December 14, 2010

Bisexuals: Greedy and Selfish/Labels


On two different occasions I’ve been told that bisexuals are greedy and selfish. Let me clarify, I’ve been told that I am greedy and selfish. One of the statements was made out of malice while the other was a reflection of someone’s ignorance. In either case, I was pissed.

I’ve never viewed my bisexuality to mean that my attraction to men and women is split 50-50. I know that I tend to be more attracted to men than to women. I also know that I have standards (like most people, duh) for partners of both sexes and thus my dating pool is limited significantly. Greedy and selfish implies that I want everyone. No mam/no sir. I look for specific qualities in my partners just like the misled/rude people who made these assumptions about my sexuality.

This common misconception that people who identify as bisexual are attracted to everyone they meet is ridiculous. It is no wonder that sometimes people choose not to “label” themselves because they fear the stereotypes attached to said label. Media tends to portray faux lesbianism as this erotic fantasy or peg lesbian women as men-haters. Bisexual women can also fall into this fantasy category or that they are preying on the entire dating pool. I’ve heard guys make comments about being “homophobic” and avoiding gay males because they don’t want to be hit on. I wish they understood that these gay-identified males that they fear so much don’t want them…at all. In other words, they have taste and standards and are not worried about some of these unkempt, varsity male athletes with undeserving egos. (Minor rant…sorry).

Anyways, I have a challenge to us all (LGBTQ community, allies, and questioning folks alike): Don’t let comments like these go unchallenged. You never know who is around listening and wishing that someone would defend them. You never know who you might be helping to come out/be comfortable with their identity by standing up to ignorance.

As long as one’s identity stems from truth and understanding of the self, it should be embraced. We should all be helping each other embrace our identities daily against those that just don’t get it. The struggle is hard and unfair…but it ours.

7 comments:

  1. this is so great, especially in response to a few of the anonymous posts from yesterday. I love your opinions on the blog!

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  2. It is also great to read this post after seeing some comments on Eric Fürst's Freedom post that had an unwarranted aggressive tone. Just one comment on this sentence: "As long as one’s identity stems from truth and understanding of the self, it should be embraced". Being truthful with yourself and your loved ones is an important point. However, understanding one's self can be a life-long achievement. It shouldn't stop anyone from acknowledging his/her own distinctive sexuality.

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  3. "I also know that I have standards (like most people, duh) for partners of both sexes and thus my dating pool is limited significantly."

    I used to think that bisexual people had more options than straight or gay people, but that it was a positive thing, not a sign of greediness. But I've realized that the amount of options someone has varies widely. My thought that bisexual people have more options was simplistic and not always true.

    I noticed something similar in my own life. I have a preference of sorts for black women, but I'm interested in dating people of any race. Theoretically this makes my dating pool larger than someone who doesn't date people of certain races. Last night I was trolling Craigslist (don't judge) and was shocked by the number of people who explicitly said "white girls only" or "no black girls." I already knew this was common, but for the first time it actually pissed me off. While theoretically these women are in my dating pool, the fact that they would say "no black girls" makes me want to have nothing to do with them. (And who knows if I'm "white enough" for these women since I identify as "culturally Hispanic" and have dark features.)

    I can imagine you'd have a similar response to guys who were homophobic or saw your bisexuality as a golden ticket to a three-way.

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  4. This is absolutely amazing! I love the timing of positive/active stances on this issue, especially after all of the negative things said about bisexuality either in anon posts or on regular blog posts.

    You're fantastic!

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  5. WOW! Thank you so much! That is really very interesting and relevant. =)

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  6. @veronica--how do you identify as culturally hispanic?

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  7. I really like this post, especially after all of the bi-talk on the blog recently.

    What really hit home was the comment on the limitation of the dating pool. Some might not know it, but bisexual women sometimes make others uncomfortable in relationships. I have no idea why; I'm still trying to figure it out. It could be a lack of understanding from the population--stereotypes tend to paint a negative picture of us (for example: greedy, selfish, loose, fickle).

    I also like the fact that you made a point to define your own sexuality as a bisexual. I've noticed for myself that I tend to lean towards one sex than the other. I think it's good that you brought up the inequality. I'm sure there are lots of bisexuals that have the 50-50 split, but that differs for me, and you apparently. So, I thought it was cool you brought that up.

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