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
korinna 13th-Jun-2012 07:17 pm (UTC)
Umm... all of it? You are having a knee jerk reaction to a lesbian pointing out that men are the enemy re: another user saying "men are not the enemy, misogyny is." Men are the enemy. That's all she said. You're reading into it.

Edited at 2012-06-13 07:18 pm (UTC)
spiffynamehere 13th-Jun-2012 07:20 pm (UTC)
Misogyny IS the enemy. Men started it, men perpetrate it, men benefit from it, but men are not the enemy point-blank, and it is not helpful at all to act like they are.
korinna 13th-Jun-2012 07:27 pm (UTC)
Why are men - who perpetuate sexism - not the enemy point-blank? Would you argue this re: other oppressed groups, or is this just true when it comes to sexism?
spiffynamehere 13th-Jun-2012 07:31 pm (UTC)
I would, actually. If you magically removed men from the world, then there would still be misogyny, because there would still be all the women who were taught it and internalized it and will likely pass it on. Think of it as a disease. You don't attack a disease by shooting everyone who has it. You attack it by cures, inoculations, and generally targeting the disease itself. Claiming men are the sole enemy and everything you should focus on is not going to make misogyny go away.
rex_dart 13th-Jun-2012 07:37 pm (UTC)
Misogyny is not equivalent to a virus. Misogyny is equivalent to a gun. Please revise your comparison.
spiffynamehere 13th-Jun-2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
This comment says it much better than I did.
rex_dart 14th-Jun-2012 04:59 am (UTC)
Not that much better.


Also that comment is pretty transphobic soooo there is that.
korinna 13th-Jun-2012 09:34 pm (UTC)
I feel like contemporary Internet feminism forgets that women are more likely to be killed by their husbands or male partners than they are by anyone else, or that rape and other forms of sexual violence are committed most often by men (whether the victim is a woman, a child, or another man). Men primarily traffic women and children, domestically and globally, so other men can obtain sex. Something like 90% of murder-suicides are committed by men. Men are the majority of stalkers. Even something like the online harassment of women and girls is dominated by men. All of this happens because many men consider women and girls subhuman, and because even more of them consider us just extensions of themselves -- human, maybe, but still possessions. They know what they do is wrong and they do not care. Targeting men for their crimes does help -- and focusing on them specifically, and creating resources for women who have been exploited by men in various ways, will have (and does have) a material effect that's much greater than the effect of impotently bemoaning a faceless version of misogyny.

Women who sleep with men - and I'm among them - shouldn't think it's terrible or wrong to consider men our enemies, because... hey, as a group? They are. It sucks that it's the case, but in and of itself, the "claim" that men are the enemy does not pass judgment on women who are straight or bisexual. Really.
softxasxsilence 13th-Jun-2012 09:38 pm (UTC)
i love this comment
moonbrightnites 13th-Jun-2012 10:19 pm (UTC)
Yes, this.
mycenaes 14th-Jun-2012 12:02 am (UTC)
oh god, ilu so much for this comment, seriously
effervescent 14th-Jun-2012 04:38 am (UTC)
This is an awesome comment. Thank you.
noodledays 14th-Jun-2012 05:30 pm (UTC)
just wanting to add to the chorus of love and respect for this comment.
nekokonneko 15th-Jun-2012 01:55 am (UTC)
Late but this is an excellent comment.
andmydog 14th-Jun-2012 04:25 am (UTC)
This is a good comment, regardless of what others are telling you, and a good analogy.
roseofjuly 14th-Jun-2012 05:19 am (UTC)
Actually it's not because

1) Shooting everyone with a disease WOULD help in many cases and more importantly
2) Nobody was suggesting shooting all of the men, so to speak. Identifying them as the cause and root of misogyny is not the same thing as wanting to throw them all off the bridge.
andmydog 14th-Jun-2012 04:32 pm (UTC)
Your comment makes no kind of sense.

