Wednesday, 11 April 2007

fuck the patriarchy

I got a book out from the library. The way we are now. Go have a look at it. I'll wait. There are no bisexuals in that book. There are no bisexuals, we don't exist. And when someone lives a lifestyle that's bi we assign them a gender role. On occasion I read the lesbian press. But I don't much because I'm a bisexual woman, not a butch or a femme; I don't fit into that world. I'm trying to exist in a world where there is no box for me.
I used to think it was easier to be a bi woman than a bi man. I think I've changed my mind. The only reason that it's easier is that supposedly you can pass as straight. Well its not that you pass as straight, you are straight. No-one takes you seriously; friends of all gender identities dismiss it as experimentation. And yes I know that bi guys get this treatment too, but the difference? They can continue experimenting for years, decades even indefinitely. Men have no duties other than to themselves. A woman has a duty to everyone but herself.
Today I brought the may issue of Cosmo (yes I know I read cosmo magazine and I'm a feminist. I promise to discuss the why's and wherefore's of this some other time.). In it there was an article on the "LUG" phenomenon; Lesbians until graduation. The entire premise of this phenomenon is that sure it's fine to experiment with your sexuality, but once you graduate you have to settle down, have babies, the whole caboodle of the patriarchies expectations for women. So you stop being a "lesbian" and become a "heterosexual."
NO! You don't. Whether you're living a lesbian or a heterosexual lifestyle that person is "bisexual" but as a bisexual female if you want all the things that the patriarchy has spent years telling us all that all women want, like stable relationships, children, acceptance in society, then you have to choose one way or the other. It doesn't really matter which.
To continue "experimenting" past the point where society sees you as a grown-up is to invite pariah status. Except they're not experimenting. Not really. They're living their life how they choose to in an ideal world where gender identity doesn't matter. But that can't be a valid lifestyle choice right? Because in the real world gender does matter right? Wrong.
And yes, I know this is not "news" as such. But people my age have been let down by the third wave of feminism. I grew up thinking that feminism was a dirty word. I was a politically active teenager who was afraid of how people would think of me if I called myself a feminist. And the patriarchy fights on. It restricts the choices of men and women the world over in order to perpetuate a stagnation that it sees as wholly natural, over looking the vast scientific and cultural evidence that tells us that actually this whole charade is just that- a charade.
Humanity has so much invested in its need for an "other" that we create one even where none exists. We put ourselves in boxes. Sometimes I think that categorisation is most basic function of society.
But it doesn't have to be. No more I've had enough. The patriarchy ends. In my life time anyway. Who's with me?


Sara said...

Not to nitpick, but the lesbian community is hardly monolithically butch and femme- even butch-femme is not monolithically butch-femme. Explore if you don't believe me- it is an incredible diverse community made of a variety of sexual minorities.

There are lots of women I know that came out as lesbian and then switched to queer when they realized they wanted to have relationships with men as well.

Is the point of being bisexual to be well-tolerated? Or because it is a true expression of who you are as a human being?

The problem isn't bisexuality or even how the GLBT community has attitude about it -- the issue is the notion that sexuality is fixed or unchanging and so people are forced into adopting unmovable positions with regard to their own sexuality. It is a hazard of identity politics to run into these problems.

I recommend exploring Queer Theory (if you haven't already) --it may broaden your understanding of why identity politics are constructed the way that they are at present. And why they don't serve us all the well all the time.

me said...

I do believe that the lesbian community is not just butch -femme, but the press and the media representations in gerneral are which was what I was tryign to say, but thanks for pointing that out so I could clarify.
As far as I can tell you're saying what I'm saying (or what I thought I was saying) with different worlds, so erm fancy telling me where you thought I was disagreeing with you?