Friday, July 31, 2009

A thoughtful moment...

Subject: Dyeing hair while (mildly) intoxicated...

On one hand, it was fun.

On another, I seemed to have developed a blind spot for my roots and missed them all together, giving me a not-so-flattering calico look.

But in the end, making my shower look like an abattoir (because I so rarely get to use that word, like oubliette. Awesome word, oubliette, from the French verb meaning "to forget") makes the entire situation kind of a win. And I get to be a bottle ginger again for a bit.

Now if I can just con someone into buying me some red Manic Panic and helping me do my roots...

You Tell Me What's Real

Twitter has destroyed my life.

I just want to clarify that.

Thanks to @knitmeapony, I was directed to this:

19 Amazing Acts of Death Defiance

In reading it, I found this:

Annie Taylor
I thought it was a joke -Not to Annie Taylor it wasn’t. In 1901 Annie [sic]Tayler was the first person to go over Niagara Falls in a barrel and survive. She expected fame and fortune, but as it turned out, no one at the time really cared. Sadly, she ended up dying in poverty. Although she made the journey with little injury and few accolades, Annie will still go down as the first person to ride the barrel at Niagara. (source)
Annie Taylor After

17 of the 19 feats were done by men who were given recognition, records, a place in history for what they did. The 19th feat was a male/female duo.

It did not escape me that the single feat completed by a woman by herself was the only one that garnered nothing positive for the feat completer. The initial article I read didn't even spell her name right within two sentences! The only person I knew who knew about Annie Taylor had heard the story framed in such a way to paint Annie as suicidal, and her survival miraculous, instead of an intentional, planned action. I have also heard that story before, and it conveniently leaves out her name, and shoe-horned her into the the "women are irrational and crazy!" meme.

There is a larger point to my ranting about a seemingly trivial historical detail.
Whenever someone asks why we need a Women and Gender Studies department at a university, whenever someone complains about there being a group of people devoted specifically to examining history through female-centric lenses, whenever I hear someone claiming that " are naturally just better than women, or else why would all the great artists/chefs/architects/scientists/explorers/nose pickers all be men?" I am inclined to point to something like this. Its true, it is not a coincidence that the recognized "greats" are men, because when women do something, their contribution is automatically filtered through these concepts that women are inferior, and anything done on their own is attributed to anyone except them. Their own words are obscured under this huge weight of what they signify culturally instead of who they are.

The "great" men in our history are so because they were seen as individuals able to accomplish things independently, but women are seen only as what we symbolize, so our accomplishments are either attributed to anyone/thing besides us, or to our entire gender, and even our motivations are taken from us by a hierarchy that thrives through destroying our certainty, and making us doubt our own lived realities.

Tuesday, July 28, 2009

GUEST POST: Mystify People With Your Intelligence...If You Can't Do That, Mystify Them With Your Bullshit

{Ed. Note: Today, I am proud to feature this guest post by my dear friend and sister Amichandrn, who originally posted this at her place. The title comes from her very apt icon on that same post, the original was untitled.}

I am a little bit irritated. Ok, more than a little bit irritated. I opened up AOL only to be greeted with "Obama's Pick Caused Debate: New Surgeon General Has Spotless Record: Should Her Weight Matter?"

Guess what, douchebags. No, it should not.

Regina Benjamin is a patient advocate. She started a public health clinic where she treats EVERYONE, regardless of ability to pay, and still holds the position of CEO of this clinic. She was an associate dean for the University of South Alabama's medical college. She was the FIRST black woman to become president of a state medical society, as well as the first person under 40 to be appointed to the board of the American Medical Association. She's also received a MacArthur Foundation "genius grant" and a Nelson Mandela Award for Health and Human Rights. When her clinic wasn't making money, she did not take her salary. She has mortgaged her home and maxed out her credit cards to ensure that everyone who needs services in her town can get them. This is a woman who truly cares about her patients.

She also is trained and experienced in the field of medicine. According to Newsweek, "Most previous surgeons general have come from either government or academia."

Benjamin received a B.S. from Xavier University of Louisiana in 1979. She attended Morehouse School of Medicine and received then received an M.D. in 1984 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She completed her residency in family practice at the Medical Center of Central Georgia, and has worked in ERs and nursing homes in her years of practicing medicine.

Oh, and let's not forget that pesky Masters degree she got in Business Administration in 1991 from Tulane University.

