In Defense of Cishet Slagging
This is for my cis/het mates who don’t like it when I talk about cishets in a derogatory way.
I get it, you feel misrepresented. You’re not one of the majority that do whatever it is that I’m waxing about. You recognise that and you’re bummed out that I don’t recognise that.
However, by wanting to distance yourself from said majority, you’re actively turning a blind eye to what the rest of the world is doing to me.
By asking me not to generalise about the general population that you happen to fall under, you’re actively trying to silence me because it makes you uncomfortable to know that people like you are doing things to people like me.
Surely me speaking in derogatory generalisations about cishets is just as bad as you speaking about trans or non-binary people in similarly derogatory ways?
Slander is slander, after all, isn’t it?
When I vent I do it out of personal experience, it is, therefore, totally well-educated and more often than not accurate to a tee in representing the wider group you find yourself associated with (the accuracy may well be what makes you feel uncomfortable – that’s a case by case sitch, though).
People who reverse this are not speaking from personal experience, instead speaking from bigotries perpetuated by society, friends and family. There are a *lot* of people who do this – intentionally and no; aggressively and no. The outcome is still the same – the world is full of things that make it horrible to be trans or non-binary.
Even if a cishet were completely on the money in some critical generalisation, it is really important to note that people who live under intense psychological pressure, ostracisation, ridicule, dismissal and erasure might not need someone to correct them; that correcting something minor may be doing is adding straw to a camel’s back.
Surely ALL misrepresentation must be battled equally?
What I propose is this: how about we battle equally by dispersing energy evenly to match the amounts and intensity of misrepresentation. Cishet people have years of people considering them “normal” and mannnnny narratives that show them as stable, well balanced and fully functional humans.
Us non-normatives have a lot of history in slander. I can’t tell you for how long Hollywood has conflated homos with paedophilia, for instance, or being trans as a (sometimes threatening/dangerous) mental disorder. This has massively helped with ostracisation, harassment and just general daily psychological damage.
Whenever someone comes to me complaining about me slagging off a cishet I feel like screaming. What we’re battling over here on the non-normy side of the fence is a much bigger monster. Instead of quibbling over their stuff, I just want them to consider putting their tribulations into perspective.
To round up, let me level with ya. I used to use these exact arguments above – particularly when it came to my friends of colour complaining about white people.
At some point, though, I went from feeling bummed out about being misrepresented to being bummed out that this was happening to people I cared about.
I deprioritised protecting my own privilege and instead prioritised others who are suffering without the privilege in the first place.
By not creating self-serving arguments, I became a better person and a better friend.
I guess what I’m saying is that there’s power in putting yourself and your feelings into context.