SexPosFemme Journal

Monday, July 18, 2005

Composite and Typecast Bisexuality

"I'm sure a lot of bisexual do get turned on by (for instance) intelligence and assertiveness and big dark brown eyes, regarless of whether they find those qualities in women and men. But I'm beginning to smell the presence of a party line, and I don't like it. I see men and women as being pretty goddamn different" -Greta Christina.


I was starting to think I was the only one who noticed this. In a lot of bisexual work, speakers emphasize their relationships to people as 'composite wholes', where gender is a trivial afterthought, like love-handles. This stance threatens to put bisexuals in two distinct camps: composite bisexuals and typecast bisexuals. And it also doesn't bode well for bisexuals who lean towards either males or females in general. Despite what internalized biphobia would have us believe, bisexuality is nowhere near that poetic or artistic. Bisexuals would have to live on another planet to be fully blind to the existence of gender. For example, the average height for women is 5'5" and average height for men is 5'10". What bisexual can't tell that women are usually smaller people? I find it inconceivable that you could describe someone to me as 5'1", long-haired, curvy and I would have no concern that this particular person also happens to be a man.


Bisexuality in some ways is like interracial dating. Of the people who date both inside and outside their races, do we never notice a person's race, or conceive of people as colorness, composite souls? No. Sure there are women who like the all-American prepster in any color or cherish a "meeting of the minds" regardless of race. But these same women may prefer baldness on black men and not on white men. So we obviously see something. It's common sense that despite characterizations, big pictures will come into play, and that individuals are more multidimensional than our tastes will ever allow. But the only time interracial daters harp on race as a 100% non-issue is when they've had to deal with accusations of race as the sole issue. The underlying theme to every "We Are the World" singalong is clear: we promise we're not total jackasses. Straight, gay, bi, pan, what have you, a whole group of people aren't all either composite or type-cast thinkers. Gender for bis both doesn't matter and does matter. It's as simple and bifoward as that.

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