So, let's talk about cisgender people, and how our sparing cis intellects assume the most ingratiating posture of surrender whenever the subject of trans people is broached.
a trans person says they feel like this gender or that gender, many cis
people find that confusing. "What does it feel like to feel like a
man? *I* don't feel like I am a man. Rather, I'm a man because society
railroaded me into this role."
If you feel sympathetic to this response, you may be interested in the theory of cis by default.
Under this theory, some cisgender people simply do not have an internal
sense of gender ("feeling like a man" or "feeling like a woman"), and
simply go by the gender they're told they are from birth.
implies that not all cis people are the same. Some cis people have an
internal sense of gender, some do not. If you're confused by the very
idea of an internal sense of gender, maybe you're one of the people who
doesn't have one.
An additional complication is maybe
some people can't tell whether or not they have an internal sense of
gender. I bring this up as it applies to myself. When I first
encountered the concept of transgender, I didn't understand this idea of
feeling like you are a gender. Frankly it's bizarre and the universe
is pulling hella shenanigans on us all. But upon years of reflection, I
realized I'd feel pretty uncomfortable if everyone started treating me,
respectfully, as a woman. So maybe these gender-feels, however
bizarre, exists in me? Or is does it just come from the fact that male
gender roles involve inculcating us all with a fear of the feminine? I
don't know, and I probably never will.
As far as I
know, all this diversity appears in trans people too. Some trans people
have a strong internal sense of gender. Others may simply have to
compare their experiences being seen as a man vs a woman, and find that
they feel much better one way, even if they don't have an explicit "I am
a woman" kind of feeling. Some trans people may not have an
internal sense of gender at all, and identify as non-binary for that reason (people ID as non-binary for other reasons too).
In my interactions with nonbinary
people, they never universalize their feelings about gender. Queer
people don't have the luxury of being able to assume everyone feels the
same way they do. Cisgender people have never had
that luxury either, but sometimes they think they do.
The fact that some, if not all, people have an internal sense
of gender is what makes gender identity completely incomparable to
racial identity, and what makes "abolishing gender" ultimately
(This post was inspired by comments by Ophelia Benson.)