<3′s not Parts is Body and Fat Shaming
Awesome and insightful post!
I need to add to this and say that this is indeed part of my aversion towards the “love people, not bodies” dialogue - it leaves so much invisible and untouched about bodies and genders - all those messy, complicated, beautiful things that make our bodies what they are and that ultimately make bodies attractive. I mean particularities such as skin color, size, gender presentation/gender incongruity, body language, and lots more. By saying stuff like “love the person, not their body”, we are bypassing huge - enormous - issues to do with body privilege and hierarchy. So instead of tearing it down, we end up keeping it in place.
Also - for more reading about this, and the antidote, see Lisa Millbank’s post: Significant Othering: Attraction Down The Privilege Gradient.
Queer pride cane :D
From top to bottom: Bisexual flag, pansexual flag, genderqueer flag, gay flag, trans flag, bi flag. Fringes in black and purple, and black and pink symbolize anarchafeminism and queer anarchism (respectively).
The cat in the picture is Johnny, who is blind. Yay for queer disability ^_^
[Top image depicts a black cane fitted with a crochet “cozy” alternating between a black background and all the flags described above. Bottom image shows a ginger cat examining whether the cane is edible.]
- Sexual privilege (as opposed to people on the asexual spectrum)
- Romantic privilege (as opposed to aromantic folks)
- Vanilla privilege (as opposed to those who practice BDSM)
- Monosexual privilege (as opposed to bi/pansexuals)
- Human privilege (as opposed to otherkin)
There are probably more, but these are the ones I’ve heard about. What are listed above are more like social advantages, not privileges whereby people who don’t have them are oppressed. Some “privileges” are way too steeped in intersections of sexism, racism, and heterosexism to actually be considered privileges, some are just examples of living on the margins of society, and some are just ridiculous and have no place in the reality of what a privilege is and its place in oppression. If a “privilege” seems sketchy, it probably is.
Here’s a little something for reconsideration on monosexism. Original post here.
The Bisexual Invisibility Report
Published in March 2011, the Bisexual Invisibility report (perhaps more aptly called “the bisexual erasure report” or the “monosexism report”*) is the first report about bisexuality to have been released by a government body in the US. Without a doubt, this is one of the most important texts to have ever been published about bisexuals. Its importance cannot be overstated, as this is one of the only published texts today addressing the material results of monosexism and biphobia on the lives of bisexual people. And just as this report is important, the content thereof is both saddening and infuriating. I’ve gathered a few of the report’s findings, in hopes to shed light on these material effects. In this, I seek to further stress my argument that monosexism is a widespread oppressive system influencing bisexual people in many walks of life.
* I generally oppose the form “bisexual invisibility”, as I believe that “invisibility” is not a trait inherent to bisexuality, but is rather actively socially constructed by bisexual erasure.
Some facts about bisexual health:
- Bisexual people experience greater health disparities than the broader population, including a greater likelihood of suffering from depression and other mood or anxiety disorders.
- Bisexuals report higher rates of hypertension, poor or fair physical health, smoking, and risky drinking than heterosexuals or lesbians/gays.
- Many, if not most, bisexual people don’t come out to their healthcare providers. This means they are getting incomplete information (for example, about safer sex practices).
- Most HIV and STI prevention programs don’t […] address the [specific] health needs of bisexuals, much less those [who have sex with people of more than one gender] but do not identify as bisexual.
- Bisexual women in relationships with monosexual partners have an increased rate of domestic violence compared to women in other demographic categories.
The report states a wide-scale research performed between the years 2003-2007 in which the researchers looked at health disparities between lesbians and bisexual women, and found that:
- Bisexual women showed significantly higher rates of poor general health and frequent mental distress, even after controlling for confounding variables.
- Bisexual women were more likely to be current smokers and acute drinkers.
