Hot bi babes: Stereotypes of bi women
Following the previous post on Jessie J, a new blog post is out today on radicalbi about media depictions of bisexual women. Here is a quote and a link to the rest of the article.
“In an article called Curiouser and Curiouser: the Strange ‘Disappearance’ of Male Bisexuality, British gay journalist Mark Simpson writes about biphobia against bi men, and compares their status to that of bisexual women. “It’s unquestionable,” he argues, “that female bisexuality is today much more socially acceptable than male bisexuality, and in fact frequently positively encouraged, both by many voyeuristic men and an equally voyeuristic pop culture.”… In this section, I would like to look a bit deeper into this “positive encouragement” and to question whether it really is so positive.
Simpson, of course, is right. Female bisexuality truly is encouraged by voyeuristic men, as well as by voyeuristic (male dominated) media. Spelling out media presumptions, Simpson writes that as opposed to male bisexuality, female bisexuality is considered “almost universal. It’s as natural and as true as it is wonderful and real and… hot!” And indeed, it seems that the main context in which female bisexuality appears in mainstream media is that of “hotness.”
In this section…, I want to be looking at media representations of female bisexuality in attempt to show the ways in which it is depicted, and the terms under which it is allowed to appear in mainstream culture. I wish to argue that while female bisexuality seems to be ‘encouraged’ on the surface, this encouragement applies to only one form thereof: that palatable to straight men. Bisexual women are presented in hypersexualized* contexts, as sexual objects for the hegemonic** straight male gaze, while directly or covertly appealing to a quasi-pornographic fantasy of a (2 females and 1 male) threesome, and while also reassuring us that these women are not really bisexual, but are rather simply behaving so for the satisfaction of the presumed male spectator.”