Take a look at her profile. I'll wait.

Ok, So why would people not want this, not just a woman, but a PERSON who has accomplished so much, to be the Surgeon General?

So far, the issues has been weight and to a seemingly lesser extent, race. (The race issue is usually associated with "OMG, OBAMA CHOSE ANOTHER MINORITY!!!!") However, I am not addressing the race issue here, as the weight issue is really what's bothering me.

In the comments sections of various reports, comments have been left by the dozens, claiming that Benjamin is NOT fit to serve as surgeon general because of her weight.

Here are some lovely examples, placed under a cut, as they may be triggers:{Ed. Note: as the cut function does not work so much here, consider this a trigger warning for egregious fatphobia}

Rather than select a fat Black woman Obama should have chose a Black woman with a body mass index of 25 or less. ~ Kevin25

I'm a pediatrician. One of the greatest health threats in our population is obesity. Now we have an obese Surgeon General as a role model. How is she to impact the nation's health if she can't even take care of herself? ~ ctg312

And you just thought that Bob's Big Boy did not have an adopted sister! Man Bob's could not buy this kind of publicity ~ KBlit

Did I see Goodyear painted on her sides. ~ affirmativeactionpresident

she certainly looks overweight..if obama wants to replace health care in the country, i think he should have picked someone who does not appear to be on the verge of a heart attack/stroke and/or diabetes due to life style choices... ~ w04equals666

Then there's my personal favorite “I refuse to let fat be socially acceptable … The President should have known better and picked a doctor who could kick start the debate on fat not perpetuate it,”

Ok, lets get some things straight.

1) The BMI is a guideline, and honestly, must be taken with a HUGE heap of salt. It was created in the 1950s using white middle-aged men from the suburbs as their sample. They never looked at women. They never looked at other races or ethnicities. The statistics were adjusted slightly in the 70s, but really? Not all that accurate.

2) Obesity does not CAUSE heart disease or diabetes. It could be a symptom of an underlying cause (Cushings, Thyroid issues), but it is not a cause, nor is an immediate indicator of a problem. For all we know, it could be that heart disease causes obesity. An example of this would be: A person has heart disease. His heart works harder and as such, he gets tired more easily, so he exercises less, causing him to gain weight. These studies that get thrown at us are correlational studies. They show that two things are likely to be associated, but they do NOT show causation. Do your research.

3) Fat people who like themselves are not in denial. We genuinely do like ourselves. It's a hell of a lot easier than hating ourselves for something most of us can't change on a grand scale.

4) Fat is necessary. We need it to used certain vitamins, as well as for brain function and development. So when you give your one-year old skim milk of soy milk because it's "Less Fattening," guess what? You just hindered them a bit more.

5) Repeated dieting is more likely to cause heart disease than being obese.

And here's a news flash for these people:

I'm obese. I always have been. I'm also healthy. My blood pressure is normal. My blood sugar is perfect. I hate cake, cookies, ice cream and most candy. I don't eat potato chips. I prefer fruit and fruit sorbet to all other desserts. I rarely drink regular soda. I exercise. I'm smart. I'm funny. I like to dance. I have a first kyu brown belt in karate. I took Tae Kwon Do. I liked to tumble when I was in high school, back when I had time. And I like myself. So where do I fit in your schema of obesity?

People assume that obesity has an ingrained link to lack of self-control, eating nothing but junk or stupidity. I want to see these studies, because my research has shown none of this.

In the end, I honestly believe the Regina Benjamin is the best choice for the position. She is well-trained, intelligent, educated, and caring. She is someone who will put the health of the American people first. Her weight is a non-issue. People who are criticizing her for her weight really need to take a look at themselves, because there's something there that they don't like that they need to deal with first.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Women as property: Part #195,678,957,231,880

This story has been making the rounds, (and I am going to quote extensively, as this story is worth getting as much detail as possible):

An Ohio lawmaker has re-introduced legislation that would include a father's rights in the abortion decision-making process. Under Roe v. Wade, fathers are left out of the equation when a woman considers whether or not to have an abortion that would end the life of their child.

Rep. John Adams, a Republican from Sidney, wants to change that and the legislation he introduced today, House Bill 252, would require the biological father's consent before an abortion can be done.

The bill would apply to any abortion and would require written consent before it can be done.

