This approach is the article above wrong one, it misses the point of the fact most people are not miss gendered, but are still punished for breaking imposed sex norms. The fact imposed sex norms exist is the problem, what needs to be challenged is imposed sex norms.
For example when a person is doing things social sanctioned as masculine people check to make sure their male, that’s a problem, regardless of if the person born with a female body is actually a trans man or not. Under the cissexism political assumption what should happen is if the person identifies as male they should be allowed to keep on doing the thing they are doing, and the physical sexed features marked female overlooked. This is fine by me, but the whole point is even if they don’t identify as male they should be able to carry on doing what ever it is they are doing anyway, and the sexed features should still be overlooked. The very reason why they want to know peoples sex is so they can check their chart and make sure you are acting inline with sex role scripts. Sex role scripts are enforced by men as a class to control women as a class for reproductive purposes. In other words the eggs and wombs and control of them by the sperm carriers are what the sex role system is built around, and this does not change if you move the definition of who can be called a woman or man off which set of reproductive organs a person has. An identity outside of the usual “cis” line up does not remove you as an individual from the structure everyone has imposed on them, it leaves you stuck in the turbulence of the wind that blows across us all at some stage in our lives and aims to shape us all into sex roles. Masculinity and femininity are the products of that shaping despite these traits being fluid and present in all, people have to aim for the full set.
Cissexism as a theory does not know the difference between biological sex and sex roles, or between sex identity and sex roles. It puts the culturally assigned clothing, behaviours and mannerisms in the same basket as hormone induced biological physical traits. It’s a baseless theory that sounds good on paper but leaves everyone in a limbo of not knowing what markers one is allowed to use to describe sex or gender. It is also a biological essentialist theory that says it’s ok to assume masculinity and femininity is innate and everyone should identify inline with these, but its essentialist to talk about biological sex or use the terms male or female in the context of how they are used biologically to describe reproduction in most other species on the planet. It also pushes most transsexuals off a cliff, despite it being a theory supposedly there to protect trans people. It has no hope of any real political direction because it refuses to name the source of the real problem and that is patriarchy. It refuses to look at biological sex, sex identity and the imposed sex roles and see the reality of what everything is about. Instead it’s gone and put them all in one box and shaken them up then stretched them out on several spectrums’ which are also baseless.
How about we start applying the same language across the board, to trans men and trans women by telling them they don’t need to have dysphoria, and they don’t need to have medical intervention because there’s nothing to be dysphoric about. There’s no female parts or male parts, and no female and male hormones, it’s all a cissexist lie. Tell them if they can’t live their lives free from dysphoria in the body they were born in, they have internalised cissexism because by the act of wanting to transition they are making a link between gender identity(sex identity) and body parts. Every MTF who wishes to have a vagina constructed is by definition saying vaginas are female, and just reinforcing cissexism. The whole of trans as a medical condition is cissexist, and there to ensure that the cissexist binary remains intact. At this point biological sex is meaningless and the only thing that exists is gender identity and gender identity has to be communicated some how. This is where cis turns cissexist on its self by stating cis peoples bodies communicate their gender identity for them, but this only works because we associate certain physical traits with a certain gender box, and if we didn’t then it wouldn’t. If cissexism was abolished then transition would not be a path to communicate gender either because those new parts would not mean anything anymore. To communicate gender identity to others society has to remain cissexist and gender enforcing because it must keep assuming those with breasts, and certain fat distribution are women and it must keep assuming those with broken voices and lack of breasts or features that indicate testosterone driven puberty are men. The only other alternative is a tight sex role system where everyone must dress a certain way and stick within masculine and feminine behaviour codes that way every masculine person is assumed male and every feminine person assumed female regardless of biological features. That means there will be no room for most people to exist, the definition and expectations of each set of people will be tight and if being missgendered causes dysphoria in the way many today claim then we all will be held in a tight box of gender performance just to get gendered correctly. The only way left to communicate gender identity if parts mean nothing, would be through culturally constructed appearance and behaviours that everyone would have to universally agree was for men or women (an extreme version of now with no biological back up). And which by default make being a man or woman a concious effort that no one could really prove or disprove, and everyone would be there constantly comparing everyones gender performance to themselves in a constant state of uncertainty. Meanwhile people can still be grouped into two main biological classes with different needs and bodily functions that wont go away or change, no matter how one acts or dresses.
The good thing about biological sex and anatomy as a marker is no matter how you behave in everyday life, it remains there unchanged, you remain a male or female whatever you do. Despite living in a society that tells everyone who acts outside the expected scripts they are less of a man or woman, are trans, gay or whatever else they can come up with to push you back into compliance. Masculinity and femininity are things dependant on constant performance from a script we are all taught from day one, and for most people performance from this script becomes automatic and is reinforced by subtle backlash all the time to keep people inline. It’s the wind of male domination and a wind you can feel as privilege if you identify with where it wants to blow you and start walking in that direction. When you turn around to face it you feel its full force, in the form of social exclusion, taunts, obstacles in your path, tone arguments, stares that sink into your core, physical aggression and sometimes death. Anyone born with an anatomy reason why they are not physically male or female have to be placed on one side of this wind, and usually the side they predict they will do better at sex role script preformance. Many have had surgeries preformed on them when young who cause them physical problems regardless of if they identify with the sex assigned or not. This is because they want to make them all as suited to heterosexual intercourse as possible as this is the core of what sex role scripts are based on. The expectation all will fall into an heterosexual pattern and all those assigned male will be dominant in the sex act, in the home and in the wider world over all those assigned female. The reason for this is control over reproduction and this is why sexed organs are what sex roles are based on. Asking for it to be based on identity is asking for it to be a choice, its asking for an end to the sex based hierarchy that makes it not a choice. The whole system was not set up to make life fun and so everyone would get the right toys and clothes for their brain type, it goes way back before people has time to think about these things.
