If you are a cis person who is offended by ‘die cis scum’ then you are cis scum.
Because cis scum have been telling trans folk to die for a long fucking time and self-defense isn’t oppression.
It’s really hard for me as a cis person to feel ~threatened or offended by the phrase “die cis scum” when I consider the following statistics:
- 33.2% of transgender youth have attempted suicide. Clements-Nolle K., Marx R., Katz M. (2006). Attempted suicide among transgender persons: The influence of gender-based discrimination and victimization. Journal of Homosexuality, 51(3): 53-69.)
- 55% of transgender youth report being physically attacked. (GLSEN. (2003). The 2003 national school climate survey: the school related experiences of our nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.)
- 74% of transgender youth reported being sexually harassed at school, and 90% of transgender youth reported feeling unsafe at school because of their gender expression. (GLSEN. (2001). The 2001 national school climate survey: the school related experiences of our nation’s lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender youth.)
- In a survey of 403 transgender people, 78% reported having been verbally harassed and 48% reported having been victims of assault, including assault with a weapon, sexual assault or rape. (Wilchins, R., Lombardi, E., Priesing, D. and Malouf, D. (1997) First national survey of transgender violence. Gender Public Advocacy Coalition.)
Just something to keep in mind.
Except when you are a cis person who is suicidal, or has been in the past, and you see ‘die cis scum’ written down.
You can call me ‘cis scum’ all you want. But don’t you dare tell me to die.
I think that’s slightly beside the point here, as that deals with triggering someone rather than offending them. Suicidal tendencies could equally be triggered by someone saying they hate you.
Would you object to someone telling their abuser to go die in any other context? Whether it’s constructive or not, hate and anger are natural responses to abusive experiences. I personally don’t think stifling that response is the right way to go about managing the situation.
Also, if you are cis but not cis scum then the death wish doesn’t even apply to you. Here’s a good Venn diagram which came across my dash earlier:
And I understand that it is directed at the cis people who are ‘scum’ but when you are mentally fragile, and you see something written down that relates to you on ~some kind of level (in this case being a cis person) and is also telling to you to die, then your mind stops working logically.
I don’t want to detract from the original point of the post and the statistics on trans* abuse because that is the real issue here, but who the statement ‘die cis scum’ is directed at are people who aren’t going to hear the phrase and suddenly change their minds about what they are doing. Yes, the oppression needs to fucking stop, it is truly disgusting and horrendous, but no, I don’t agree that this is the right way to do it.
We need to keep threats out of the trans* activist movement because it is likely to not work and also make it easier for backlash to occur from the exact people who is it directed towards.
Bikutoria, I love you, but your argument doesn’t really have any value as a cis person. Saying that ‘we’ need to keep threats out of the trans* activist movement is also wrong, because you aren’t a trans* person and aren’t the person/people being opressed. That’s all, bb.
Ok, so I used ‘we’ which was wrong.
And I understand that as a cis person, I shouldn’t even be arguing back about it, because that is wrong and fucked up and all that stuff.
But what about the fact that as someone who is struggling super hard right now with their mental health? I saw that post, and I had had a good day, a great day, even, but then it turned to shit.
I wasn’t able to see past the words ‘die’ and ‘cis’.
I literally felt like it was another reason not to live. Like I should just give up/kill myself/die etc because I used to be ‘cis scum’. I used to be a transphobic bully when I was younger, and so my mind connected it as meaning I don’t deserve to live, and this is my punishment.
And that is why I don’t agree with it. I agree whole-heartedly with the labelling of cis people who are ‘scum’ as ‘cis scum’, but I disagree with saying they need to die.
I completely understand and get this. It is very easy to take things personally when you’re vulnerable, and when you’re in the depths of that sadness it’s almost impossible not to feel like people are directly targeting you. I think, though, that reaction isn’t to do with the statement ‘die cis scum’, it’s to do with the listener’s mental state and how they’re processing that information. As we all know, suicidality and depression distort how we think and turn our brains against our own selves (I’m sure you’ll agree that very few people with depression or suicidal ideation are actually justified in feeling so shitty).
That’s pretty much the nature of a trigger. A trigger isn’t necessarily the initiator or reason for those horrible feelings; it’s merely triggering these feelings to the surface (I guess in a similar way to how flashbacks work).
So, yes, what you’re saying is completely true. My point is that I don’t think it relates to the crux of this issue, which is whether or not people are justified in using ‘die cis scum’ in retaliation against cissexism and oppression.
How an individual reacts to transphobia, oppression or abuse is about how they feel. It’s an instantaneous response to how they have been treated. In that moment when they respond, I don’t think they have an obligation to consider how a hypothetical third party should or shouldn’t interpret their words. Their reaction is one of survival, of self-defence - much like how I don’t think any survivor should be challenged for any of the coping mechanisms they employ. I guess where we disagree is what happens when those coping strategies are likely to upset or trigger a third party. In those cases, I still think the driving force is one of self-preservation for whoever is being abused or oppressed.
Actually… the reasons that republicoflabia points out is basically the reason that I am against the phrase “die cis scum”. I’m not the only trans* person who feels the same way either. A friend of mine who’s a genderqueer intersex was talking to me about how they completely abhor the phrase, mainly because they, like I do, feel that no one should ever tell anyone to die especially since you don’t know that person’s mental state. You don’t know if it will trigger them, or a third party.
While yes, people in any minority have a right to behave in what ever manner they wish in response to their oppression, I don’t think it’s right to respond in a possibly triggering manner and then say “I don’t give a fuck”. That just seems cruel to me no matter HOW horrible the person was treating you, I don’t think someone deserves to go into that state of mind where they want just anything to die, and they don’t want someone getting in their way. I’ve spent too many nights sobbing, terrified of myself because I wanted to die. I’ve spent too many times feeling absolutely numb, staring blankly at the wall, willing myself to go to sleep and then being annoyed that I didn’t die in my sleep. I’ve spent too many times texting a close friend “give me one good reason why I shouldn’t kill myself” after planning out the way to take my life. I’ve spent too many times curled up in a ball under a table, chair, bed, or at the bottom of my closet hyperventilating because I cried too hard and too long out of fear of what my mind was telling me to do… and because a part of me wanted to do it. Then having DAYS in which every negative statement that is said about you, even if it’s not and it’s driving you to think “Do it… you already have everything necessary. No one’s home. No one can stop you”. It’s not a good feeling at all, and I wouldn’t wish it upon anyone. I also don’t feel that 2 wrongs make a right. I’m not saying that you shouldn’t defend yourself though. There’s a world of difference between learning how to defend yourself and blindly lashing out though.
I’m not saying that two wrongs make a right. I’m not saying that I think ‘die cis scum’ is good or productive or constructive. I am saying I understand where it comes from and I understand the need to lash out when you are being hurt (more than a ‘need’, even - sometimes an absolute inability to do anything else).
It’s not actually always possible to stop and think about things and rationalise your response. Often-times that reaction is an instinctive one of self-preservation. I don’t think it’s fair to criticise someone for that. Does that make more sense?
Just to clarify one other thing: I don’t think wishing someone dead is a good or desirable thing (especially as that hate can hurt the person who carries it around). I should disclose, too, that I am only able to say that after 15 years of carrying around my own hate towards a group of people who I seriously did wish dead.
But yes, as a longer-term strategy it’s obviously preferable to learn to defend yourself in ways that are constructive and healthy. My perspective was more one of realism: that people aren’t always able or willing to respond in a constructive way.
ETA: I do really want to disengage from this debate now because I don’t have anything more productive or worthwhile to add. Hopefully everything I’ve said thus gives you an idea of where I’m coming from.