ONTD Political

Where's the Politics in Sex?

3:27 pm - 06/13/2012

What makes some of us uncomfortable with bisexual women? It is because we think they're either lesbians having straight sex or straight women testing out their fantasies on us before returning to men?

In today's post-modern, queer-focused world, bisexuality is being promoted to lesbians as the latest fashionable trend. This has resulted in lesbian politics, namely feminism, being passed over for sexual hedonism, where the only thing that matters is sexual pleasure and desire. Similarly, bisexuality is sold to heterosexual women as some type of recreational activity far from their "natural home" of straight sex. It is seen as "temporary lesbianism."


It is more à la mode to have sex with a man if you are a lesbian than if you're a straight woman, who is merely doing what she is expected to do "naturally." Lesbians having heterosexual sex are seen as transgressive, when in fact they are simply reverting to a traditional way of being a woman. For a straight woman, having a girlfriend on the side is almost like having the latest Prada handbag.

Camille Paglia, the most famous "anti-lesbian lesbian," has written reams about how she worships the penis and cannot understand those of us who do not. In fact Paglia, like many lesbian tourists who sleep with women on the weekend and go back to hubby on Monday morning, thinks lesbian sex needs to be "spiced up" by the odd "het" shag:

Women, I think, are naturally bisexual. You know I'm not telling lesbians to stop sleeping only with women, but to leave open a part of the brain toward men and accept male lust and find men extremely attractive and get horny in relation to men and ogle their bodies and do something with them, then sex with women will be hotter.

Has Paglia internalized so much anti-lesbian oppression that she, too, thinks that all lesbians need is a good bit of heterosexual-style shagging?

But many lesbians, and even bisexual women themselves, mistrust the concept of swinging both ways. One U.S. study of bisexuality, which draws on interviews with 400 self-identified lesbians and bisexual women, found that a substantial number of bisexuals prefer to hang out with lesbians instead of other bisexual women in social situations, and have greater political trust in lesbians than they do in other bisexual women. It was also found that "[s]ome bisexual women actually doubt whether bisexual women exist at all."

Whatever our views and politics about lesbianism may be, we cannot deny that women face compulsory heterosexuality from birth. Despite huge progress since I came out in 1977, it is still not really acceptable to reject men and choose not to live under their guardianship, whether you are in Saudi Arabia or the U.K.

When I write about making a positive choice to be a lesbian, and that I believe there is no gay (or for that matter bisexual) "gene," I am accused of being an ideological robot and therefore not genuinely sexually attracted to women. That is nonsense. I personally feel that straight women are missing out on the best sex on the planet, but that is their choice.

If we put aside lesbian feminism, the way most people approach sexuality is that they think we are straight, gay, or attracted to both sexes. For bisexual women living under the tyranny of sexism, choosing to be lesbian is a liberatory act.

Those of us who grew up in a time and context where there was a political analysis of sexuality were able to make a positive choice to be a lesbian. I believed then, and I believe now, that if bisexual women had an ounce of sexual politics, they would stop sleeping with men.


Source: http://www.huffingtonpost.com/julie-bindel/where-is-the-politics-in-_b_1589435.html?utm_hp_ref=two
mycenaes 13th-Jun-2012 06:30 pm (UTC)
agreed with this comment.

I feel uncomfortable around men (like unsafe uncomfortable sometimes), but I'm still sexually attracted to them as well as being attracted to women, so I say I'm bisexual.

I would love to be able to have a conversation about how women are pretty much taught/trained by society to be always sexually available to men without people insisting that it's erasing bisexuality. This article doesn't seem to be the best (and I seem to recall Bindel being transphobic before--correct me if I'm wrong, though), but it's a start, I guess.
violetrose 13th-Jun-2012 06:38 pm (UTC)
Julie Bindell is very transphobic, and not the best person to post an article about this issue.

But I very much agree with you about women being socialised to be sexually available to men at all times, yet are often derided as being 'sl*ts' when they act on that availability (and of course, called 'frigid b*tches when they don't comply).
mycenaes 13th-Jun-2012 06:40 pm (UTC)
okay, that's what I thought, eugh.

