Biphobic Bingo

This follows from anti-choice bingo part one and part two. There’s been plenty of homophobic bingo cards, but none I’ve seen that specifically address the prejudice faced by bisexuals.

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23 Comments

  1. Lilith Luffles
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 9:40 am | Permalink

    When I told my fiancee’s cousin I was bi, he decided it would be okay to ask “so if you’re buy, does that mean Richard gets a threesome? I know he’d like that.”
    Of course, my fiancee replied with “no, not really.” Not that there’s anything wrong with threesomes. They are just not for me.

  2. Lilith Luffles
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 9:41 am | Permalink

    That’s “bi” not “buy.” It’s too early to be gettin up for class…

  3. qtiger
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 10:02 am | Permalink

    I love you.

  4. Sada
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 11:04 am | Permalink

    I’ve had a lot of these said to me or about me since I started identifying as bi in junior high. I’m currently dating a man (I’m female) and people still ask me if it makes him uncomfortable or if he’s worried I’ll run off with a girl. I’ve never understood this line of questioning because trust is the same in any kind of committed relationship, gay, straight or bi.
    I’ve also had people say “bisexuals don’t exist, you just can’t make up your mind.” My gay friends are the worst in this arena.

  5. TeenMommy
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 11:51 am | Permalink

    I absolutely adore this.

  6. Marj
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 2:21 pm | Permalink

    “If you’ve only dated one gender, how do you know you’re bi?”
    This is a question that haunts me a little, because I wonder that about myself sometimes. Not that it matters now–since I’ve been married I’ve lost attraction to any guys and girls who aren’t my husband. But I still kind of wish I’d experimented a little when I’d had the chance.

  7. Comrade Kevin
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 3:16 pm | Permalink

    For the longest time, I used to date only other bisexuals to avoid having to deal with these sorts of statements. I tried dating men, but my lack of trust kind of doomed any chance I might have had. I could, I guess, be angry, but sometimes one just has to accept one’s fate in life.

  8. Kirstin
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 9:35 pm | Permalink

    Unfortunately, I’ve encountered the “you just can’t make up your mind” mentality from both my straight and openly gay friends. I find it interesting that this argument implies conscious choice in sexuality–which is exactly what the gay and lesbian community is fighting against.
    It’s a hurtful thing to say because
    1) it implies that the “choice” one is making is somehow “less than” compared to people of the hetero- or homosexual variety, like there are only two “good” categories and the bisexual community is just a bunch of misguided airheads who’ll come around soon enough, and
    2) it just sounds pretentious–like one of those “we know what’s best for you” attitudes. Again, it’s rather divisive, and contradicts what supporters of gay civil rights have been saying for some time.
    But the card made me smile. =) I thank you for the laughs.

  9. Toni
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 9:45 pm | Permalink

    I remember hearing that “bisexuals are collabrating with homophobes to undermine the gay rights movement.” But I guess that can go under “you’re a traitor to the gay community.”
    I’m surprised there’s no selfish thing here. That one simply doesn’t make sense.

  10. Itsy
    Posted September 3, 2009 at 9:46 pm | Permalink

    Can someone please give resources to understanding the sexuality of bisexual men? Because honestly the one study I’ve read about the topic seemed to indicate that men really have a dominant attraction to one sex or another… and I honestly would like to be better educated if that’s earned itself a myth square.

  11. Audentia
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 12:24 am | Permalink

    Scientific American Mind has published a couple of articles on this in the past, although none of them seem to be available for free on their website anymore. But the general gist of bisexuality is this:
    Sexual orientation exists on a spectrum for both men and women. Some people are purely attracted to people of the “opposite” sex; others are purely attracted to members of their own sex. Still others are scattered in the middle. Societal pressure tends to push people who are in the middle towards the heterosexual end of the spectrum–both in terms of their activities, and in how they are able/are willing to see themselves. Thus, people who consider themselves not-heterosexual are *often* the people who fall very close to that end of the spectrum. Essentially, because homophobia tends to be directed more at men than at women, men tend to be more conditioned to block out homosexual feelings without being aware they are doing it. Thus, the (unconscious) creation of heterosexuality out of natural bisexuality.
    If we continue to fight homophobia and increase the acceptance of non-heterosexuality, I bet we will see a *lot* more men openly identify as bisexual.

