"Any woman who chooses to behave like a full human being should be warned that the armies of the status quo will treat her as something of a dirty joke. That's their natural and first weapon." ~ Gloria Steinem

Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Bisexual Links!

Big Gay Sketch Show’s [Bisexual] Nicol Paone: The Autostraddle Interview

The Bisexual Flag


Bi Magazine

New York Area Bisexual Network

EDIT: This is AWESOME. http://www.binetusa.org/

On Bisexuality and how it's A Real Thing

I identify as bisexual.

(I've encountered disagreement, usually on the part of heterosexual people, on whether you should base your sexual identity on desire or activity--as in, if you've only ever dated/slept with dudes, can you really be a lesbian? This is, naturally, rank horseshit, so consider it dismissed.)

I feel like there's a lot of confusion and misinformation out there about bisexuality; consider that one episode of Sex & the City where Carrie dates a bisexual man. She freaks out and says all kinds of bisexual-phobic things, including "I feel like bisexuality is just a layover on the way to Gaytown," then wraps up the episode justifying her complete lack of any attempt to understand bisexuality by chalking it up to "I'M OLD AND CAN'T BE BOTHERED TO CONSIDER NEW THINGS."

Of course, this is a viewpoint unique to neither Carrie Bradshaw nor heterosexual people. But it does burn me up that S&TC, a show regarded as progressive and ground-breaking in its open dealings with female sexuality, a show that treats male homosexuality like most people treat the preference between Coke or Pepsi (as in, something totally normal or whatever, but you're not, like, a freak if you like Coke and I like Pepsi), yet can't be arsed to give bisexuality any real treatment beyond "These people are weird, and deviant, and hard to understand, but it's more normal if you don't get it, because most people have and are entitled to their 'traditional' opinions", which is kind of the same response some shows have had to homosexuality. Note that the only major character who doesn't seem swayed by the idea of bisexuality is Samantha--of course, because Samantha is the Deviant One who doesn't want to get married and shocked everyone by dating a woman later on.

Come to think of it, that whole "Samantha is dating a woman" arc is along the same lines as the bisexuality one, and both are indicative of how the show dealt with girl-on-girl sexuality, which essentially was: it mostly doesn't exist, but when we're forced to confront it, we all agree that it's weird and unintelligible.

I'm sure all of these things I am talking about are nothing new to the girl-on-girl community; I'm just talking about them as background, I guess.

I identify as bisexual because if, in a strange hypothetical scenario, you randomly picked one person, lady or dude, from the population, the chance that I will be sexually attracted to that person is about the same, regardless of whether it is actually a lady or a dude. If you randomly picked one person, lady or dude, from the population, the chance that I will be romantically attracted to that person is significantly higher if it is a dude. I say this from past experience, however; the fact that I am more likely to form romantic attachments to dudes doesn't mean I'm any less bisexual; it could just mean that I have higher standards for ladies, or that I haven't been around enough ladies that fit those standards. I mean, if a straight dude had a hard time finding a straight lady he wanted to date, would he be any less straight?

So there's that. But think back to all that shit I talked about Carrie Bradshaw and her inability to come to terms with the bisexuality of others as a real thing. There's also the fact that many bisexual people feel marginalized by the gay community, like the B is just kind of thrown into LGBTQ as an afterthought, and everyone's just waiting around for them to go all the way to gay.

Maybe the whole "bicurious" lady thing has hurt the perception of bisexuality; I think a lot of the time this term is seen as used by younger women to mean they're curious about ladysexytimes, but they're not ready or willing to think about being gay yet. Or, they like the idea of straight men getting turned on by ladysexytimes. And maybe this happens sometimes, but isn't it possible that sometimes, some of the women who use this term are actually curious about being bi? And where are they supposed to go to deal with that?

I mean, if young lesbians have had it rough in the past, there are now plenty of places on the internets they can go for help. Where are the young bisexuals to go? I'm starting to feel like lesbian is a hard thing to be in this world, but bisexual might be harder these days, because not only can straight people not understand it, sometimes gay people can't.

So. I identify as bisexual because
  1. it describes me, and
  2. more people who are bisexual should say they are.
I'm not really interested in fleshing out whether I'm more straight or more gay, nor am I interested in inventing my own identity, nor am I interested in whether or not I'm pansexual (i mean, i could be, but i don't know if I know many non-gender-binary people, so how the fuck would i know), but maybe I am. Pansexuality actually seems to be more accepted, especially in the world of poly, but I'm going with bisexual for now, because it works.

And I don't feel the need to invent my own identity, because Jesus Christ, I know who I am, and I don't give two shits if you understand that I am a unique snowflake or not, because I already know I am, and your opinion on that matter means precisely nothing to me.

Also, yes, I am currently dating a cisman. I've actually gotten, recently, a few comments along the lines of, "How can you like girls, because you totally just said you had a boyfriend," but if this post doesn't clear that up, I'm not sure it's possible.