Adams told the Daily Reporter newspaper that abortion centers would "need to get consent from the biological father" before the abortion can proceed and he called the measure a "father's right bill" to protect the interest of fathers who are given no say in the abortion process.

He also said the bill provides for criminal penalties for women seeking abortions who do not obtain consent properly.

"Providing a false biological father would be a first-degree misdemeanor the first time, which means not more than six months and jail, and a maximum $1,000 fine," Adams said. "And on the second occasion, providing false information would be considered a fifth-degree felony."

Adams told the newspaper that, in cases when the mother does not know the identity of the father, the abortion would be prohibited.

"There needs to be responsibility for actions," Adams said. "As someone who is pro-life, this is also an attempt and a hope to keep the two people who have created that child together, and I suppose if you just go back to the simple beginning, there is merit to chastity, and to young men and women waiting until marriage."

Adams said the bill offers exceptions in cases of rape or incest or when the life of the mother is threatened by the pregnancy.

Of course, in order to use those exceptions, a police report is required because that is the objective standard of whether a rape occurred or not. ::snort:: what are reported rape stats these days again? did we suddenly wake up in a world where rape victims are not subject to character assassination and criminal charges just for reporting a crime? Oh yeah, not so much, actually.

This provides obvious corridors for abuse of women, but who gives a fuck about that? Stupid sluts should know better than to think that they are allowed to have a sex life or that they own their own body. What are they? Delusional Feminazis? In the really real world, if a man sticks his cock in you, that means you're his property. Suck it up sweetcakes, you've got some brood-mare duties to attend to. Oh, you had plans? A life you wanted? Should have thought of that before getting yourself knocked up, slut. (On a side note, it is amazing the radically contradictory notions we can hold in our minds without our brains imploding. Shitstains like the Rep. Adams managed to simultaneously blame women for their own pregnancies as if they did it all by themselves, yet want to give the guy, who played no active part in this framing, the control of what happens to the pregnancy. I think I have gone cross-eyed.)

Besides, how would they prove that the actual sperm donor gave permission in order to assess if a woman is committing "abortion fraud" (which again, only has consequences for her and not the dude who helped her?) Does he have to watch the procedure? Submit to a test to prove paternity before or after the procedure? Who eats those costs? Will it be like the unnecessary and invasive ultrasounds that women have to pay for to obtain abortions even though it is a state requirement?

Look, I am completely in favor of couples making decisions to abort or continue a pregnancy together, but, much like parental notification laws, you can't legislate good or healthy relationships. That is not the state's responsibility.

Sunday, July 26, 2009

Thanks for proving my point

...Okay, y'all...

I have to say that I REALLY dislike coincidence.

I especially dislike the coindicence of posting about the terroristic tactics of homophobes in this country, only to read about a series of events that only proves my point.

Amanda Hess of The Sexist has been keeping a running tab on this story:

Gay T-Shirts In Windows A Problem For American Apparel - "A local vandal may have found an antidote for the “Legalize Gay” T-shirts that have popped up in American Apparel window displays around the D.C. area—eliminate the window.

When Kassandra Powell arrived for work at the Silver Spring American Apparel store yesterday morning, she was met with a crowd, a police car, and a broken window. “I was told that the [security alarm] went off at 5:15 a.m.,” she says...

...This morning, the Georgetown American Apparel location experienced its own attack from an upset window shopper—this time, over the telephone. Around 10:30 a.m., visual merchandiser Walter Reed fielded a call from a male who was “enraged for no reason.”

“He was like, is this the Silver Spring location? And I said, ‘No, this is the Georgetown location, ‘” says Reed. “He said, ‘You have some Legalize Gay shirts in the window there.’ He said that he and his friends found it offensive, and that if we didn’t take them down, they were going to break it—the window,” said Reed. “I said, ‘Is that a threat, Sir?’ And then he hung up.”

When Reed called the Silver Spring store to inform them of the threat, he was told that the location had already received the more forceful warning about its window display over 24 hours earlier. Then, Reed informed the police of the telephonic follow-up."

The stores have decided that they won't bow to intimidation tactics despite escalation to death threats against the store employees. Luckily, there has also been a response of support and added security from the community and the company.

Who the hell thinks that they have the right to do things like this? What kind of hubris do you have to have to think that you are justified in threatening the lives of people who have an opinion you disagree with? How weak is your reasoning and your point that you are moved to threaten retail employees for a shirt that offends you?