Some facts about bisexual mental health:
The researchers in the above survey also compared between the frequency of mental distress for lesbians and bisexual women in urban and nonurban environments. They’ve found that whereas “[i]n nonurban areas, lesbians and bisexual women experience similar levels of frequent mental distress, the odds of frequent mental distress decrease significantly for lesbians in urban areas, while [becoming] nearly double for bisexual women” (emphasis in original). The researchers theorize that the reason for this is that gay and lesbian communities are more well-organized in urban areas, contributing to the isolation of bisexual people who experience rejection while seeking support, once outside of their home communities.
Another disturbing fact is that bisexuals are far likelier to feel suicidal than heterosexuals, gays and lesbians. One Canadian research found that whereas 9.6% of straight women and 29.5% of lesbian women reported feeling suicidal, suicidality among bisexual women was found to be as high as 45.4%. As for men, whereas 7.4% of straights and 25.2% of gays reported suicidality, bisexuals who reported suicidality made up 34.8% of the respondents. (Unfortunately, this research does not differentiate between cisgender and transgender people, and leaves out people of non-binary genders).
Another research, this time in Britain, found that young and middle-aged bisexual adults reported poorer mental health than any other sexual orientation group examined. The researchers even go as far as saying that “[p]revious studies may have overstated the risk of mental health problems for homosexuals by grouping them together with bisexuals.”
Some facts about bisexual poverty and economic oppression:
The wide-scale health research which I mentioned above also found some disturbing information about bisexual poverty:
- Bisexual women had significantly lower levels of education, were more likely to be living with income below 200% of the federal poverty level, and had more children living in the household.
- Bisexual women were significantly less likely to have health insurance coverage and more likely to experience financial barriers to receiving healthcare services.
Another research, this time in California found that “while gay men earned 2-3% less than straight men and lesbians 2.7% less, bisexual men earned 10-15% less and bisexual women nearly 11% less.”
A 2009 study about poverty analyzed data from three surveys, and found that “bisexual women are more than twice as likely as lesbians to live in poverty (17.7% compared to 7.8%), and bisexual men are over 50% more likely to live in poverty than gay men (9.7% compared to 6.2%)” (emphasis in original).
Another form of economic oppression which the report identifies is lack of funding: in years 2008 and 2009, out of over 200 million dollars given by US foundations to LGBT organizations as grants, not a single dollar in all the country went towards funding bisexual-specific organizations or projects. This “LGBT” money did not “trickle down” to bisexuals, either: a survey conducted by the editors of the report, found that most LGBT organizations in San Francisco (who were willing to reply to a survey about bisexuality) do not offer content that is targeted specifically towards bisexuals. This is added by another finding: that whereas bisexual people make up the single largest group among LGBT’s, “only 3-20% of the people accessing LGBT-focused services are bisexual.”
When looking at this information, it becomes clear beyond doubt that deep, severe and wide-scale oppression of bisexuals exists. A huge part of this oppression, of course, is enabled as result of bisexual erasure and of monosexism – the social presumption that we all are or should be monosexual. This information sheds light on the social punishment system working on people who disobey society’s monosexual rule. Bisexual erasure contributes to this oppression since bisexuality is not acknowledged as a sexual identity, bisexuals are not acknowledged as a group, and meaning that uniquely bisexual issues likewise undergo erasure. The information in this report points both to the lack (not to mention disprivilege) and to the great need of addressing and acting on/against issues specifically related to bisexuals, biphobia and monosexism.
Pansexuality= attraction to all sexes and/or genders, and/or attraction is “gender-blind”
Bisexuality= attraction to more than one gender, and/or attraction to genders that are similar to oneself and dissimilar from oneself
Yes, Pansexuality is a legitimate sexual identity.
Yes, Bisexuality is a legitimate sexual identity.
But PLEASE stop defining bisexuality as being only attracted to men and women, only cis men and cis women, only two sexes, only two genders, etc.
You do not need to define bisexuality inaccurately to prove that pansexuality is a legitimate sexual identity.
THIS. FREAKING THIS. YES.
Always irked by the use of the phrase “gender-blind” but I can get on board with this.
I hate “genderblind” too but yeah.
Is There Asexual Romance?
The wonderful Gaia talks about being asexual, panromantic and polyamorous.