Shiri Eisner

The myth of myth-busting

December 12, 2010

      No myths, no busting

In a recent blog post, a certain bi blogger dedicated a paragraph to what she referred to as the “obligatory myth-busting post that pretty much every blog on bisexuality provides”. And indeed, it seems near-impossible to encounter any English-language text about bisexuality without seeing these same myths countered in this same way. I thought I would take this opportunity to explore what this myth-busting and these myths mean, politically, and for us as a community.

Quoth the post:

  • Existence. Yes – we do.

  • Monogamy. Yes – we can.

  • Fidelity. Yes – we can. And – we do.

  • HIV & AIDS. No – it’s not all our fault.

  • Confusion. No – we’re really not.

  • Indecision. No – that’s not what fluidity means.

  • Greed. Yes, we can have just one piece of cake.

  • Pants. Yes – we’re as capable as anyone else of keeping our various bits in them.

  • Choice. No – we cannot choose to be straight; we cannot choose to be gay; we did not choose our sexual orientation in some thoughtlessly frivolous moment of rapacious abandon. Who does?

Let’s walk through some of those, shall we? No, we’re not promiscuous. No, we don’t sleep around. No, we’re not infectious. No, we don’t choose to be the way we are (SRSLY, why would anyone choose that?). Yes, we’re normal. No, we don’t threaten your sexual identification. Yes, we are just like you. No, you are not in danger of being like us. No, we don’t threaten your beliefs, your society or your safety.

Needless to say, all this is aimed towards the ubiquitous (all-existing, all-domineering) Straight White Middle Class. The one we don’t threaten, yes?

No myths, no busting

“I want to have adventures and take enormous risks and be everything they say we are.”

– Dorothy Allison, lesbian activist

Bisexuality is stereotyped as a subversive, hypersexual agent of change and social chaos – precisely because it threatens the current social structure. Each stereotype reflects a section of social anxiety which bisexuality threatens, thus exposing the subversive and revolutionary potential of bisexuality in changing and opposing said structure, culture, society and system.

Let’s walk through them again, a little bit more slowly this time:

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