Thursday, July 23, 2009

Today in things that make me want to hide...

This is terrifying.

Anti-Gay Extremists Predict “Flash Point” for Charlotte Pride.

An Excerpt:

In a movement that places such value in the Word, there is little difference between word and deed. And that’s particularly true when the word is presented as prophecy. Engle says his prophecy is that the “homosexual agenda” will reach its high-water mark in Charlotte, and that because of their efforts, “it stops here.” Those hoped-for thousand will have fasted and prayed, and they will have heard the exhortations to value death more than life. Brown and Engle are playing with a very dangerous mix of emotion and religious fervor. Under those conditions, just about anything might happen.

I highly recommend the entire article. It is a very detailed look into the actions and rhetoric of these men and their followers.

THis comes back around to several points that I have made in the past, namely that there is a consistent movement of terrorist(and I use that word deliberately) activity against marginalized groups in this country, and that the government needs to start calling it what it is. The other is that things like this highlight the massive difference between the "traditional" values groups and the "progressive" values groups. In our perfect world, we get to live just like everyone else, in theirs, we are dead and they are rejoicing over our graves. As someone with a family history of experiencing genocide, you can probably guess which one I prefer.

Saturday, July 11, 2009

Cirila Baltazar Cruz and The Plight Of The Unworthy

An Update on a story that we had here a while ago, with more detail and insightful analysis:

Cirila Baltazar Cruz and The Plight Of The Unworthy
via Zuky by Kai on 7/10/09
Cross-posted at Feministe

In recent weeks, the startling story of Cirila Baltazar Cruz has been stirring outrage and splitting spleens in certain corners of blogland, though it has yet to receive mainstream attention. Some details remain fuzzy, and we have yet to hear directly from the person at the center of the story, Ms. Cruz herself; and indeed we aren't likely to hear from her anytime soon because her case is currently under a court gag order.

Here's what we have so far: Cirila Baltazar Cruz gave birth to a baby girl, Rubi Juana, on November 16, 2008, at the Singing River Hospital in Pascagoula, Mississippi. It is, as you might imagine, a predominantly white area. The hospital provided Cruz with a Spanish interpreter. However, Cruz doesn't speak Spanish; she speaks Chatino, an indigenous language from the Oaxaca region of Mexico. Two days after the birth, the hospital reported the baby as a neglected child to the Department of Human Services, after which Rubi Juana Cruz was promptly taken from her mother and placed in the custody of an affluent couple in Ocean Springs.

According to court records obtained by The Mississippi Clarion-Ledger, the child was deemed neglected in part because Cruz "has failed to learn the English language" which "placed her unborn child in danger and will place the baby in danger in the future". In addition, the hospital report noted that Cruz "was an illegal immigrant" who was "exchanging living arrangements for sex".

Of course, it's a bit of a mystery how they were able to establish these facts when there were apparently no Chatino-speakers on hand. More to the point: it's irrelevant. I'm no legal expert, but in my understanding, immigration status, language skills, and highly-questionable allegations of sex work are not grounds for snatching a baby from her mother and initiating adoption proceedings. But that's exactly what's happening. The case is currently in the Jackson County Youth Court, where Cruz is being represented by the Southern Poverty Law Center. As mentioned, the case is under gag order so it's been difficult to get updates on the situation and the fate of Rubi Juana remains unknown.

Unfortunately, the National Coalition for Child Protection Reform's Child Welfare Blog notes:

The case is not unique. In 2005, the Lebanon (Tenn.) Democrat, revealed that, at least twice, a local judge ordered Mexican mothers to learn English -- or lose their children forever. [...] In one case the child still lived with the mother, in the other the child was in foster care. In both cases, the mothers spoke an indigenous language rather than Spanish.

Over at Vivir Latino, Maegan La Mamita Mala places the story in the larger context of the "good immigrant vs. bad immigrant" narrative which has come to dominate mainstream liberal discourse in the immigration debate:

Quick. Choose. The house is burning and you have to choose. Your mother or your child? Who do you save?

Your mother, Maegan writes, "didn't make it like Sonia Sotomayor. Didn't graduate from college and in fact can't even speak English". On the other hand, your child has assimilated, can speak English, has received a formal education, and "won't be a burden on the system".

Is it the correct choice to abandon your unassimilated mother?

