die grue scum!

edited for coherence (june 9th, 2012)

so that whole “die cis scum” thing that has everyone raging?  i’m totally gonna touch it.  with like, my actual hands and not with a pole of any length.

i want to preface this by saying that i’m hoping to start a dialogue on my blog about the “die cis scum” meme, but i’m not going to start calling people out for telling cis people to die (metaphorically/literally).  i’m not judging people who think of “die cis scum” as a battle cry, a cathartic release, or a cry of defiance and pride.  if you feel that “die cis scum” is valuable to you, fucking go for it.  oppressed minorities are entitled to their anger.

i recognize that my dfab trans* privilege could be influencing my opinions on this matter and that i can only speak for myself.  also, i’m white as white as white and race intersects with transness in serious ways; i totally declare my white privilege.

i’m going to talk about what “die cis scum” means to me and why it’s not for me.  hopefully, other peoples will talk about what “die cis scum” means to them and we’ll rock each other’s brain fish neoncore.  also, i love rebuttals.

*   *   *

“die cis scum” makes me feel itchy cuz it can mean that all cis people are scum and they should fucking die, but it can also mean that people who are scum and cis should fucking die.  those are 2 pretty different meanings; one of them threatens my mom with metaphorical death and the other one doesn’t.

partly for the sake of accuracy, i prefer “die grue scum” to “die cis scum.”  when i write “die grue scum,” i’m specifying that scummy cis people should die before they beat up, rape, murder, deny employment and housing to, or otherwise harass my fellow trans* people.  and that non-grue cis people can just keep being awesome, preferably by standing up to the grues.

i also prefer “die grue scum” to “die cis scum” cuz it doesn’t encourage cis people to whine about being called cis.  you know how some cis people whinge on about how they’re just “bio women/men”, or “natal women/men”?  or worse, “real women/men” and that they don’t see why they need to be labelled cuz they’re the default people anyway?  and then they whine about how they didn’t get to name themselves and how “cis” is actually a slur?  i think “die cis scum” sorta encourages that.  that shit is really fucking annoying and i totally don’t want to encourage it.  (edit:  i want to stress that i’m not trying to put the burden of education on the trans* community.  we aren’t obligated to educate anybody; we are entitled to decide if/when we will educate other people.  andy the nerd says it here.)

i’d love to know what all you neon cats think about this.

10 responses to “die grue scum!

  1. I had not thought of it as a battle cry/call, which brings my understanding of it to a new level. However, I do interpret it coming off as #1: every cis person should die, which to me is unacceptable hate. I think whether or not the intention is #1 or #2, if it has the potential to come off as #1, it is dangerous and needs to be rephrased. Expression of anger has its place, but it should not unnecessarily include and hurt innocent, or sometimes helpful and heroic and loved people.

  2. “…every cis person should die, which to me is unacceptable hate. I think whether or not the intention is #1 or #2, if it has the potential to come off as #1…”

    this is pretty much how i feel about it. intent isn’t everything (if you slam your finger in a door by accident, it HURTS) and “die cis scum” is way too broad for my taste. not that i regularly shout threats at people (i don’t), but i’d probably want to be specific if i WERE going to shout threats at people.

    i don’t want to totally judge the shit outta it, though. i’ve got all this white privilege and all this dfab privilege dragging me down. i work on it every day, but i don’t trust myself to see clearly all the time. for instance, trans* women of color, as well as other dmab trans* poc, might be experiencing more violent oppression than i am, so i don’t want to tell them how to deal with shit. if i had less privilege in these areas, i might be way more pissed off and scared than i am as a white dfab trans* person.

    i guess all i can really say is that i shiver when i read/hear “die cis scum” and that it’s not for me. …yeah. thanks for the thoughts, maddox!

  3. From a TWoC: The ‘scum’ part of ‘die cis scum’ is important. Same goes if you were to replace ‘cis’ with any other privileged group. I feel that both of you are missing this.

  4. While i agree that grue would be a good alternative, i’m very supportive of people in trans/non cis circles who use it. I am a trans * girl with non binary tendencies, as well as white, so I’m also coming from a standpoint of various privileges, but there’s something to be said about:
    1. When you’re oppressed by a group that has privilege over you, you not only can, but sometimes HAVE to, generalize about them. It’s a safety issue. I can’t assume that a cis person is going to treat me like a human being, and other marganalized groups might feel the same way. It’s not the same when someone who has privilege in this domain (cis/trans), uses a slur, that will actively promote violence against people who are “othered.”
    A cis person has to prove that they’re not scum, and then I can trust them, and call them my friend.
    2. Not all insults or threats of violence are weighed equally. As i mentioned prior, slurs and stereotypes coming from a privilged standpoint actively encourage violence against those who are marganalized, while a non-cis person saying “die cis scum” might hurt someone’s feelings, it’s not going to get them beaten, mugged, raped, or murdered. Neither are they going to internalize these messages, because in terms of gender, they have the privilge to ignore a considerable amount of violence that occurs to trans*/non-cis people.

  5. hi, r! when you say the “scum” part of “die cis scum” is very important, do you mean that “die cis scum” is specifically about scummy cis people? sorry for not quite getting it.

    i can’t possibly understand what it’s like to be anyone but myself. i’m really, really, really not judging people who say “die cis scum.” i know a lot of people consider it a rallying point and a battle cry in the face of extreme oppression– and more power to them.

    thanks for commenting, r! i always appreciate different opinions; please feel free to elaborate on them. i’d love to know more about your opinions on this issue.

  6. @ aniel: i just seriously love your brain, aniel. really, cat.

    “A cis person has to prove that they’re not scum, and then I can trust them, and call them my friend.”

    word. just spot on. …if you haven’t already, check this out: http://www.shakesville.com/2009/08/terrible-bargain-we-have-regretfully.html

    and yeah. calling cis people “grues” really doesn’t have much clout. doesn’t really count as a slur, ya know? i don’t think privileged groups can be attacked with slurs. like, “whitey” and “cracker” just don’t carry much weight. “die cis scum” is similar, i think, but still a bit too broad for me to want to use it. (and that’s just me.)

    “…while a non-cis person saying ‘die cis scum’ might hurt someone’s feelings, it’s not going to get them beaten, mugged, raped, or murdered. Neither are they going to internalize these messages, because in terms of gender, they have the privilege to ignore a considerable amount of violence that occurs to trans*/non-cis people.”

    this is true. honestly, i think is one of the most important points in favor of “die cis scum,” imo. it’s still not for me, but i think i understand it a bit better now.

    thanks for sharing all your brain fish with me again, cat! ps: do you mind if i consolidate all your similar-but-different screen names on my blog? to “aniel” or “aniel jastor” or something?

  7. Hey Mx. Punk :)

    Yes the ‘scum’ part is essential – it refers to the fact that while
    a) not all cis people are scum
    b) those who are probably should gtfo this planet

    The placement of adjectives may lead one to associate cis = scum, and that thus, all cis people must die, but the thing is, is that it’s just a lot shorter than “die scummy people who are cis”, and it certainly has less of an effect.

  8. @ r: ok. fair enough. and scummy cis people SHOULD gtfo this planet. (that’s rad, btw.) “die cis scum” is certainly brain-catching. i mean, it’s short, it’s shocking, it sticks in your brain… all good things, really. it’s still not for me, but i think i get where you’re coming from a little better. thanks for sharing! :)

  9. Aww, thanks for the mention!

  10. no problem, cat! i just love your brain.

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