If you're arguing that ideas can't be compared to viruses then you're wrong. They have frequently been compared to such, and it's a solid analogy.

If you're arguing that misogyny as a concept is better compared to an aimed weapon than to an infectious disease that some people don't even realize they have, then you're wrong there to. Misogyny is not a weapon that men use against women. It is a sickness.

If you were trying to argue a third point, then please state it again in different language because your previous comment was unparseable.
moonshaz 14th-Jun-2012 07:23 pm (UTC)
roseofjuly 14th-Jun-2012 08:59 pm (UTC)
I'm not sure what's so hard to understand about "saying someone has a problem is not the same thing as saying we need to eliminate the person with that problem." Perhaps the issue was not with my language, but with your reading comprehension?

If you're arguing that ideas can't be compared to viruses then you're wrong.

I don't see where I said or even implied that in my comment.

Misogyny is not a weapon that men use against women.

This is where we disagree. I do not buy into the notion that men are just dopes, helpless victims who have unfortunately been infected with some virus that spreads from person to person through no concerted action of their own. Viruses are typically spread without any help from the infected person, inadvertently, through mere contact. When they kill people, it's not intentional on the part of the person who infected person B.

That's not how misogyny works.

Misogyny is purposely inculcated and passed from men to boys, and into girls, generation upon generation. It doesn't just "happen," it was a system of beliefs and behaviors that were CREATED by men to maintain their institutional power. In order to continue to maintain that institutional power, they need to tend to and maintain misogyny. Misogyny does not innocently creep up on powerful, poor unsuspecting men like a virus. It is something that is willfully maintained and wielded to oppress and keep women in their place. Like a weapon.

I also do not buy into the notion that men do not realize that they "have" misogyny. On the contrary, they deploy it as a tool. Look at the most recent post about a woman who wanted to do a documentary on misogyny in video games and the vitriolic response she got from men who play games. The point is, men created misogyny and maintain it to suit their purposes of remaining in institutional power. If it's a virus, then it's a biological weapon. If we believe that mean don't realize that they "have" misogyny and that all they need is a little education, that does two things. One, it excuses the inexcusable behavior of men - like the recent senator who talked about throwing acid into the faces of women he disagreed with - as pure ignorance, which is stupid IMO. He knew exactly what he was doing, as do men who talk about Hillary Clinton's pantsuits or comment on how hot Sarah Palin's legs are.

And two, it puts the burden on women to "educate" them in order to remove the misogyny, when it is MEN'S responsibility to eliminate misogyny in the world.

SO yes, I do think that misogyny is more analogous to a wielded weapon that men use to maintain power than it is to a virus that creeps up on poor unsuspecting men. Because that assumes that men only inadvertently perpetuate misogyny when my experiences have shown that not to be true.

Although it's a nice delusion, to believe that if only they just "realized" they were hurting us, they would stop.

Edited at 2012-06-14 09:00 pm (UTC)
closetospring 13th-Jun-2012 10:01 pm (UTC)
this is ridiculous. misogyny is absolutely harmful, but it does not exist by itself. who it's used by matters greatly. if someone buys a gun and shoots me with a gun, the gun is not my enemy. the person who chose to buy it and harm me with it is.
spiffynamehere 13th-Jun-2012 07:24 pm (UTC)
P.S. The point of reading is reading into the text.

And gee, I can't think why, as a bisexual woman. I would be emotionally distraught about people telling me my sexuality is politically-based and 'oh well, have fun sleeping with the enemy'. Or pissed off because a post about people twisting bisexuality around into weapons against women of pretty much all sexualities by fetishizing and politicizing it. It's a MYSTERY.
korinna 13th-Jun-2012 07:28 pm (UTC)
Yes, and people can read things wrongly... which you did.

I'm also bisexual and I don't really care about your sob story. Go play some video games with your boyfriend.
queenbathory 14th-Jun-2012 01:54 am (UTC)
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