No, really, according to comments I recently read the GQ community oppresses the cisgendered world (aka, most of us-people whose sex and gender are congruent by birth). Why? Because they get to choose what they are day by day, they’re more special than the rest of us!
As a sexual health specialist (in training, of course), I can’t help but find the very core of all this debate ridiculous. People are born with a sex (mostly binary being a case of X and Y chromosomes), gender (a spectrum, not a binary) develops over time. It doesn’t even settle in as something that’s permanent for most people before five or six. Plenty of little boys will say they’re going to be mommies, little girls daddies, and change their minds later. And for some people it doesn’t ever become a solid thing. That’s not a choice someone makes, it’s who they are. Gender is a fluid concept that stems from inside the individual. The reason for that we can debate infinitely, but at the end of the day it’s internal and it’s something that isn’t chosen, it just is what it is.
Most people are cis, and good for them, they’ll have a much easier time of it. Some people aren’t, and those people get the short end of the stick societally – especially if their sex doesn’t fit their apparent gender. Intersexuality and gender dysphoria are not readily accepted by most, especially from the cisgender world. In no way does being genderqueer oppress someone cis because they get to “make a choice” on their gender, they don’t have that kind of power. The cisgender world does have that kind of power, and it uses it violently. Just as people have been assaulted for sexual orientation they’ve been assaulted for their gender orientation – even the medical community has been guilty of many a malpractice related to intersexuality, “correcting” genitals that had no actual problems besides being atypical under the guise of mortal danger.
Nobody was ever murdered for being cisgender. That’s not true for everyone else, and to say the former is oppressed by the latter is an exercise in painful ignorance at the absolute best, silent compliance with the oppression that DOES go on now.
Reframe the argument as “bisexuals are oppressing straights because by being bisexual they get to make a choice” and it’s obvious just how ridiculous it is to everyone who wasn’t enraged/frightened by Dragon Age II’s universal love interest system. But because of social ignorance toward gender some people actually think this is an okay argument to make. They still call transgendered folks liars, still attack people who don’t fit into their binary mold, or even claim to be under attack.
They’re wrong, and I pray society finally begins to move on. There are cultures who’ve had third genders for a thousand years now, and yet we can’t manage to find our way there. But we’ll be better people for it once we do.