Compulsory heterosexuality is one of the key overlooked reasons behind most of what is considered to be gender policing, and the reason for compulsory heterosexuality is maintenance of the sex based power hierarchy. Today’s in the queer community linking of sexuality with how one presents genderwise is taboo and this means a lot of key information is being lost. Gay rights activists long ago made a link between societal expectations of behaviour and appearance along with the need to mark out biological sex as a product of heteronormative society. They went on to reject those expectations in a stand against the social structure not to express an inner gender identity. Many gay men cross dressed for political reasons, and many lesbians rejected the expectations they should look a certain way and the male gaze that came with looking a certain way. Today trans activists are grouping gender non conforming people through history under the trans umbrella as personal expression and erasing its political meaning. This is in a large part out of the need to find an history for trans people, and its having a detrimental effect politically for women as it removes everyone who broke the rules imposed on women from being women.
A good part of what’s considered masculinity is power play with other men and about proving themselves as dominant patriarchs. The end goal is to be with a woman and in times gone by this meant being head of the house, and in full control. Many gay men did not and do not identify with heteromasculinity because they don’t want the end goal, but they still are pressured to comply with it. Other gay men comply with it fully because it’s how they can get ahead in the system that requires men to out do each other with force and dominate and rewards men who do so. Historically the only way women could survive was via a man who did well in the system and she was not allowed to display the behaviours needed to get ahead in the system or do anything other then her sex role. This problem still remains and is reinforced in a different way, today women who display certain behaviours are told they are less attractive to men and this acts as a deterrent for many women. Even if women dont want to be with men they still find men control their acess to resources via employment and are still enforcing compliance with sex roles on them. This is one of the reasons they assume that women displaying certain behaviours are lesbians and its why women who are lesbians or less bothered about pleasing the male gaze for other reasons are more likely to display gender non conforming behaviours but still are aware that doing so disadvantages them in other ways economically. When they do reject imposed sex role standards they get accused of being masculine or butch and today even trans, the underlying message remains the same, and it’s that certain ways of acting are for men only and these ways are normally ones linked with assertiveness or force in any sense. Even the clothing the sexes are meant to wear differs more then in just colours and styles, most of those aimed at women act to obstruct natural body movements and activities and in general make the body less functional and able to get things done. It’s not just about displaying the body of women but about constricting it and even in the days of modesty women’s clothes were about constriction not just covering certain regions. Women’s clothes are about making life more complicated on many levels and to remind women of their place as an object for the male gaze.
What some queer theorists are asking for today is impossible because the fact we mark out people on biological sex is why we have gender rules, and if we stopped doing that there would be no concepts of masculinity or femininity to base gender rules on. All that would remain would be transsexuals and everyone else would just get on with being the way they want without labels like masculine and feminine put on certain traits or behaviours they display, and without punishment of approval for being inline with sex based behavioural expectations. Human personality is restricted by sex based expectations and this contributes to an internal sense of gendered self. People are even expected to use their voices inline with the scripts despite the vocal ranges of most people overlapping regardless of sex. Speaking lower is viewed as dominant and higher as submissive regardless of the natural pitch, or if your voice has been broken by testosterone because fear rises vocal pitch. In a sense women are forced to speak close in pitch to children, throughout history women were treated similar to children and held less power then male children socially. As women gained more power economically definitions of feminine got more pre pubescent and it’s because women are being diminished in another way so they don’t appear a threat to male dominance. When people transition and try to learn female speech patterns they are learning with it all the social scripts there to stifle female speech rather then just learning a vocal range. The hair free image of womens bodies is a construct, along with long hair and certain body shapes being female.
Categorizing behaviours and appearances as masculine or feminine is sexist, it appears that to not be cissexist people have to learn to be sexist. The impact of this is already been felt by butch lesbians who can’t seem to go anywhere under the rainbow without being assumed to be trans or gender queer. The message this gives is a sexist one, because it tells her she has broken the allowed appearance definition for a woman. To avoid coming across cissexist and assuming she is a woman simply by being female(or having certain parts) and not declaring otherwise she is assumed to be a man, by how she presents. This is wrong on all levels because it erases all the work of feminism that aimed to free human females from imposed femininity, and has worked for years to change society and move the definition of woman outside of sex role expectations. Its simply put things back to square 1 and resulted in women being told that being a woman is something they have to work at, to assume biology will do is to be cissexist. It’s no longer ok to like the functionality and style of men’s clothes along with its activity promoting nature and lack of objectifying details. It’s no longer ok to want the short cuts men have and to take part in strength training, because if you happen to be a woman and seek to do all these things together, then you can no longer be seen as a woman and will be assumed a trans man. The female body means nothing and can’t even be called a female body, and the same is true of all others who can no longer mention their female body in connection with being a woman.
Through the back door all women are being forced to identify with femininity once again, but no one is telling men it’s not ok for them to identify their penis with their manhood.