- Recently, in a significant judgment the Supreme Court said it was unconstitutional to distinguish between married and unmarried women while allowing abortion when the foetus is between 20-24 weeks.
- Going a step further, the court said the term ‘woman’ in the judgment included persons other than cisgender women.
What is Cisgender?
- The term cisgender is used to define people whose gender identity and expression match the identity assigned to them at birth.
- When a child is born, it is assigned a gender identity based on its physical characteristics.
- Many believe that gender is a social construct, and growing up, the child may or may not confirm the birth identity.
- For transgender people, their sense of gender identity does not match the one assigned to them at birth.
- Thus, a cisgender woman is a person who was assigned female at birth and continues to identify as a woman.
- On the other hand, a child assigned female at birth can feel it identifies more authentically as a man as it grows up.
Why the word cisgender is important
- If there are ‘transgender’ people, there should be a word for those who are not.
- Having distinct words for transgender and cisgender people denotes that both are equally valid, neutral experiences, with neither being an aberration.