Feminism 101: A Cheat Sheet on Sexism, Misogyny, Misogynoir and More
In our current time, we have begun to shift feminist language to be inclusive to all feminine-identified people, who all face the pressures of an anti-feminist society. Cissexism, for example, is a portmanteau of cisgender and sexism. It is vocabulary used to describe when cis privilege goes unchecked and is defined by the prejudice and discrimination of transgender people. Transgender and non-binary people often experience cissexism in the form of our gender identity being put into question, being questioned about our chromosome count, the focus on our genitalia, our existence being rendered as illegitimate, etc.
But even with this new term, both sexism and cissexism paints a broad picture. We often assume the best of women’s liberation, but the stark reality is that white supremacy has always juxtaposed a dividing line between white feminism and black feminism. And the women’s suffragist movement alienated women of color in the same way it does now. Definitions began to emerge focusing on the need for equal rights for women of color, such as misogynoir, a term coined by queer Black feminist Moya Bailey and heavily discussed on the womanist blog, Gradient Lair, which explains the intersection of discrimination by race and gender that are faced by black women. Transmisogynoir is its complimentary term used to explain the discrimination faced by black transgender women and black femmes.
Transmisogynoir is perhaps one of the biggest examples of anti-feminism, as black transgender women often face the heaviest and most brutal forms of hatred against women. Black transgender women face some of the highest homicide rates, suicide rates, and sexual violence, our access to safety is limited, as we face brutality by those who are supposed to protect us as well.
But women are not the only ones who face these forms of misogyny.