There are always a few people who derail every meaningful movement, and here I’m calling out the subtle cases of biphobia in the online radical feminist community. Not in the ideology itself, but amidst a handful of lesbian elitists who clearly think their orientation is superior.
Thankfully, this issue is not representative of the community as a whole, but it’s enough to piss me off and enough to be worth calling out.
I’d be described as a Kinsey 5. I hate having to call myself bisexual. I try to be proud of it because the bi community needs proud and positive voices, but I fucking hate the label. I hate that it implies I’m “into men” (I am really, really not, nor would I ever date another one). I hate that it carries the stigma of “undecided teenager.” I’m 35. I’ve had more relationships with women than with men, and spent a decade of my youth exclusively attracted to women before I was ever drawn to a man. I would love to be able to still call myself a lesbian, to be able to say I reject every incarnation of patriarchy. But I can’t, because I fell in love with an awesome man – who, by the way, would easily be labeled a TERF. I’ve since married again, to a woman, and am now subjected to the same judgment and prejudice that other same-sex female couples experience – just as I was with my two previous girlfriends, for years. If I had met her just a few months earlier, before same-sex marriage was legalized in the U.S., I would have lost her to another continent. She isn’t a citizen; that landmark ruling allowed us to be together.
Despite the fact that I can no longer call myself a lesbian and I don’t have a place in lesbian-only spaces, I am still here fighting for their rights, defending them from the misogyny and lesbophobia of modern liberalism. So when I hear horseshit like “maybe we should drop the B from LGB rights” or “women who marry men aren’t contributing as much to feminism,” I say fuck you. Fuck your narrow-minded assumption that everyone who isn’t a gold star is a hindrance to our liberation from patriarchy. You know what really isn’t contributing to the movement? Your elitism. It only serves to alienate the women you say you want to protect.
Radical feminists are a small enough minority as it is. Don’t divide and weaken us by turning bi and straight women off the movement. Not all bisexuals are liberal straight girls trying to look cool and kweer. Most of us still experience homophobia, and straight women still contribute to feminism. We don’t have control over our orientations; we have control over our ideologies. So don’t turn women away from this one.