A ‘sick-and-tired-of-society’s-bullshit’ vent on cisgender-centric language
A/N: Hello everyone! I’m just going to need to do some venting since every time I see conversations around menstrual cycles it’s typically about non-intersex/perisex and cis women, which excludes a lot of trans, non-binary, gender-non-conforming and intersex individuals who also menstruate as well. The conversation around periods and everything else in regards to which perspectives are included versus the perspectives that are excluded is predominantly cisgender-centric, which is already a damn problem that needs to be continuously tackled to begin with. So… I’m about to vent (and if you are uncomfortable with the swears I’m going to use, not my problem, because I didn’t sign up for existence to please those who want me to sanitise the way I talk).
Trying to find products online and/or in real-life spaces
Sometimes, when you’re going shopping for the things you need (i.e., clothing, undergarments that are breathable and decent to your flesh vessel/body, vitamins, etc.), you sometimes see language, such as ‘men’s’ and ‘women’s’, which seems to be like common sense, right? Well… let me be blunt with you about it… Labelling clothing, toys, vitamins, hygienic products, and everything else into binaristic little gender boxes isn’t “natural” nor typical as perisex and cisgender people want you to think as, at all. Take a look around the animal kingdom and nature… Do you see any living organism caring about the colonialist, racist, Christian, xenomisic and bigoted bullshit that is the gender binary? Do they also care about the corrupt fuckery known as the sex binary as well? No… No, they don’t.
Anyways, back to the main topic I need to discuss first… Oftentimes, we’re all too surrounded by cis-centric (referring to placing cisgender perspectives and thought as the center of social/societal conversations around issues that are an intersectional issue) language in regards to shopping for products you’re going to need for your own well-being, personal maintenance and survival.
For example, there are useless labels of ‘women’s’ and ‘men’s’ created by a predominantly cis-centric capital market that only fits to serve narrow-minded cisgender and non-intersex people who expect the world to always cater to them and to always include their perspectives on things such as gender and hygiene. So-called ‘women’s’ and ‘men’s’ clothing labels can be somewhat helpful to some extent for some trans folks, but not for everyone because the clothing labels too often exclude people who don’t fit into those binaristic labels, gender-non-conforming cis folks who are continuously hurt by gender-conforming and cis-centric bullshit, ND and Autistic folks of all intersectionalities and all genders/gender modalities that don’t like the clothing labels and/or other factors among clothing companies (i.e., a minimal amount of inclusive sizes that don’t fit everyone’s natural body types, clothing that bring uncomfortable sensory issues, clothing that feels too restrictive, and more), and the list goes on and on.
There are times where the gendered labelling of clothing and hygienic products can become tiresome and infuriating, and there are also more than many times where it gets fucking excessive and annoying because the gendered labels on products only serve to continue upholding cis-centric language. The reasons why is that there are some non-intersex and cisgender people that can be so fucking defensive and narrow minded when it comes to using gender-inclusive language (since language is always evolving) because they’ve believed that (throughout their entire lives) bodies/flesh vessels and body parts ‘need’ to be gendered and always thought that certain kinds of clothing and undergarments are for specific binary genders, but that doesn’t mean that they should be excused for their transmisic bullshit.
In all honesty, I’ll never fucking understand the weird defensiveness some narrow-minded (and predominantly NT) non-intersex and cishet women have over specific kinds of clothing that support specific mound tissue on a person’s chest area and the lower half of a human being, along with flowy clothing (i.e., dresses and skirts)… Because, they think that shit’s getting ‘stolen’ from them and that they’re getting ‘erased’ (which I can understand on the surface to some extent/limit, but what do I know, I ain’t cishet and “female” as I used to perceive myself as because my younger self didn’t know any better and that’s how they perceived themself [referring to myself] back then in the past) from language and that they don’t want ‘non-ovary havers’ (yes I’m referring to trans-exclusionary reactionary fascist motherfuckers with this part) to ‘steal’ the arbitrary concept of womanhood away from them.
Menstrual products and why this predominantly prissy cis-centric society thinks that it’s a “woman’s” thing, when it damn isn’t
Okay so let me say this… Isn’t it regressive of society to still think that periods are a “female” thing or that they’re a “woman’s” thing????
I mean, think about it… This kind of cis-centric belief is why anything related to menstruation is ALWAYS (keyword: always) put into the “women’s” section of reproductive health as if men, non-binary, gender-non-conforming and intersex people “don’t” menstruate, which is another cissexist belief that oftentimes NEVER reflects real life at all, and we’re literally failing menstruating individuals of all genders and gender modalities. We, as a society, are doing a shit job at being inclusive when it comes to creating gender-inclusive brands for reproductive hygiene and for menstrual hygiene because society is too deep in the cisnormative Kool-Aid to even try to unlearn a lot of pointless gendering around human bodies, around menstruation itself, and especially around reproductive health.
Too often, many, many perisex and cis people forget that menstruation isn’t a “women’s” only issue, but is actually an intersectional issue for menstruating persons of all genders and gender modalities, which society always fails to see it as, because of piss-poor incompetent sex education and also because said piss-poor sex education is like that at times, and this reflects a shitload in menstrual products you see in stores, convenience stores, and in reproductive health-based language (medical and social justice language as well because, again, language has power and carries it all the time) around menstruation conversations.
Honest to G-d, it pisses me off when society often genders periods in such a bullshit way that it’s easily the saddest shit I’m seeing and smelling a load of cis-centric bullshit from. There isn’t a fucking need for coded “feminine” language around periods anymore, nor was there ever a useless need to gender periods as “female” in the first fucking place. Listen, I get that some folks aren’t familiar with evolving and changing language around gender and menstruation, and around gender and clothing, and I can understand why they’re not familiar. I don’t hate them for it, nor am I mad at them for shit that’s beyond their scope of management at all.
As for folks who have heard about language continuing to change and evolve in becoming more inclusive around the conversations of menstruation, products and gender and still remain genuinely bigoted and shitty about it because their precious (said in a sarcastic way) gender and sex binaries [both are very different from each other /honest /clarifying] are somehow ‘dismantled’ by people moving on from those corruptive, unnatural binaries, I say to them:
“Remain fucking scared and ignorant of people who aren’t cisgender and non-intersex like you because we are LGBTQ+/Queer, and we’re here to fucking stay because we ain’t going nowhere and better people who actually care about us and our well-being and existence are moving on to a better world where y’all’s sad asses aren’t in it.”
A/N: phew! I vented enough about this since I don’t always have much to say about this and I just wanted to get it out of my overthinking and overworrying mind that likes to be a shithead to me sometimes, with its internalised bigotries, internalised issues and self-hatred I’m currently focusing and working on striving to continue combatting for the rest of my life with. If y’all want to share any thoughts y’all have regarding this topic around cis-centric language, I’m all ears.
With Care and Solidarity,
A gremlin man ❤