Blogger joannadeadwinter is doing a series of intelligent, comprehensive, and intriguing posts on the topic of bisexuality and I highly recommend reading them.
She asked me to participate in the conversation by doing a guest post, so what is posted below is originally published at her blog here.
I also wanted to say that I know that my views of many things are controversial, but please understand that I am always very open to civil discussion and to consideration of other well-thought-out views.
So: if you disagree with me, I challenge you to convince me otherwise.
If you think I am wrong about bisexuality (or anything else), please tell me why. Give me examples, facts, theories, experiences, feelings, data, research…something…anything but the likes of “you’re wrong and you’re ridiculous”.
Because, as feminists, we need to challenge ourselves and others to discuss (and even vehemently disagree) about a topic without denigrating and/or simply dismissing the other person’s viewpoint. We should strive to understand the other person’s point of view…that is, as long as the person is at least attempting to present views civilly and coherently. If we have information or thoughts that may contribute to a discussion, we should be able to speak up without fear of being ridiculed and/or dismissed publicly.
And I wanted to give everyone another friendly reminder that if you have a problem with Dirt, please discuss it with Dirt.
So, without further delay, here is the post:
But: reading joannadeadwinter’s first 2 posts regarding her theory of bisexuality has been very interesting and informative. Plus, I am always willing to take a closer look at my views and having a back-and-forth discussion is a good way to look at all angles of a topic.
So this first guest post will address what I have always believed so far, and why I have come to these conclusions.
My view on bisexuality has always been the same: I have never believed true bisexuality really exists.
I know that probably sounds harsh, but I truly don’t mean it that way. I am not denying anybody’s rights to do whatever they please as long as it’s legal, and I am not encouraging discrimination of any sort; rather, I am stating my opinion on the matter based on my observations.
So please hang in there and allow me to explain my views. (Please note that I am talking about females because I don’t know any males who say they are bisexual, and male sexuality does not interest me enough to research it).
Okay, so, here goes:
I have been out as a lesbian and involved in the lesbian community for many years now, and I know many lesbians and know of many more. But I have never in all these years…I repeat, NEVER…met or heard of a woman who claimed to be bisexual who wasn’t really a straight woman.
The few I knew of in my teens and 20’s were all adventurous, curious, and exciting women who then married men and become soccer moms before the age of 30. The ones who I have known of who claimed to be bisexual later in life have been straight women who are sick of men and are thinking the grass was greener on the other side; and once they had a fling with a woman, they returned to men…where they stayed.
Of course, I won’t name any names since they are private citizens who are entitled to their privacy, but I have kept up with them through the grapevine as a sort of informal research into the topic. And they are ALL still with men now.
Granted, even though I have been out for years and know a lot of people in the lesbian community, I admit that my sample size is limited and can’t possibly encompass every single instance.
But: even the most well-known celebrities who have claimed to be bisexual have ended up with men: Amber Heard, Drew Barrymore, Angelina Jolie, Lindsay Lohan…just to name a few. (And this doesn’t even count the numerous Straightbians like Anne Heche who have called themselves lesbian but are really straight, but that is another topic).
In regards to the often-asked question as to why would anyone say they are bisexual when they are really straight: there could be many reasons, including but not limited to: curiosity, adventurousness, rebelliousness, wanting to be different/cool, wanting attention, feeling close to female friends and mistaking that closeness for romantic feelings, performance for men, confusion about feelings, trauma, etc.
The main argument against my theory that these are really straight women usually is: “Well, if someone is bisexual, then there’s a 50/50 chance she will end up with a man, right?” Well, not even addressing all the ways that this question itself is faulty, the main question when faced with that argument is: Then why do they ALWAYS seems to end up with men? If it were truly a coin-toss situation, wouldn’t approximately half of them end up with women? But, no, that doesn’t happen, at least not that I have observed.
The other argument that people bring up against my theory is that it is simply easier and more socially acceptable for a woman to partner with a man, thereby explaining why most/all end up with men. Although I agree that a stigma to have a same-sex partner remains, I don’t think this simplistic explanation is the reason that most/all end up with men. Plus, if a woman is bold enough to publicly declare that she is bisexual, I think she is unlikely to be the cautious, do-what-society-expects-of-me type anyway.
So while I realize that bisexual behavior obviously can and does exist, I still question: is bisexuality an actual orientation? One thing that has always struck me as impossible is being equally attracted to both sexes; because the differences between men and women are so significant that I cannot imagine someone being equally attracted to both. joannadeadwinter makes the point that there is a leaning toward one or the other, which certainly makes much more sense than the 50/50 theory.
Whatever the case, I think that the term bisexual is misused and overused.
Just yesterday, I was reminded of this when I was getting my hair cut. A woman who appeared to be in her mid-late 50’s (and was very upper-middle-class, conservative looking, and Martha Stewart-ish) was seated next to me while getting her hair done, so I could clearly hear the conversation that this woman and her stylist were having. They were talking about how they are different now than when they were in their 20’s, and this woman suddenly stated, “Oh, when I was in my 20’s, I was a crazy bisexual bitch!” Needless to say, that statement got my attention, so I continued to listen. She went on to explain that her boyfriend at the time had wanted to have a threesome, so they picked up another woman at a bar and even had a three-way relationship with her for a brief time. It didn’t end well, unsurprisingly. The woman went on to say that soon afterwards, she met and married the man who still is her husband and she “turned into a Republican”. I didn’t interject my thoughts, but you can imagine what they were: This woman was never a bisexual (or lesbian) at all. She engaged in a threesome to please her man. Period. She was, and still is, straight, but this example illustrates how the term bisexual is misused and overused, which undoubtedly leads to some of the stigma and confusion associated with the term.
I will close this post by saying that I still have my opinions about this topic (obviously, LOL!), but I am always very open to further thought and discussion, and thanks to joannadeadwinter for suggesting this conversation!