How Words Shape our Thinking

Don’t ask me where I read cis-gender first, but the mildly unsettling touch has kept me in its grip for the last couple of weeks. What it means is simple: people who are comfortable with their birth gender. Which is like 99% of us. The “normal” people.

The effect on our thinking is substantial. The thoughts are no longer circling around normal and not-normal but instead are directed towards the fact that everyone has a gender identity and that cis-gender and trans-gender are related. It opens a window into the difficult choices and decisions a trans may need to take. It instills a gratitude for the cis not to need to reassign their gender.  It’s a politically correct term that has the power to bridge a gap.

How is this connected to my assignment in Tanzania? I might be perceived as bossy, rude or lazy when in fact I am being proactive, direct or thoughtful in my actions. Do we have credit or are we indebted? Is the glass half full or half empty? All a matter of cultural perspective and wording. What are your thoughts?


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