On Departures from Parental Values and Why I'm Going to Post this Post I'm Going to Post

So I'm going to post this thing about bisexuality. I'm kind of apprehensive about posting it. I mean, it's kind of feeling like I'm coming out or something, but anyone who knows me at all should probably have figured it out already, also should probably have noticed how little I care about things like "coming out" since I usually just drop the "Lady lips are fun to kiss" bomb in random conversations with very little fanfare.

Maybe it's because my mom has the ability to read this blog, although I'm not certain she knows it's here. Anyway, I'm not convinced she will be surprised at anything I throw at her these days, what with all the "I don't believe in God anymore" and "I am having sex with my boyfriend as evidenced by our discussion of my long-term form of birth control" and "I think gay people should be able to get married" and "I voted for Obama and Sarah Palin scares the shit out of me" and "I think socialized health care is a good idea and tax cuts for the rich is a terrible idea" shit I throw around these days.

I've never really sat my mom down in order to share these departures from her values and beliefs; I've treated her the way I've treated everyone in my life regarding these things: it's not a big deal to me, so I don't want to make it a big deal by making a production out of telling people stuff. It's more like a "this is who I am now; deal with it" kind of thing, rather than, "I believe all these things that are different from what I used to believe, and dealing with this new stuff is traumatic and has disrupted my life, hence I feel the need to ritually mark this in the way I let you know about it."

I mean, people who need to come out, more power to you. And people who need to ritually mark their departure from parental values, do it and be proud. It just ain't me.

So, making a whole formal post about bisexuality seems both oddly ritualistic and a bit after the fact. However, I have good reasons for doing it--which will be explained in the post, actually.

Tuesday, March 15, 2011

Monday, March 7, 2011

On Buying DVDs and Why You Should Watch More TV If You Like Movies

DVDs I Have Purchased Primarily Due To My Penchant For Watching Them Over And Over Again On TV:
  • The Shawshank Redemption
  • Pride and Prejudice
  • Definitely, Maybe
See, here's the thing: People who don't watch TV are seriously missing out on one of the best ways to discover great movies [remember, my definition of "great" is subjective]. I'm not necessarily speaking of only HBO movies, although I sure do love HBO's commercial-free goodness; no, I'm talking about how Oxygen and TNT and amc frequently run movies back-to-back--multiple days in a row, at that.

I'm talking about how I will begin watching Pride and Prejudice halfway through, then continue watching when it starts over again, intending to go do something productive once I reach my entry point in the film, but always end up watching the whole goddamn thing, which gives me a total of roughly 1.5-2 viewings in one sitting, depending on where I came in on the first showing. That, my friends, is a movie I should own [and do--now.].

So, you can buy DVDs based on your assumption that you'll like them, or based on their presence in the $5 bin at Walmart, and then you end up with rows and rows of DVDs that you may or may not watch regularly, and maybe you're proud of those rows and rows of DVDs and you enjoy their display in your living room, but I will bet you vast amounts of money that I made a better purchase.

So, my friends, watch movies on TV. It's closer to free than Netflix--if you have cable, that is. And if you have cable for CNN and ESPN and TLC and Discovery Channel, you should definitely be taking advantage of Oxygen, TNT, amc, TBS, USA, FX, and even channels like E!, because they have this "Movies We Love" thing, and G4, because they have this "Movies That Don't Suck" thing, and ABC Family, because while a lot of the time it's made-for-tv shit like Legally Blonde 3, the other day I caught an Adam Sandler marathon that was quite enjoyable. Also, if you've got 'em, Turner Classic Movies [always my favorite] and IFC, which is great for movies you've never heard of and probably wouldn't hear of otherwise--as in, any foreign or simply independent film that was made prior to 1990 and/or did not win an Oscar.

I have spoken. (All depart.)

You should also probably know that during December, I'm pretty much glued to ABC Family and the Hallmark channel, because they run cheesy Christmas movies round-the-clock, so, take my advice with a grain of salt--but don't forget that this little- well-known fact also means I know what I'm talking about.

I Would Like This Public Protest

Women with the following, or something like it, taped to their abdomens:


And, possibly, men with the following, or something like it, taped to their abdomens:


Too much?

Friday, March 4, 2011

SWTPTRC, part 2

Basic Definition Of Rape Culture: A culture in which ignoring and/or crossing the boundaries of others is implicitly understood to be normal, acceptable, and desired.

Venue: anywhere public dancing takes place, i.e. bars, clubs, music festivals
  1. Find the woman sitting/standing by herself. 
  2. Ask her why she isn't dancing, and regardless of her answer,
  3. attempt to convince her to dance.
Do not, under any circumstances, take no for an answer! It doesn't matter why she's not dancing; once she experiences your powers of persuasion, all previous excuses will be immediately revealed as the weak sauce they obviously are, and she'll be thanking you once she pulls the stick out of her ass.

Venue: anywhere
Upon being confronted with a female friend who, given the above circumstance, claims you would not be able to get her to dance,
  1. graciously concede that she would indeed be a tough nut to crack,
  2. remind her of your powers of persuasion, and
  3. remind her that she has not yet experienced them.
She clearly does not know herself as well as you know her. You could totally get her to dance.