This is the morally untenable dead-end into which liberals propel themselves when they adopt tactical discourse which appeases the xenophobic forces of the right-wing for the sake of electoral expediency, rather than a discourse fundamentally grounded in universal human rights.

Now I'm not suggesting any less respect for the remarkable achievements of someone like Sonia Sotomayor. But when liberals hold her up as the shining example of The American Story -- a model minority, a false compliment with which Asian Americans are all too familiar -- they are actually Othering the majority of immigrants, ordinary hard-working people who have never had the opportunities or life situations or sheer good fortune to rise to such societal heights. The implication is that those less-accomplished immigrant stories are somehow less American, and therefore those other immigrants are unworthy of the magnanimous acceptance extended by the mainstream to a select few.

What is the plight of the unworthy? Ask Cirila Baltazar Cruz.

Please consider writing, faxing, or calling the presiding judge in this case and asking that (1) Rubi Juana be re-united with her mother, and (2) all adoption proceedings against the will of the mother be stopped. Here's the contact info:

Honorable Judge Sharon Sigalas
Youth Justice Court of Jackson County
4903 Telephone Rd.
Pascagoula, MS 39567
Call (228) 762-7370
Fax (228) 762-7385

ETA: Thanks to Maegan for sending me this radio interview, recorded on June 1, in which we hear from Cirila Baltazar Cruz herself (in Spanish and Chatino).

Cruz says she doesn't know why they took her daughter, though she calls herself "ignorant" for not being able to speak Spanish or English (though she does speak some Spanish, as you can hear in the interview). She's a homeowner in Oaxaca with two other children being cared for by her family there. She works at a Chinese restaurant in Biloxi and lives in an apartment owned by her employer — an arrangement which the hospital interpreter either misunderstood or misrepresented. Cirila says that the interpreter told her that she must leave her Chinese employer or lose her baby; furthermore, the interpreter offered her a job with a wealthy family who would take care of the child. When she refused the offer, the interpreter became irritated with her, and we know the rest.

Cruz says she wants her daughter back. All the information she receives from the court is in English. It was her cousin Esteban who implored the Mississippi Immigrants' Rights Alliance (MIRA) to get involved, which is how we now know about this case. Vicky Cintra of MIRA (also interviewed) says red flags went up at the organization when they learned that Esteban had been barred from serving as an interpreter for Cirila at the hospital, even though he repeatedly offered; he was told he would be arrested if he didn't leave. MIRA claims that the family that took custody of Rubi Juana are lawyers with connections to the judge; they threw a baby shower to greet Rubi's arrival.

November 18 is the next court date. We'll be keeping a close eye on this story.

In Which I Poo In The Punchbowl

So, I don't know how many of my dear readers have heard about the Swedish parents who have gained some media attention for refusing to disclose what genitalia their child has. They (correctly) think that the world as a whole will try to box their child in based on the contents of hir pants and they want to give hir a chance to just be hirself.

This has been met with mostly shock and accusations of abuse(?) which boggle the mind. Well, that isn't strictly true. It only boggles the mind if you aren't aware of how steeped in a gendered hierarchy we are. My fellow feminists, on the other hand, are aware, and have mostly reacted positively. I wish I felt as positive.

As much as I respect and agree with these parents for what they are trying to do, I think it is premature to suggest that this is going to make Pop's life any better. Part of the insidious nature of a system as powerful as the kyriarchy is its ubiquitousness. There is no such thing as "outside the kyriarchy." Unless Pop's parents plan on keeping hir at home and not exposing hir to any media what so ever, zie will still see these messages that we all are soaking in at the very least. If they plan to send hir to school, well...I just have an image in my head of some kid asking hir if zie is a boy or a girl, hir saying that she doesn't know, and having someone ask about, ask to see or force a peek at hir genitals.

I really wish it could work, and I wish Pop all the best, but I can't shake the cynicism that tells me that this will end poorly.

Wednesday, July 08, 2009

Random Thought

I once had someone ask me why "dickhead" was not a sexist insult if "cunt" was.

I think I have figured it out.

Almost every other insult that can be directed at a man doesn't actually insult him. It insults the women that are "his" in order to insult him and it does so by applying some of the same reasoning that makes calling someone feminine or a female body part insulting.

Case in point, the insults "son of a bitch" and "mother fucker."

The first is pretty obvious. You aren't insult the man on the basis of his gender, or using his body as a negative, insulting thing, you are insulting his mother.

