Sissy (derived from sister), also sissy baby, sissy boy, sissy man, sissy pants, etc., is a pejorative term for a boy or man who does not conform to male gender stereotypes. Generally, sissy implies a lack of courage, strength, athleticism, coordination, testosterone, male libido, and stoic calm, all of which have traditionally been associated with masculinity and considered important to the male role in Western society. A man might also be considered a sissy for being interested in traditionally feminine hobbies or employment (e.g., being fond of fashion), displaying effeminate behavior (e.g., using hair products or displaying limp wrists), being unathletic, or being homosexual.Sissy#cite_note-Dalzell-2009-1">
Similar in meaning to pansy, or to nancyboy or poofter outside the United States.
“Sissy” is, approximately, the male converse of tomboy (a girl with masculine traits or interests), but carries more strongly negative connotations. Research published in 2015 suggests that the terms are asymmetrical in their power to stigmatize: sissy is almost always pejorative and conveys greater severity, while tomboy rarely causes as much concern but also elicits pressure to conform to normative gender roles.Sissy#cite_note-Compton_Knox-2"> Applied to an individual, these terms become a form of social control, enforcing normative gender roles and often drawing on the unfounded link of gender nonconformity with homosexuality.Sissy#cite_note-Compton_Knox-2">
A sissy is a genetic male who adopts hyper-feminine behaviors and practices (e.g., crossdressing, putting on make-up), typically assuming the submissive role to a dominant female and/or male partner(s).
An affectionate word for a sister, or someone regarded as a sister. It can be a nickname given to someone who acts sisterly, kind, sweet, and caring.
Since it started as a word for sister it was later used as a derogatory word by sexist people that believe if you were born a guy you shouldn’t be effeminate.
Emilio’s friends accused him of being a sissy for not asking Jackie out on a date.
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nounThe definition of a sissy is a timid person or an an insulting term for an effeminate boy or man.
A man who is scared of everything and whose friends all make fun of him for being so timid is an example of someone who is a sissy
Sissy is a pejorative term for a boy or man who violates or does not meet the standard male gender role. Generally, sissy implies a lack of courage, strength, coordination, testosterone, male libido, and stoicism, which have traditionally been important to the male role. A man might also be considered a sissy for being interested in traditional feminine hobbies or employment, displaying effeminate behavior, being unathletic, or being homosexual. Sissy is, approximately, the male converse of tomboy, but has none of the latter’s positive connotations. Even amongst gay men, behavior thought of as sissy or camp produces mixed reactions. Some men reclaim the term for themselves. The term sissyphobia denotes a negative cultural reaction against “sissy boys” thought prevalent in 1974. Sissyphobia has more recently been used in some queer studies; other authors in this latter area have proposed effeminiphobia as an alternative term.
The term sissy has historically been used among school children as a “relentlessly negative” insult implying immaturity and gender or sexual deviance.Sissy#cite_note-3"> It has been identified as “sexist” in guidance issued to schools in the United KingdomSissy#cite_note-4"> and described as “just as unacceptable as racist and homophobic language.”Sissy#cite_note-5"> The terms gender creative,Sissy#cite_note-6"> pink boy,Sissy#cite_note-7"> and tomgirlSissy#cite_note-8"> have been suggested as polite alternatives. The Japanese word bishōnen is also a polite term for a man or boy with gentle or feminine attributes.
The word sissy in its original meaning of “sister” entered American English around 1840-1850 and acquired its pejorative meaning around 1885-1890; the verb sissify appeared in 1900-1905.Sissy#cite_note-9"> In comparison, the word tomboy is approximately three centuries older, dating to 1545-55.Sissy#cite_note-10">
By the 1930s, “there was no more damning insult than to be called a sissy” and the word was widely used by American football coaches and sports writers to disparage rival teams and encourage ferocious player behavior.Sissy#cite_note-11"> The use of the word sissy was “ubiquitous” among delinquent American youth of the 1930s; the term was used to provoke boys to join gangs, demean boys who violated group norms, force compliance with the mandates of masculinity, and justify violence (including sexual violence) against younger and weaker children.Sissy#cite_note-Grant,_J._2014_pp._143-144-12"> Good students were taunted as sissies and clothing styles associated with higher social classes were demeaned as sissified. Among members of a Detroit youth gang in 1938-39, sissy was “the ultimate slur” used to tease and taunt other boys, as a rationalization for violence against rivals, and as an excuse for not observing the dictums of middle-class decorum and morality.Sissy#cite_note-Grant,_J._2014_pp._143-144-12">
By the late 1980s, some men began to reclaim the term sissy for themselves.Sissy#cite_note-13"> The spelling variation cissy was used in British English, at least prior to the mid 1970s.Sissy#cite_note-14"> In the United States, the Comedy Central television series South Park inverted its meaning in a 2014 episode titled The Cissy, which lampooned the controversy over transgender students’ use of school restrooms;Sissy#cite_note-15"> in the episode a restroom initially designated for use by transgender students is later re-designated as “the cissy bathroom” for use by trans-phobic cisgender students.
