Jessica Jones’ Kith is my new bisexual favorite

[Warning: minor spoilers for Jessica Jones season 3]

JJ-S3E3-Jeri-Kith

Despite bisexuality’s recent increase in media visibility, bisexual characters are still few and far in between, and looking for positive representations sometimes seems to be a fool’s quest. More often than not, we find bisexuality associated with traits society considers as negative, and used to convey less-than-favorable meanings.

In the rare cases bisexuality is not erased completely, it is most often used to convey characters’ duplicity, indecisiveness, moral ambiguity, and unstable nature. And though there’s much to love about bisexual villains or gray characters (who embody society’s anxiety of bisexuality’s subversive power), only rarely do we find them not just morally complex, but also humanized, not to mention carrying positive and liberatory meanings.

The character of Kith, featured in Jessica Jones’ third and final season, is one such character. Though she receives relatively little screen time, this bi woman of color character shines through as an embodiment of bifeminist values and the symbolic power of women’s bisexuality. Instead of undermining her character or narrative, Kith’s bisexuality underlines her characterization as an intelligent, independent, and resilient woman. Her strength is conveyed through bisexuality.

Continue reading “Jessica Jones’ Kith is my new bisexual favorite”

Advertisements

Guest post: Iranian LGBT Movement Without the B

by Zeynab Alsadat Peyghambarzadeh (originally published here)

Zeynab Alsadat Peyghambarzadeh started her voluntary activities in the field of gender and sexuality in 2003. She also worked as a researcher, social activist, and journalist. In 2011, Peyghambarzadeh relocated to Sweden and continued her activities. She is one of the co-founders of the Persian website “Dojensgara” (which means bisexual in Persian). Peyghambarzadeh holds a bachelor’s degree in sociology from Tehran University, and a master’s degree in gender studies from the Lund University in Sweden.

Credit: http://dojensgara.com [Image: a rainbow-colored infinity sign, superimposed with a bisexual flag with a bisexual infinity symbol in the middle of it, and writing in Persian in white.]
Credit: dojensgara.com
[Image: a rainbow-colored infinity sign, superimposed with a bisexual flag with a bisexual infinity symbol in the middle of it, and writing in Persian in white.]
Bisexuality has received minimal attention from the Persian media and journals on LGBT human rights in recent years. Iranian bisexuals have no voice of their own and have been judged based on homosexuals’ stereotypes. This paper aims to present and examine these stereotypes and judgmental thoughts about Iranian bisexuals and also the critical reactions that bisexuals and even a group of homosexuals have had to these stereotypes.

Continue reading “Guest post: Iranian LGBT Movement Without the B”

How to be an ally to your straight friends [satire]

This is a translation of a post in Hebrew, written by my friend/lover Dan Veg (who can be found and followed on tumblr: anarchapansexual).

This post on Tumblr.

The ever increasing trend of oppression against straight people in LGBT and queer communities has been worrying any person with a fragment of a conscious left unharmed by extreme heterophobic propaganda. It’s time for us to stop it! It’s time that we learn how to stop insulting straight people, how not to question their heterosexuality, how to learn to love their privileges (Because hating is bad! And it gives you ulcers!), and in short: how to be their allies.

image
Credit: superqueerartsyblog.tumblr.com
  1. Continue reading “How to be an ally to your straight friends [satire]”

15 movies with bi characters or themes

In bisexual communities, we often talk about the lack of bisexual representations in books, TV and movies. While there’s much to say about bisexual erasure from culture and the media, I think there’s also a lot of value to reading texts bisexually – finding a glimpse or an aspect to embrace, a loose thread that we can pull and unwind, and perhaps creating our own yarn, our own story. Maybe the characters and the stories we read were not intended to be bisexual, perhaps they were but were represented negatively, perhaps bisexuality isn’t even a part of the plot but can still be detected underneath, in the subtext.

Whichever way we look at it, finding these texts and thinking about them can be amazingly helpful for us. We can choose to see our own reflections there, and see that we are not truly isolated or eradicated (as so many of us feel). We can feel validated, we can see that we exist, and we can use these stories and characters to say things about ourselves – to reclaim our erased existence, to critique representations, and to create yet another way to speak about our experiences using our own words.

Between the years 2008-2011 I ran a bisexual film club by the name of B-Movies. Each meeting we showed a film with a bisexual theme, or a character that could be read as bisexual. Before the movie, we would have a 20-minute lecture attempting to expose the bisexual story, to put a bisexual lens to the text.

Here is a list of some of the movies we showed in the club (in no particular order). I hope they could be a useful resource for anyone looking for movies with bisexual themes, or that allow bisexual readings. Click the images for IMDB.

IMPORTANT: Please be aware that most of these movies are politically problematic in some ways, and that some might contain triggering content. Please read the IMDB information before watching, and make sure you only watch triggering content if you feel you are able to handle it, and in a time and place where you feel safe.

Shortbus // John Cameron Mitchell // 2006

shortbus_ver3_xlg Continue reading “15 movies with bi characters or themes”

A brief history of the term “monosexuality”

(I’ve been asked this elsewhere and thought others might find it helpful.)

This post on tumblr

The modern use of the word “monosexual” was invented along with “bisexual” by European scientists in the late 19th century and early 20th century. Back then, “bisexual” meant having a combination of male and female anatomical features, or a lack of sexual differentiation between male and female anatomy. “Monosexual” meant clear differentiation between male and female anatomical traits. Later, when bisexuality came to mean “having masculine and feminine psychological traits” (which is how Freud used it), “monosexuality” meant having the psychological traits of one “sex”. Under that framework, bisexuality also came to be understood as a form of attraction: it was presumed that people who had the anatomical sexual traits of “both sexes” also had “male and female” psychological traits, which meant that they also were attracted to “both sexes”. It was assumed that their “male side” desired females, while their “female side” desired males. Under this definition, “monosexual” meant someone with clear anatomical and psychological “male” or “female” traits, who is attracted to one “sex”. Note that they didn’t at all differentiate between sex, gender and sexuality. These were all considered as one and the same.They also used gender-binary language. Continue reading “A brief history of the term “monosexuality””