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Cissexism (or cissexual assumption or cisnormativity) is the appeal to norms that enforce the gender binary and gender essentialism, and then used in the oppression of gender variant (non-binary) and trans identities.
Cissexual privilege, a term coined by Julia Serano in Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity, is "the double standard that promotes the idea that transsexual genders are distinct from, and less legitimate than, cissexual genders". In 2010 the term "cisgender privilege" appeared in academic literature, defined as the "set of unearned advantages that individuals who identify with their biological sex accrue solely due to having a cisgender identity". Cissexist ideas of what bodies must correspond to what gender presentations and identities is the root of transphobic and transmisogynistic violence.
"Genetic sex", in fact, cannot be determined by looking: we are unable to readily see people's sex chromosomes and, furthermore, "a person's genetic sex not matching their assigned sex occurs more often than most people would ever fathom." The term "biological sex" is often used to refer to the matching up of particular gender presentations with particular genitalia, but this again is a cissexist assumption based on what is visually discernible.
The term is often considered to refer to a more subtle form of transphobia, that makes the assertion that being cisgender is the default and being transgender is abnormal or unnatural.
- Serano, Julia (2007). Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity. Berkeley: Seal Press. pp. 162–173]. ISBN 1580051545.
- Walls, N. E.; Costello, K. (2010). Explorations in diversity: Examining privilege and oppression in a multicultural society, 2nd ed. Belmont, CA: Brooks/Cole. pp. 81−93.