Can we please invent a non-cissexist word for “the sex that has ovaries, ova, breasts, a uterus, a vagina, female-typical hormones, and two X chromosomes” and its converse?
The ones most cis people use, I think, are either “female-sexed” or “female-bodied.” (That is, the cis people who are aware and cool enough not to use “woman.”) The really obvious problem here is that while female can be used to refer to someone’s sex (it’s in the dictionary and everything!), it is also the adjective form of “woman.” “Woman-bodied” is not remotely the term we’re looking for. Women have all sorts of bodies, sometimes including penises and Y chromosomes.
Also we’d have to use the term “females” a lot, which would make the “if someone refers to women as females they’re a douchebag” heuristic way less effective.
When I complained about this on Twitter, someone suggested “female assigned at birth.” Unfortunately, that term (while useful) doesn’t help in this situation. Lots of intersex people were assigned female at birth. Many people who were female assigned at birth transitioned and now have male-typical hormones and/or no uterus.
The other really obvious workaround is “cis female,” which is one I’ve used in my own writing. The problem is that there are many trans people– including myself– who have uteruses, vaginas, breasts, et al. It doesn’t make sense to exclude us.
The final workaround that most people end up using is “people with vaginas” or “people with uteruses.” This phrasing sucks. It is so fucking clunky. Literally the only reason anyone uses it is because no one has managed to think of something else. Imagine changing a phrase like War on Women– dramatic, alliterative, punchy– to War on People With Uteruses. The ear cringes.
There are, of course, many more sexes than the standard two we are taught to believe in. What I don’t understand is why no one in the trans community has managed to come up with a name for the standard two. Please, guys. You’ve done it before. “Cis” is an awesome word! Make the magic happen again. Please stop making me say “people with X,” it is gross and ugly and makes me want to cry inside.