Friday, April 24, 2015

The Use of the Word "Sissy"

I know I don't post a lot of text anymore (real life time constraints), but there's something that's been on my mind lately that I thought was important enough to share with you all.  Hope you'll all bear with me.

I wanted to post my thoughts on using the word "sissy."  Just so you know, this isn't just coming out of thin air; it was precipitated by a fellow blogger's post on the subject.  I wish I could remember where it was posted, but it was late, and I forgot to bookmark the blog.  All I can really remember about the site is that it centered on a man's gender role reversed relationship with his wife, and that the post in question was one of the very first. Either way, he adamantly opposed the use of the word "sissy," and was offended by such.  And that's what I'd like to address.

I'm of the opinion that when someone insults you (as has been the historical case with the word "sissy"), the most effective way to combat the underlying bigotry is to appropriate the insult, and make it your own.  Revel in it.  Turn it into a compliment.  Doing so gives you the power in the exchange.  So knowing that about me will somewhat inform you as to why I use the word the way I do.

In my little internet cocoon, I like to think that the meaning of the word "sissy" has morphed a bit over the past few years.  Where before it meant "weak" or "submissive" or "overly feminine," now, I think it has come to simply mean a man who has embraced femininity wholeheartedly.  He doesn't want to be a woman, but rather a feminine man.  Or that's how I approach it, at least. 

It's a fine line, sure, but I think it's an important distinction.  What do you all think of the word?

And just so you guys don't think this is getting too serious, please enjoy the following link:

Trap Penny

Good stuff.

7 comments:

  1. Thank you for the clarification. As a non-native English speaker I always get confused by the use of this word. Mainly because the use in the recent years as you said.

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    1. I think it's a good discussion to have because I don't think any of us would intentionally offend someone.

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  2. We well said. I concur with you completely

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  3. Interesting food for thought, I had not given much thought along those lines. Thanks for the way you pointed it out I do have a distaste for other words used.

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  4. As with so many terms, Nikki; One must always consider the source and context of a word's usage when hearing or reading in order to understand what it was intended to mean or invoke. Especially since English is a complex mish-mosh of so many tongues and having dialects prone to slaughtering both pronunciation and meaning with the ever-evolving social climate of the times we inhabit. (Consider the vast difference in the "acceptability" of a W.A.S.P.(white Anglo-Saxon protestant) form the deep south using "the 'N" word" versus that of an inner-city person of color.)

    I can thoroughly understand the dislike for the term by the person whose gender-role-reversal blog/lifestyle you mentioned. Perhaps he, like myself, was bullied & abused by belligerent "rednecks" in his youth for being a "sissy" and a "faggot" simply for being a pacifist and having long hair because he was a "hippie-pothead", not because his mannerisms or actions indicated I or he was a homosexual or trans-gender.

    While there may, these days and in the realm of TG-Captions, be some who use "sissy" as an endearing term, there is still the broader world who use it in a derisive sense to demean those who are not "normal" in their eyes.

    In my perception of the term itself, bafflement come from where the line of difference is drawn even by composers & fans in the TG-Cap community. You see, I have trouble thinking of a gorgeous individual who has made her from and visage into one so utterly female (save one remaining vestige of her unfortunate birth-gender) as a "sissy" - s term generally applied to those of the male gender. I should think that one who has the courage. conviction & resources to make her appearance and manner conform to the female image of her true self would be spared the indignity of being referred to by use of a word associated with maleness, regardless of her genital structure.

    I have probably rambled too long, Nikki. so, I apologize for not keeping my comment more brief! And I will close with saying that; Whether one intends it as a term of endearment or derision, we may not be sure which way another might take any word we use.

    Peace,Love&Kisses;
    Elle

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    1. But is it really difficult to understand a situation where an individual may want to identify as something other than simply "male" or "female"? There seems like there's a pretty sizable grey area there. The term "sissy" is my attempt to describe a small portion of that grey area. Just because someone wants to look a certain way does not mean that he or she will identify as one gender or the other.

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    2. I absolutely agree, Nikki! And I have the utmost respect and admiration for both those who choose to present as who they want to be and those whose genes have conspired in-utero to form the, (in my opinion), fullest expression of human perfection, i.e.; the inter-sexed! To the former, I salute your courage and bemoan that mine was never great enough to do as you have! And to the latter, while I might wish that I had been so completely born as you, I can barely imagine what some of you have had to face in this world!

      While I do understand your intent, Nikki, and would not suggest that you use a term to belittle anyone, I also see that someone might take a term by its opposite connotation. Someone who does not share the belief that a "middle-ground" of identifying as neither mainstream definition of gender requires definition at all... or, at least, not the definition of "sissy". And it follows that you might not know of their objection to describing them by that term until such time as that line was crossed, (hence my mention of a need to be ready to apologize).

      It is a sad fact of history in this world that so many millennia of "male-dominated" societies still blind people to the fact that none of us are EITHER "male" OR "female", but that ALL of us are BOTH male AND female by conception. Although a few societies have a better understanding of, and respect for, that biological law, such beliefs are only just beginning to reach some degree of acceptance in the "Western" social order. (a certain account of "the beginning" does NOT say, "male created He him, and female created He her", but, "male AND female created He THEM.") My apologies if the example offends any, but it is the closed-mindedness of those who believe in all that follows those words and those traditions which have been handed down through the ages that have, i.m.o., been the worst expression of who they claim to follow! But, perhaps I digress?

      Perception, Nikki. You & I both make manipulations of trans- & inter-sexed persons. Yet, we each approach our art with different images. You add male bits to a female model and, although I have done so too, my preference is to obscure the testicles of a "shemale" by overlaying them with a vagina. I respect your work without questioning your muse, motivation or choice of working-stock while acknowledging that some do not like what it is that I do.
      So too are there those who would prefer not to have their persons and/or proclivities qualified by either of our perceptions, even though we might all share some degree of commonality in the TG and/or TG/TF-Captioning/Fiction communities.

      I'll close this comment with the observation that, perhaps, Nikki, rather than a "sizable grey area" there is a full spectrum of shades, colors and nuances that we may not know entirely as we express what slivers of light we perceive and inhabit!?!

      Peace,Love&Kisses;
      Elle

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