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Don’t Like ‘Women With Penises’? You Need to Be Reeducated

Transgender activism extends well beyond the bathroom. Indeed, a few outspoken activists say that sexual preference itself is one more form of discrimination, and that if you like women but not trans "women," you're a cissexist (more on this later) and you need to be reeducated.

"I'm trying to show that preferences for women with vaginas over women with penises might be partially informed by the influence of a cissexist society," declares YouTube star Riley J. Dennis, in a video entitled "Are genital preferences transphobic?" Spoiler alert: she thinks they are.

"Some people are making the argument that it's not cissexist at all to only be attracted to people with one kind of genitals," Dennis noted. "These people might argue that being attracted to only women with vaginas in no way negatively affects trans people," but she said "it's more complicated than that."

What is "cissexism" (besides a serious tongue twister)? It is the prejudice for "cis" gender people over transgender people. Cisgender just means a person identifies with his or her biological sex, as opposed to becoming transgender and identifying with a separate gender identity.

According to activists like Dennis, the cissexism in American society is deeply ingrained into people, so that their sexual preference for women with vaginas or men with penises is not really a natural function of biology — it's societal oppression, and people need to be reeducated against it.

Tellingly, she addresses the complaint that "I'm allowed to have my preferences!" Technically, this is correct, the YouTube star concedes. But that's not the whole story.

"Ignoring the deeper issues by stopping at a surface-level analysis doesn't do this issue any justice," Dennis argues. "If we look a little deeper into this issue, there's the possibility of your genital preferences being at least somewhat partially informed by growing up in a cissexist society."

This transgender activist insists that genital preferences need to be deconstructed, to make sure they are not rooted in oppression. "Simply saying, 'It's my preference, end of discussion' is a good way of sidelining all of those issues and instead centering the feelings of cis people in a discussion that's about trans people."

Beyond merely pushing a kind of sexual reeducation, Dennis' arguments sound like a parody episode of The Twilight Zone. This transgender woman has to argue that she's not "homophobic" or upholding "rape culture."