The second is a bit more complex, but it implies that a mother is not desirable, or sexual and therefore there is something bad about having sex with them. Maybe it is intended to imply that the man is less than because he can't get anyone "better" and is a reflection of our culture's obsession with virginity and how that is a measure of a woman's worth. It could also be calling up echoes of the Oedipus mythos, implying that the man in question fucked his own mother, who cannot possibly be desirable because she is "old" and a mother and was supposed to have turned in her libido when his birth certificate was signed.

This is why I stick with "asshole" as my catch all insult.

Sunday, July 05, 2009

Quote of the day

In the process of describing an event of being hit on at work to my spouse, and how I didn't really like it:

Spouse: "I'm sorry, baby. Was it positive or negative?"

Me: "Positive, I'm just a bitch who doesn't really like straight guys."

Spouse: "You know, sadly I'm not sure whether you're being sarcastic, ironic or serious."

Me: "A little of both really."

Thursday, July 02, 2009

Mrs. Slocombe, Are You Free?

Mollie Sugden, the British actress most well known for her role as "Mrs. Slocombe" in the britcom "Are You Being Served?" has died. She was 86.

Her character was the reason I wanted to dye my hair bright colors as a child, and is part of the reason why I can openly joke about my "pussy."

Molly, you were indeed a treasure, and I know I will miss you.

Brief Thinky Thoughts: Religion and Responsibility

Blaming religion for the actions of its adherents is like blaming the knife you used to stab someone for your choice to engage in an act of aggression.

Religion is not an independent actor with a will of its own, it is an object, a collection of thoughts, beliefs, and history with a heavy dose of myth/morality tales. Blaming the object one uses for the use you made of it is ludicrous, and is refusing responsibility for your own actions. The same applies for blaming someone's actions on their religious beliefs. You have essentially absolved them of responsibility, removed their agency and placed it in an object with no consciousness of its own.

Sense, this makes none.

Structures may encourage and support certain behaviors, but a structure cannot exist without people choosing to perpetuate it. The structure was created by the choices of individuals to begin with, and it maintains its shape through the choices of its participants. The structure itself is not sentient, does not have a personal purpose or aim. Society is nothing more than a collection of individuals.

In the end, religion is just word on a page that can be used to justify almost anything. If you dig below the religious justification, there is almost always something more there. People will use an object to further their own aims, and given the absence of a particular object, they will simply find something else to use.

If someone really wants to kill you, will taking away their knife prevent them from trying?

Wednesday, July 01, 2009

Letter to the queer/feminist/progressive cis blogosphere

The recent dust up over the term cisgender and/or cis and the question of whether it is insulting or hostile terminology?

It isn't. And if you feel insulted by it, it is a function of your fucking privilege. And your privilege does not make you a bad person. Its what you fucking do with it that shows what kind of person you are (and as a note for that particular link, it is an example of someone using their privilege to be a fucking asshole. THAT is what makes someone a "bad person" not the presence of privilege in and of itself.)

The term cisgender is nothing more than an indicator that someone is not transgender. Having a way to distinguish between multiple states of being without setting the one with privilege as the standard is an important step in acceptance and activism.

I am so fucking tired of the oppression olympics. Just because you are oppressed by nature of your gender, your color, your sexuality, your able-bodiness, your non/neurotypicality and any intersection of the above, you are still not excused from being able to be a fucking asshole to other people that you do have privilege over. Privileges v. oppressions are not a fucking tally sheet. You can't "cancel out" the privilege of being cisgender by virtue of being queer/disabled/of color/whathaveyou. I don't get what is so hard to understand. Your privilege shifts with context. A queer, able-bodied, neurotypical white guy who was assigned a male gender at birth and who experiences no dysphoria re: his gender identity will experience oppression in the realm of sexual orientation, but still receives male, white, able-bodied, neurotypical, cisgender privilege.

And as C.L. (who rocks so absolutely) helpfully points out, having privilege in certain areas does not diminish the oppressions one faces. It also does not give you a free card to be an asshole. If you have questions on where to start with the whole "not being an asshole" thing, go read this

For my part, I regularly use the term cis for myself because despite my gender-queerness, my public presentation and my gender assignment at birth match for the most part. I consider myself cis because while I face the same shit that so many other queer women do, one thing I won't have to fear is the shit that transgender people face just for existing.