Nogueira vs. Couture
MMA fighter Antonio Nogueira triumphantly straddles Randy Couture at the conclusion of UFC 102 in August 2009. In pre-industrial society, capacity for violence was an essential element of the male protective role. Today, it is mostly obsolete. Photo: Jon Kopaloff / Getty Images.

Definition: A cisman, shorthand for "cissexual man" or "cisgender man," is non-transsexual man--a man whose assigned gender is male, and whose assigned male gender is more or less consistent with his personal sense of self. This distinguishes him from transmen, shorthand for "transsexual men"--men who were initially assigned a female gender, but have a male identity. If you identify as a man but are not a transsexual man, you're a cisman.

Cissexual and transsexual identity are grounded in gender roles. But because gender roles are socially constructed, and gender is not a very clearly-defined concept, the argument could be made that nobody is completely cissexual or transsexual--that these are relative terms representing individual experiences of what gender is. As my friend Ashley Fortenberry, a local transwoman, explains:

"Gender cannot be defined by anyone other than the individual ... Gender is personal and is based on ideas and characteristics that usually pertain to a specific sex.

The simple fact is that everyone has characteristics of the opposite gender."

Pronunciation: "siss-man"

Also Known As: cissexual man, cisgender man, cisguy, "natural-born man" (offensive)

Antonyms: transwoman