The bisexual umbrella

Who do we include under the bisexual umbrella? One of BiUK’s favourite bloggers created this nice illustration of who might be there. You might also check out the piece we wrote a while back about LGBT and queer umbrellas.

Who do we include under the bisexual umbrella? One of BiUK’s favourite bloggers created this nice illustration of who might be there. You might also check out the piece we wrote a while back about LGBT and queer umbrellas.

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Analysis of myth-busting

Over on Radical bi there is a very sophisticated analysis of the kind of myth-busting people generally do on websites and other information about bisexuality.

Generally speaking we tend to collect together biphobic myths (bisexual people don’t exist, bisexual people are greedy, bisexual people need to make their minds up, bisexual people choose to be bisexual) and provide evidence why these are wrong. Radical bi argues that we may do this to try to make bisexuality more palatable to dominant, mainstream culture. Perhaps it would be more radical to acknowledge the ways in which bisexuality does challenge the current status quo and find new, more celebratory, ways of responding to these myths.

For example, rather than countering the myth that bisexual people are confused, we could celebrate the capacity of bisexual people to embrace uncertainty, and also we could celebrate the doubt that bisexuality raises about current dominant ways of conceptualising sexuality (that it is all about gender of attraction, and that there are only two possible sexualities).

We still feel that there is space to challenge some of the myths which circulate about bisexuality, but it is definitely also useful to ask ourselves where these myths are coming from, who we are speaking to when we challenge them, whether simply dismissing them may reinforce them in some ways, and whether there are other ways to creatively engage with them.

First Critical Sexology Up North Event on Celebrate Bisexuality Day!

Celebrate Bisexuality Day is 23rd September every year.

This year we will mark the day in Manchester with the first ever Critical Sexology Up North event, featuring two of the speakers from last year’s international BiReCon event: Christian Klesse and Anna Einarsdottir. To see short clips of them speaking go here.

 

Critical Sexology is a successful seminar series which has been running in London for nearly a decade. It is an interdisciplinary seminar series for psychologists, psychoanalysts, medical doctors, literary and cultural studies scholars, philosophers, artists, lawyers and historians with a critical interest in the construction and management of gender and sexuality in the medical, human sciences, discursive and cultural spheres. Established in 2002 by Iain Morland and Lih-Mei Liao, Critical Sexology has since held three seminars per year, with meetings taking place in London. The seminar is currently co-organised by Lisa Downing (University of Exeter), Meg Barker (Open University), and Robert Gillett (Queen Mary, University of London).

From 2011, one seminar out of the three we organise per year will be held at a university in a northern location. This first will be in Manchester in September:

23 September 2011, 2pm-6pm: Relationships

Venue: Manchester Metropolitan University, John Dalton building, room 0.05

Organised by Meg Barker in collaboration with Christian Klesse

Speakers:

Anna Einarsdottir and Brian Heaphy (University of Manchester) – Civil Partnerships

Christian Klesse (Manchester Metropolitan University) – Non-monogamous Relationships

Mark Carrigan (University of Warwick) – Asexual Relationships

Respondents: Eleanor Wilkinson (University of Leeds) and Hera Cook (University of Birmingham)

All details of the event are here, and a map to the venue can be found here, including a pdf of how to get to the venue.

Heteronormativity

One of the BiUK members, Meg Barker, has blogged about heteronormativity here. A topic of much relevance for bisexual folk. To summarise the argument:

What is wrong with heteronormativity?

  • It leaves people feeling alienated and alone.
  • It is bad for LGBT people and other people who are outside of it.
  • It sets up an ‘us and them’ which enables homophobia, biphobia and transphobia to exist.
  • It is questionable whether the ‘normative’ form of heterosexuality actually is normal.
  • Our treatment of others should not be based on how normal, or not, they are.
  • It is bad for those who have some desires or feelings outside the ‘norm’.
  • It puts pressure on those who are inside it to stay inside it, and may prevent them for finding the kinds of sex and relationships that work for them.

What can we do about it?

  • Move to a model of sexual diversity rather than normality/abnormality.