessarily mean that they hate cis people, but more that, well, as cis people, we really suck sometimes.

Please everyone try to keep this in mind, and check your privilege at the door.

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