And yep, the old double standard definitely comes into play here. Women cannot win, it seems.
mycenaes 13th-Jun-2012 06:44 pm (UTC)
I dunno how I feel about that argument, because I think in order to objectify someone, you yourself have to be in some sort of position of societal power. In a patriarchal society, women overall have less power than men, so they wouldn't really be in a position to be able to objectify other women.
mycenaes 13th-Jun-2012 07:19 pm (UTC)
I mean, it does to an extent, but any woman who bolsters patriarchal systems isn't at the same level of oppressiveness as a dude, y'know?
meran_flash 13th-Jun-2012 07:29 pm (UTC)
Speaking as a lesbian, I've long felt that I do not absorb objectified images of women the same way the more mainstream audiences those images are aimed at do. I've always felt the body comparisons and etc. rise to the surface more immediately than attraction or what have you.
mycenaes 13th-Jun-2012 07:39 pm (UTC)
yeah, I get the whole "body comparison" thing too with other women--it's always more persistent than the attraction, which is unfortunate and depressing.
rex_dart 13th-Jun-2012 07:42 pm (UTC)
Not glad I'm not the only one who feels this way, but it's good to know anyhow I guess.
meran_flash 13th-Jun-2012 07:47 pm (UTC)
And then it turns into "am I attracted to her or do I just wish I was that pretty" and let me tell you, that particular feel fucked me up pretty bad when I was coming to terms with my sexuality.
mycenaes 13th-Jun-2012 08:11 pm (UTC)
yep. :/
lizzy_someone 13th-Jun-2012 09:35 pm (UTC)
I'm sorry you went through that, though I can't pretend it's not a relief to hear I'm not the only one. It's pretty depressing when you're actually hoping you're just insecure and jealous instead of attracted to someone.
violetrose 13th-Jun-2012 09:59 pm (UTC)
I have the same problem, and my God, is it depressing and frustrating.
roseofjuly 14th-Jun-2012 05:33 am (UTC)
Jesus fuck, this is why it took me so long to realize I was queer. Also because people were encouraging me to believe that no, you just think she's really pretty, that's not attraction!
lady_borg 14th-Jun-2012 07:45 am (UTC)
I felt like this for a while but I think now that I have been bi for so long (or at least I realised a long time ago) I can tell the difference but it is hard to figure it out.
lil_insanity 15th-Jun-2012 12:44 am (UTC)
This is really a hard thing to deal with and sort out. I've been there, and I honestly can't say I have it 100% figured out yet.
mimblexwimble 13th-Jun-2012 08:05 pm (UTC)
But at the same time the male gaze is pervasive, and women learn to digest media and other materials through the same filter as a het man...

I don't know. I don't think I ever experienced images of objectified women in the manner that a het man would have. I never got it, even before I really thought about myself as asexual.
korinna 13th-Jun-2012 06:50 pm (UTC)
Yeah, agreed. Bindel is generally a terrible writer and writes transphobic articles. On the other hand, the "bisexuality erasure!!!!" and "hdu say that sleeping with men is bad" stuff people are responding with here is ridiculous, especially since so many of them don't seem to care about that whole Compulsory Heterosexuality thing all women face, or how queer communities tend to expect bisexuality in women but not in men. Also, acting as if a lesbian is being "oppressive" to bisexuals and straight women because she views men as the enemy and thinks women shouldn't sleep with them is sort of awful.
mycenaes 13th-Jun-2012 06:55 pm (UTC)
or how queer communities tend to expect bisexuality in women but not in men

ughhhhhhh this so much, yes. it's so irritating, even for someone who is actually bisexual, hah. like, my sexuality is not a party trick, you know?

also, I like your icon.
ebay313 13th-Jun-2012 10:41 pm (UTC)
I would love to have a conversation about how women are taught/trained by society to be always sexually available to men without treating bisexual women who sleep with/are still leaving open the possibility of in the future sleeping with men as the enemy and cause of this.
lil_insanity 15th-Jun-2012 12:45 am (UTC)
My thoughts exactly.

Discussion about women being trained by society to be sexually available to men =/= BISEXUAL WOMEN WHO SLEEP WITH MEN ARE TRAITORS TO OUR POLITICAL CAUSE, ffs
roseofjuly 14th-Jun-2012 05:32 am (UTC)
I think that the discussion could be a good one, but this article was not a good choice to start that discussion if that were truly the OP's intent.
nonnycat 14th-Jun-2012 08:45 am (UTC)
I agree re: that discussion. I think that would be awesome, because honestly, it's very relevant to how I felt when I first came out as bi/pan. I truthfully didn't think I would act on it because of all the pressure from family and society to be with a man.

I don't think that conversation can be had here with all the baggage this particular article comes with. I think that would be more appropriate to something like an info post or such, maybe?

(edited because GD enter key.)

Edited at 2012-06-14 08:46 am (UTC)
silver_sandals 17th-Jun-2012 09:05 pm (UTC)
Omg, your comment just made me realize that I'm in- not quite the same boat, but that I still -am- bisexual, it's just that my unwillingness to deal with straight guys' ignorance about their own privilege is a real attraction killer. All this time I'd thought I'd just chosen to be lesbian, huh. TOTALLY RANDOM AND OT, but uh, thanks.
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