  12. TD
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 11:33 am | Permalink

    This seems to be largely hypothesis which seeks to explain away contradicting evidence.
    It is not simply that men do not identify as bisexual in the same numbers as women, but men are far less likely to show a biological response that might indicate the potential for bisexuality. One study I recalled consisted of an experiment where they measured erections of the volunteers while they looked at various images, and similarly found that men were likely only to be turned on by either man/man for homosexuals, or woman/man and woman/woman for heterosexuals. Thus making it an issue not solely of identification but biological response.

  13. mysticapple
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 12:32 pm | Permalink

    love this!
    i once had someone say “oh ffs, just pick a side!”

  14. A male
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 4:48 pm | Permalink

    I’ve only heard variations on five of those myself, e.g., the late George Carlin claiming in his routine,
    “Could you imagine wanting to fuck everybody you meet? Think of all the phone numbers you’d accumulate! You might as well just walk around the White Pages under your arm.”
    George Carlin, Playin’ With Your Head
    Assuming, of course, bisexuals have no taste, and everyone is receptive to bisexuals.

  15. Former Jose
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 8:41 pm | Permalink

    It’s not a myth square but a stereotype square–and it’s funny, in a really depressing way, that we can mark off that square in this very thread.
    Also, it’s kind of gross that people keep talking about resources and research, like bisexual men are some THING to be studied. Because, hi, I’m a bisexual man, and instead of consulting the papers and studies conducted by often-biphobic researchers, you could just talk to me or to other bi men. Almost like we’re, y’know, PEOPLE.

  16. Audentia
    Posted September 4, 2009 at 11:49 pm | Permalink

    You’re right. I’m sorry that I read “resources” and immediately thought only of scientific studies. There is absolutely NO reason that asking bisexual men themselves is not a more effective strategy in, well, proving (b/c apparently that’s necessary) that male bisexuality is real.

  17. TD
    Posted September 5, 2009 at 7:32 am | Permalink

    No one suggested bisexuality didn’t exist in men. It was suggested that it was more rare. One theory for why it is more rare is that men are unwilling to admit to it, and a competing theory is that there may simply be a biological difference which causes different distributions for men relative to women.
    In those competing theories it has very little to do with studying self-identified bisexual men, but studying heterosexual and homosexual men to see if there is evidence to support the theory of suppressed bisexuality.
    In fact bisexual men have not actually had their sexuality questioned in this thread. That has only happened to self-identified heterosexual men with the assumption that the only reason that they are not bisexual is that they are bigots, or indoctrinated by bigotry.

  18. Former Jose
    Posted September 5, 2009 at 9:36 am | Permalink

    “It was suggested that it was more rare. One theory for why it is more rare is that men are unwilling to admit to it, and a competing theory is that there may simply be a biological difference which causes different distributions for men relative to women.”
    Nice use of agency-erasing passive voice, there. “It was suggested …” Actually, people just keep vaguely referring to “studies” without mentioning WHICH studies, by WHOM, and completely disregarding what actual, honest-to-goodness bi people have to say. Which is gross, othering, and biphobic.
    Also, let me directly quote the square above: “Bisexuality is natural for women, but not for men. It’s DIFFERENT for men!”
    This is precisely what is happening here. It’s just that people think they’re in the RIGHT to be doing this.

  19. Former Jose
    Posted September 5, 2009 at 10:04 am | Permalink

    Thanks for the apology. A book written by bi folks that I thought was pretty good, though not specific to bi men, was “Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out,” edited by Loraine Hutchins and Lani Kaahumanu. In case you were interested, of course.

  20. TD
    Posted September 5, 2009 at 1:42 pm | Permalink

    Nice use of agency-erasing passive voice, there. “It was suggested …”
    Or I was referring to multiple people in this thread including myself, mbut didn’t feel like listing names. But fine, I’m saying bisexuality at least appears on the basis of surveys to be more rare in men relative to women’s responses in the same survey.
    completely disregarding what actual, honest-to-goodness bi people have to say. Which is gross, othering, and biphobic.
    The studies didn’t give any information on bisexuality when it was self identified by men. It gave information about the honesty of men and women’s responses about their arousal to various images.
    No one claimed that bisexual men didn’t exist what was claimed was that many heterosexual men are secretly bisexual. This is not supported by the data.
    Also, let me directly quote the square above: “Bisexuality is natural for women, but not for men. It’s DIFFERENT for men!”
    This is precisely what is happening here. It’s just that people think they’re in the RIGHT to be doing this.

