Images of bisexual women as confused, indecisive, transitional, or closeted lesbians effectively invalidate bisexual identity. Even among lesbians who believe that there are some true bisexuals, these beliefs have the effect of casting doubt on the identities of all women who claim to be bisexual. As long as a lesbian believes that bisexual women are likely to have these characteristics – or at least more likely than lesbians – she will tend to react suspiciously whenever another woman claims to be bisexual. Bisexual identity cannot be accepted at face value, because the woman who claims to be bisexual might not be a true bisexual. Therefore, these images, even if they are not generalized to all bisexual women, function to invalidate bisexual identity generally and, therefore, to invalidate bisexuality.
- bisexual means you’re attracted to beings of the same gender and beings of a different gender
- bisexual doesn’t mean you have a fetish for threesomes
- bisexual doesn’t mean you’re greedy
- bisexual doesn’t mean you’re polyamorous
- bisexual doesn’t mean you’re desperate
Fuck that! I’m a greedy polyamorous bisexual with a fetish for threesomes and THAT IS AWESOME :D
*** Which also happens to be Snippet #9. These snippets are taken from my book in writing, Notes for a Bisexual Revolution. For more, check out the notes for a bisexual revolution tag. ***
The curious case of bisexual women
In an article called Curiouser and Curiouser: the Strange ‘Disappearance’ of Male Bisexuality, British gay journalist Mark Simpson writes about biphobia against bi men, and compares their status to that of bisexual women. “It’s unquestionable,” he argues, “that female bisexuality is today much more socially acceptable than male bisexuality, and in fact frequently positively encouraged, both by many voyeuristic men and an equally voyeuristic pop culture.” [This quote is dealt with in greater depth earlier on the chapter]. In this section, I would like to look a bit deeper into this “positive encouragement” and to question whether it really is so positive. Continue reading
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i feel like this really perpetuates bi-erasure :( :( :( :(
That’s because it does. Internalization is not fun for anyone.
And it’s vaguely slut-shamey.
Bullshit like this is what made me stop following BSTB.
As an offshoot of the need to “redeem” bisexuality and bisexual people through good behaviour*, some people might feel as if all bisexual people need to fit into certain standards of normativity, so as to avoid making other bisexuals “look bad” politically. This includes being either “not bisexual enough” or “too bisexual”**, but also includes such things as radical or “unpalatable” opinions, criticizing assimilationist ideology, speaking too much about specifically bisexual issues (rather than assimilationist gay ones such as marriage, military, adoption, etc.), addressing transgender issues, etc. (For example, some people might feel that the definition of bisexuality should remain gender binary for purposes of palatability for the general population, claiming that “maybe after” more people understand binary bisexuality, “we can start” explaining to them about non-binary genders). Many people might feel as if people with such opinions might damage the bisexual movement, much in the same way in which assimilationist gays often feel that bisexuals might damage their movement by tarring their normative image. In this way, the normativity, which is the condition for entrance into the GGGG movement, is inherited into bisexual movements whose goal is assimilation with the assimilationist gay movement. I call these phenomena “binormativity” and “bi assimilationism” respectively.
* “Redeeming bisexuality through good behaviour” is something I explain in the previous paragraph inside the book. I mean the need for many bisexuals to “prove” that they belong in the LGBT movement by actively contributing to it (and, correspondingly, feeling as though bisexuals who are not LGBT activists do not deserve inclusion in the movement).
** “Too bisexual” and “not bisexual enough” are terms that I define previously as expressions of internalized biphobia directed by bisexuals towards other bisexuals. “Too bisexual” means someone who fits the bisexual stereotypes (cheating, being “promiscuous” i.e. sexually independent, having unsafe sex, etc.). “Not bisexual enough” means someone who doesn’t fit the acceptable “standard” of “true bisexuality” (not having had sex/relationship/emotions with people of at least two genders, etc).
[Image: Two rabbits kissing. Text: I love a girl at my school. She identifies as lesbian. I identify as a gay FTM. She is dating a guy. I am dating nobody. All I want is to kiss her and be with her. But since I’ve already come out as a gay male, I feel like it would cause even more confusion. I know I don’t want to marry a girl. Why is everything so confusing? Why can’t our destinies be layed out?
Stories like that really make me wonder how our lives would look like without monosexism…
This is from the chapter about monosexism and biphobia, from the sub-section about internalized biphobia (and the sub-sub section about internalized biphobia in intimate relationships). I wrote about three types of internalized biphobia inside intimate relationships; this is the second.
Similar to social settings, internalized biphobia might also influence people inside intimate relationships in a way that is disruptive and harmful both to the relationship and the people within. Inside relationships, some bisexual people might treat their partners in ways similar to those of biphobic monosexual people, as informed by stereotypes about bisexuals’ dishonesty and lack of loyalty, as well as returning to some of the basic underlying themes of internalized biphobia such as lack of acceptance and worthlessness.
Bisexuals who […] choose to date other bisexuals might […] be influenced by internalized biphobia, often in subconscious ways. Many bisexuals people might fear that their partner might cheat on them or leave them for a member of another gender. If the relationship is nonmonogamous, then people might need to deal with more jealousy or a feeling of being threatened when their partner hooks up with someone of a particular gender. For example, in one of my relationships, my partner and I needed to deal with her internalized biphobia when I started dating a man. She feared that he might be able to satisfy me in ways that she couldn’t and that I might leave her for him (despite our polyamorous relationship). True to the under-the-radar character of internalized biphobia, she didn’t realize that this is what it was until I pointed it out.
I’ve found that these sorts of fears are more often triggered by (potential) male partners rather than anyone else, and regardless of the gender of the person in the relationship. To simplify: whether the person inside the relationship is a man, a woman, a non-binary gender or any other gender, these feelings might be more likely triggered by interest in a man than a person of any other gender. This means that these fears are more related to masculinist* and patriarchal** values than to categorical gendered thought (i.e. “this other person is of a different gender category than me, therefore they are more threatening”). The social presumption that males have more value here plays out through the assumption that bisexual people of any gender would always prefer men. Thus, the fear that one’s bisexual partner might leave them for the proverbial “someone with a penis”*** are informed both by sexism (assuming men’s superior value) and by biphobic notions according to which bisexuals are “actually” monosexual. In addition, a contributing factor might be people’s feelings of worthlessness as bisexuals, thinking themselves as undeserving of love and intimacy, or as “not good enough” to be with and thus dismissible by their partners.
* Patriarchy means the system of male superiority and rule.
** Masculinism is the system attributing more value and power to masculine people or to anything else which might be perceived as masculine (personality characteristics, hobbies, interests, social values, etc.)
*** Note that not all men actually have penises (notably, many transgender men). However, popular sexist, cissexist and heteropatriarchal thought often constructs men as metaphorically phallic (or as possessing phallic power) whether or not they “possess” the organ itself.
Tumblr friends, help me out
A few weeks ago there was a quote circulating around, of a bisexual celebrity person saying that she refuses to date other bisexuals. Could you point me out, please?