Thoughts about the goal of the bisexual movement

(Written in a discussion on the Bi Tumblr group on facebook. I wanted to post it here because people might find it helpful).

I think acceptance and tolerance are important, and I also support the idea of addressing material oppression of bis. However, I also differ somewhat in my views, since I like thinking about bisexual politics in the most expanse way that I can.

When asked, I always define the goal of the bi movement (that I want/promote) on three levels:

The first level is the one you all addressed here (from a different perspective, though) – liberation of bi people (I use “bi” here as an umbrella term). By this I don’t mean acceptance and tolerance – these terms imply that we are asking to be accepted and tolerated (presumably by straight people), which is problematic because it seems to be deferring to an existing power rather than challenging it. So when I say “liberation of bi people”, I mean attacking all of the structures that help maintain the oppression of bis – challenging and tearing down monosexism as part of a struggle to free ourselves of biphobic/monosexist oppression.

The second level is tearing down hierarchical binaries of sex, gender and sexuality – which is a full-on onslaught on the entire system that constructs human desire as it’s currently perceived. So, this means attacking heteronormativity, heterosexism, sexism and homonormativity. Subverting the binaries of male/female, man/woman and heterosexual/homosexual – because these binaries are the ones responsible for all gender and sexuality-related oppression.

The third level is the tearing down of *all* oppressive binaries – anything from race, age, class, ability, and any other axis you can think of. It’s also interesting to look at how each of these types of oppressive binaries intersects with bisexuality, and how we can use bisexuality in order to offer a unique point of view, challenge or deconstruction.

These three levels to me are related to bisexuality because bisexuality is *about* subverting and destroying binaries. And it means for me that bisexuality can be used as a revolutionary identity and as a tool in fucking up social order and making a world that is truly ours, rather than trying to fit in the existing mold. Basically, this is what my book is all about.

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4 thoughts on “Thoughts about the goal of the bisexual movement

  1. “By this I don’t mean acceptance and tolerance – these terms imply that we are asking to be accepted and tolerated (presumably by straight people), which is problematic because it seems to be deferring to an existing power rather than challenging it.”

    i agree. it would be enough for me just to have a place where i could go and be with other bisexual/pansexual/polysexual people. i hate going to LGBT events and hearing everyone talk about the “gay community,” and i also hate getting hit on by old married men in the “straight” community… i wanna say “you’re the one who chose to assimilate; you deal with the commitment you made.”

    • You are most definitely not subverting things by being bisexual. If being bisexual, in and of itself, was subversive, then we would already have been in utopia, because a lot of people are bi. In order to subvert the system, we need to consciously and actively work against it – as in activism. In thinking about the goals of the bisexual movement, I don’t mean that they would magically appear if we simply wish them in our hearts. I mean that these are goals that we need to keep in mind while we go out and do shit.

      I’m stressing this because there is a definite strand of thought in bi communities saying that just by being bisexual, we are already “doing something”. While that’s a lovely thought, I think we need a lot more in order to achieve the goals we set for ourselves. Identifying a certain way does not generally lead to revolutions.

      P.S.
      Your comment about liking “cock and pussy” is kind of cissexist, and more than a little objectifying. Reducing people to their genitals is not cool. Please check yourself.

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