“Sissyphobia” redirects here. For the non-fiction book, see Sissyphobia:_Gay_Men_and_Effeminate_Behavior">Sissyphobia: Gay Men and Effeminate Behavior.
In his Sissy_Boy_Syndrome%22_and_the_Development_of_Homosexuality">The “Sissy Boy Syndrome” and the Development of Homosexuality (1987), the sexologist Richard Green compared two groups of boys: one group was conventionally masculine; the other group, who Green called “feminine boys” and other children called “sissy”, engaged in doll play and other behavior typical for girls.Sissy#cite_note-Green-1987-16"> In his 15-year longitudinal study, Green looked at cross-gender behavior in boys who later turned out to be transgender, or homosexual as well as a control group, and analyzed such features as interest in sports, playroom toy preferences, doll-play fantasy, physical behavior (“acting like a girl” vs rough-and-tumble play), cross-dressing, and psychological behavior,Sissy#cite_note-Green-1987-16">:21–29 using tests, questionnaires, interviews, and follow-ups. He also looked at the influence of parental relationships Sissy#cite_note-Green-1987-16">:353–369and reaction to atypical behavior. Later follow-ups found that 3/4 of his feminine or “sissy” boys became gay or bisexual men, whereas only one of the control group did. Analysis of the nature/nurture issue was inconclusive.Sissy#cite_note-Green-1987-16">:385
The term sissyphobia denotes a negative cultural reaction against “sissy boys” thought prevalent in 1974.Sissy#cite_note-17"> Sissyphobia has more recently been used in some queer studies;Sissy#cite_note-18"> other authors in this latter area have proposed effeminiphobia,Sissy#cite_note-19"> femiphobia,Sissy#cite_note-20">femmephobia, or effemimaniaSissy#cite_note-21">Sissy#cite_note-22"> as alternative terms.
The discourse of straight-acting produces and reproduces anti-femininity and homophobia (Clarkson. 2006). For example, feminine gay men are often labeled “fem,” “bitchy,” “pissy,” “sissy,” or “queen” (e.g., Christian, 2005; Clarkson, 2006; Payne,2007). They are perceived as if they perform like “women,” spurring straight-acting gay men to have negative attitudes toward gay feminine men (Clarkson, 2006; Payne, 2007;Ward, 2000). This is called sissyphobia (Bergling, 2001). Kimmel (1996) supports that “masculinity has been (historically) defined as the flight from women and the repudiation of femininity” (p. 123). Thus, sissyphobia plays as the communication strategy for straight-acting gay men to justify and empower their masculinity. (p. 38).Sissy#cite_note-Eguchi-24">
Eguchi added, “I wonder how ‘sissyphobia’ particularly plays into the dynamic of domestic violence processes in the straight-acting and effeminate-acting male same-sex coupling pattern.” (p. 53).Sissy#cite_note-Eguchi-24">
In the BDSM practice of forced feminization, the male bottom undergoing cross-dressing may be called a sissy as a form of erotic humiliation, which may elicit guilt or sexual arousal, or possibly both, depending on the individual. This is forced, changing the man’s sexuality. Methods include things like hypnosis and reinforcing gifs. After watching them, the man will start to think he is attracted to men and that he is a female.Sissy#cite_note-bdsm-25">[better source needed]
The hypnotist Jacqueline Campenelli was the first person known to combine isochronic tones or binaural beats and frequencies with spoken-word self-hypnosis / guided meditation as well as the first known of combining these frequencies with forced feminization , Sissy Hypno, and Gender Hypnotherapy, in the early 2010s.Sissy#cite_note-26">
- Sissy#cite_ref-Dalzell-2009_1-0">Jump up^ Dalzell, Tom (2009) [1st pub. 1937]. The Routledge Dictionary of Modern American Slang and Unconventional English. London, New York: Taylor & Francis. p. 885. ISBN 978-0-415-37182-7. OCLC 758181675. Retrieved 19 March 2017. an effeminate boy or man, especially a homosexual; a coward. US, 1879.
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- Padva, Gilad and Talmon, Miri (2008). Gotta Have An Effeminate Heart: The Politics of Effeminacy and Sissyness in a Nostalgic Israeli TV Musical. Feminist Media Studies 8(1), 69-84.
- Padva, Gilad (2005). Radical Sissies and Stereotyped Fairies in Laurie Lynd’s The Fairy Who Didn’t Want To Be A Fairy Anymore. Cinema Journal 45(1), 66-78.
- Jana Katz, Martina Kock, Sandra Ortmann, Jana Schenk and Tomka Weiss (2011). Sissy Boyz. Queer Performance. thealit FRAUEN.KULTUR.LABOR, Bremen. http://www.sissyboyz.de