    Well that is exactly what’s happened here, so long as you completely ignore what I’ve written, and disregard everything everyone else has written as well.
    Except if you look at what I’ve written it was about natural differences in distributions. I didn’t question the existence of self identified bisexuals. What I questioned was the assumption that there must be a large group of heterosexual men who are actually bisexual but hiding it because they’re homophobic.
    My argument has been and will remain “bisexuality is a natural occurrence in both genders, but there is evidence to suggest it does not occur at the same rate for men, thus it one cannot use bisexuality in women to estimate the rate of bisexuality in men.”
    I personally object to the implication that any man who self identifies as any sexuality should have that identification questioned. My response was to the presentation of male heterosexuality as the sole product of homophobia.

  21. Former Jose
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 12:29 pm | Permalink

    “My response was to the presentation of male heterosexuality as the sole product of homophobia.”
    Who said this, though? To the best of my knowledge, this hasn’t been said at all in this thread.
    “My argument has been and will remain ‘bisexuality is a natural occurrence in both genders, but there is evidence to suggest it does not occur at the same rate for men, thus it one cannot use bisexuality in women to estimate the rate of bisexuality in men.’”
    What evidence? You still haven’t mentioned any specific studies or papers. I would be interested in knowing who exactly said what exactly, so I could form my own opinion on this research.
    Of course, that’s just a tangent. My argument has been and will remain that it is highly inappropriate to be discussing such matters, no matter how intellectually and theoretically interesting one may or may not find them, in a thread about biphobic tropes and stereotypes. Because scientific studies (very often undertaken by straight people with ideological axes to grind), even the ones later shown to be completely invalid, are used against bi folks (as well as gay and trans folks) to “prove” that we’re this or “prove” that we’re that, and it’s incredibly problematic.

  22. TD
    Posted September 6, 2009 at 8:13 pm | Permalink

    Former Jose
    Who said this, though? To the best of my knowledge, this hasn’t been said at all in this thread.
    Well that is why it helps to read the thread, or at least the what the response was towards.
    Audentia
    Essentially, because homophobia tends to be directed more at men than at women, men tend to be more conditioned to block out homosexual feelings without being aware they are doing it. Thus, the (unconscious) creation of heterosexuality out of natural bisexuality.
    Former Jose
    What evidence? You still haven’t mentioned any specific studies or papers. I would be interested in knowing who exactly said what exactly, so I could form my own opinion on this research.
    I linked to an article which goes into depth about a researchers in depth studies, the criticisms of those studies, the new studies developed in response to those criticisms. Here it is again. I prefer linking to the NYTimes article because it gives a reasonable survey of the work which has been done, without requiring multiple links, or access to academic journals.
    My argument has been and will remain that it is highly inappropriate to be discussing such matters, no matter how intellectually and theoretically interesting one may or may not find them, in a thread about biphobic tropes and stereotypes.
    So there can be brand new myths and stereotypes created out of whole cloth on the thread? I fail to see the benefit in that.
    even the ones later shown to be completely invalid, are used against bi folks (as well as gay and trans folks) to “prove” that we’re this or “prove” that we’re that, and it’s incredibly problematic.
    All the studies show is that men tend to be accurate when they self identify their sexuality, in so far as sexuality is a function of arousal. I cannot figure out how that poses some tremendous threat to bisexual men. All the conversation was about was whether heterosexual men secretly had latent bisexuality.

  23. Former Jose
    Posted September 9, 2009 at 1:00 pm | Permalink

    I apologize for missing your initial link. I do think it’s problematic to base an analysis of sexuality on physiological responses alone, as sexuality is complex.
    Also, I notice that the first researcher in the article cut her teeth at the Center for Addition and Mental Health, which has been and is doing terrible things to trans people: http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/clarke-institute.html. Further, she was mentored by Michael Bailey, who is biphobic, homophobic, and transphobic: http://www.tsroadmap.com/info/j-michael-bailey.html.
    In short, I do not trust CAMH, and I do not trust people from CAMH.
    Also, the very first comment in this subthread was:
    “Can someone please give resources to understanding the sexuality of bisexual men? Because honestly the one study I’ve read about the topic seemed to indicate that men really have a dominant attraction to one sex or another… and I honestly would like to be better educated if that’s earned itself a myth square. ”
    Itsy’s comment seems to me about bisexual men and to be doubting whether bisexual men are really telling the truth about ourselves. I read Audentia’s comments about heterosexual men in this context, but I am open to the possibility that I misread or misinterpreted the comment. I should have allowed that my interpretation was wrong or, at least, not the only one; I’m sorry.
    It may well be that bisexuality exists in different ways in men, women, and other genders. I do think that, though I may not seem to. But listening to folks like Chivers and Bailey–privileging voices such as Chivers’ Bailey’s? That can’t be anything but biphobic.

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