“When I use a word,” Humpty Dumpty said in a rather scornful tone, “it means just what I choose it to mean, neither more nor less.” — Alice in Wonderland

Congratulations. We have all lived to see the day when social media is the same — neither more nor less — as the world of Alice In Wonderland. The words mean what you want them to mean. And if you are the owner, as Elon Musk is, of Twitter, you can decree “Off with his head!” and ban anybody who doesn’t agree with your interpretation of what the words mean.

This is the policy and piffle that Musk launched off into the ethernet yesterday.

NCRS has an historical perspective on the word “cisgender” if you’re somebody who bothers to trouble yourself with facts.

“Cis-” was first used in regards to sexuality in a 1914 German book on sexology, however the word “cisgender” was first coined in 1994 on Usenet by Dana Defosse. Defosse at the time was a graduate student, and in an February 2023 article for Huffington Post, she said she was working on a paper about the health of trans teens. She needed a term for the opposite of transgender, and looked to chemistry for inspiration, and landed on “cisgender.”

“It seemed like a no-brainer. I had no idea that hitting ‘enter’ on that post would start an etymological time bomb ticking,” she wrote.

The term (and its sister term cissexual—the opposite of the then-common term “transsexual”) was popularized in the 2007 book Whipping Girl by artist and activist Julia Serano, and “cisgender” eventually entered the Oxford English Dictionary in 2015. […]

But as “trans” isn’t a slur, “cis” isn’t either. They’re mere descriptors, with clear linguistic pedigrees—and above all, they’re just plain useful terms when you’re talking about trans issues. It’s the very same issue Defosse ran into in 1994; if we can’t use the word she helpfully coined—what else is there?

Some go for “biological women/men,” but, last time I checked, transgender people are, in fact, biological creatures, just like cisgender people. (I will happily retract this if it turns out that all transgender people are revealed to be, and have always been, robots created in factories out of silicon and steel.)

“Genetic women/men” is another proposed option. After all, we’re taught in high school that men have XY chromosomes and women have XX. But as it turns out, biology is messy. Between 0.02% and 0.05% of people are born intersex—meaning that their sexual characteristics don’t neatly fit into “boy” or “girl”. Some women are born with XY chromosomes, but the male characteristics aren’t expressed—and some women in this situation can even give birth, according to a study by Claus Højbjerg Gravholt, a clinical professor in the Department of Clinical Medicine of Aarhus University.

Just use “cis.” It’s the easiest and clearest way to make the distinction. I’m cis and I’m proud—at least, as proud as one can be over something that I had absolutely nothing to do with and face absolutely zero oppression over.

Puck News has a good piece up on whether Elon Musk will continue to operate Twitter. As you may have heard, Twitter is losing its corporate office in Boulder, Colorado because it hasn’t been paying the rent. He’s also stopped paying the bills for Twitter’s use of Google Cloud  and the Wall Street P.R. firm, Joele Frank, claims it’s owed more than $830,000 in fees for advice it provided during Musk’s campaign to buy Twitter last year.

I can tell you as a humble blog owner that Word Press no longer pushes our articles to Twitter because Twitter stopped paying for some bell and whistle that used to permit such a thing. Now, you push your stories manually or find another way to get your work out there.

But we’re not complaining. Oh, no, not at all. I was living in terror of Twitter crashing and burning altogether. If we can still access the site every morning, I consider it already a blessed day.

Last time I checked, if a company has more than 12 creditors—as Twitter does—then any three of them can join together to put a company into an involuntary bankruptcy proceeding. And Elon is in danger here. At some point, the creditors he is mindlessly stiffing on a regular basis are going to get sufficiently pissed to throw Twitter into bankruptcy.

Who knows what’s in Twitter’s future? All that can be said of its present is that Musk did himself and everybody else a disservice by buying the platform. Nobody is able to find the silver lining in this transaction.


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  1. Guessing space karen hasn’t sunk the value of the company enough yet.

    If any further proof was needed that this fool is nothing more than a trust fund baby…

  2. When twitter came about I thought it was stupid. I still do. Alas, some things are necessary evils and twitter became one. I fought getting an account as long as I could, and in fact vowed to others but more importantly myself I never, ever would. I still feel shame over breaking that vow. It cost me a piece of myself, but unless you despise me and my writing & comments I think you’d approve of the reason I broke my vow.

    Having said that when the whole sale of twitter was in the works it was clear Musk had gotten cold feet. The former owner also came to believe it was a bad idea – even if only because he wanted to sell to a better buyer who would move the platform forward and in good ways. Mush massively overpaid as we all know and that became the problem. Still, he and twitter had an “out” – for a billion dollar penalty either could cancel the deal. Musk actually wanted to do so. At the time it wasn’t much more than tip money to him. For damned sure his loss of net worth is WAY the hell more than (to him) a mere billion dollars.

    However, twitter’s board wanted their goddamned money! So they forced the sale through and we all know the ongoing and worsening disaster that ensued. I hope there is a hell because those a-holes will roast in it for eternity.

  3. The free speech absolutist took over Twitter and lost 20 billion so he could tell subscribers they couldn’t use the word ‘cisgender’? If I were an investor in any of Musk’s enterprises I’d be dumping my stock. Seriously.

  4. Ahh yes – the Muskrat started off in Twitter when he entered carrying a sink – and has continued to sink the company ever since

  5. Funny how some folks just want to rule. And decide what is fact, historical, grammatical, accurate, truthful, decent… hmmm noticing a pattern. Same group or overlap I am sure who put on paper (textbooks) that slaves fought for confederate army and appreciated the free room and board during that horrid war of northern aggression and the 10 years of beastial oppression afterwards. (Sure the slaves asked to be kept in slavery… but those damn Yankees and they’re radical ((oh the vapors))… hegemony!!). Free speech my buttocks. He is a disrupter!!! Or a BSer… same same. Now some folks with glitter bombs on Twitter tried to use cis as a curse word. I had to look up. My chemistry edumacation was … hazy. But hey at least kiddos were accurate. But the Latinx… some bs. No Asianx or blackx???🤔🤔 crickets at dkos. Someday I will have articles there… but working on having some depth and relevant stuff . Ergo, journals. As for muskrat: noticed how us government subcontracts work on space and rockets to actual … hmmm trying not to sound mean. However clues: operation paper clip; Alabama ; feeling right at home.


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