Archive for the 'pop culture' Category

20
Oct
08

Am I blogging about Lindsay Lohan again? Please shoot me now.

E! Online has a poll up right now about whether bisexuality actually exists. Because the best way to figure out whether a sexual identity exists – the best way to figure out whether any minority exists – is to poll the majority. That’s always accurate, and it never goes badly for anyone. The majority always knows all about the existence, makeup, and needs of the minorities under it, and has absolutely nothing invested in denying any or all of it.

What is this urge to validate (or, usually, invalidate) bisexuality, anyway? Why do people feel the need to go around discussing whether it really exists, and if not what motivates people to claim it does? What possible sense is there to any method other than believing people when they talk about their feelings and experiences? I’m totally baffled. I just don’t get how anyone could believe they understand someone’s motivations, desires, and experiences better than that person does hirself. I live in such a queer, sex-positive, accepting bubble that I’m totally flummoxed when reminded that sexuality and sexual identity are extremely loaded in the outside world, and people in general have a lot invested in the sexual identities of others. The only people in whose sexualities I’m terribly invested are the ones I’m attracted to, and even then I don’t care much if they usually like girls or femmes, or who else they like — I just want to know whether they’re attracted to me. I have trouble understanding why anything else matters. I have theories — that failing to take part in or uphold the heteronormative power structure is threatening; that women who don’t need men are dangerous; that people assume all queers of their gender will find them attractive, and simply being desired or hit on by a queer person will somehow taint them with queerness; that most people are unnaturally preoccuped with controlling the behaviors of others even when those behaviors have no impact on them (but don’t ask me why!); that bisexuality introduces an element of uncertainty as far as who one will be attracted to and what choices one will make that’s simply intolerable to people who need to put others into boxes and be able to predict and understand their choices, and denying that bisexuality exists and assigning people as either gay or straight sidesteps that uncertainty. But on a gut level it makes no sense to me.

And can we talk about the wording of the commentary on Lindsay Lohan that precedes the poll? When will she find comfort in her favorite male body part, indeed. Haven’t we already been through this? Even if cock were the be-all and end-all of sex – which, having had a significant amount of great sex that didn’t involve one, I can assure you it’s not – who’s to say that Samantha Ronson doesn’t have one (or several)? I have no more business speculating on their sex life than E! Online does, but really, people. The straight world needs to remember that cocks are not exclusive to or synonymous with men (another thing I could attest to from personal experience, should the need arise). And as Bitch and Animal point out, most men don’t get the same choice of size, shape, and color that many dykes do. So if that’s what Lindsay Lohan is hurting for (and how would they know that?!), maybe they’re doing it wrong.

Continue reading ‘Am I blogging about Lindsay Lohan again? Please shoot me now.’

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26
Sep
08

Lindsay Lohan A Lesbian! (Maybe the alliteration is just irresistable?)

Unless you’re as completely out of touch with pop culture as I am (thanks to Girlfriend, Esq. for the heads up), most of you have probably seen the excessive media coverage of Lindsay Lohan finally admitting she’s in a same-sex relationship. And of course, I’m completely frustrated with how many of the pieces have decided that “dating a girl after years and years of dating boys” means “lesbian.” A couple are so thrilled with Clay Aiken and Lohan “coming out” at the same time that they seem to have gotten confused, and are writing headlines declaring both gay without any word from Lohan about how she identifies. This charmer goes so far as to suggest that all of Lohan’s drug use and running around with boys was a desperate search for what would make her truly happy – girls, of course (“She was gaining a reputation as a man-eater, when in reality she was only hopping between blokes because she failed to find the true love she craved.” And if that’s not enough to nauseate you, try “Since they met we’ve seen a more demure, feminine and better behaved Lindsay.” ‘Cause, um, conforming to stereotypical femininity is a definite sign of happiness). Here we have the suggestion that she’s jumped the fence to help heal her broken heart, with the patronizing suggestion that she drink and cry herself to sleep instead. At Fan Fare we’re given two options – “lesbian” or “experimenting with her sexuality” (’cause no one has a stable sexuality that’s anything other than straight or gay, remember?) And The Daily Star quotes her as declaring “Yes, I am a lesbian.” I have to say that I seriously doubt that. Had she said anything nearly that unequivocal, it would be quoted in every single article, not just in one tabloid – completely fabricating a quote is even more awesome than simply misinterpreting what was actually said.

The one thing no one seems to be doing is giving serious thought to the possibility that a relationship with a woman doesn’t mean a girl is definitely gay, and also doesn’t mean she’s sowing her wild oats and experimenting. Maybe, instead, she’s one of those people who can be attracted to and fall in love with people regardless of gender. What do we call those people, again? Um. I’ve almost got it, it’s right on the tip of my tongue…

I have to say, though, that I’m pleasantly surprised how many of the articles I turned up *didn’t* claim Lohan is gay, or make any statements about her identity at all (or at least only referred to it as a “lesbian relationship” and not to her as a lesbian). I was closing tabs thinking “That doesn’t help me…hey, actually, that not being useful is awesome!” Few of them used the word bisexual, either, but I’m perfectly happy to have it left ambiguous until and unless Lohan chooses to clarify. I’m not exactly clamoring to have her as a bisexual role model, but I also resent the way the media declares people straight or gay the moment they have a new partner, completely writing off anything that happened in their life before that moment (Anne Heche, anyone?). I have no way of knowing whether Lohan is bisexual or a lesbian — and neither do any of these bloggers and “reporters.”

Now I’m going to see if I can wash my brain out with “Nobody Passes” and a good night’s sleep. Googling Lindsay Lohan, indeed…some days I can’t believe this is my life.

12
Aug
08

Stuff I’m Reading: DAR by Erika Moen

As people who know me already know, I am enjoying a bout of planned unemployment before grad school starts in September, which means that I have spent a frightening amount of time this summer sitting around in my underwear and reading webcomics.
But some good comes of this slothfulness, as today I stumbled across DAR: A Super Girly Top Secret Comic Diary by Erika Moen. Here’s a sample:
Things I Like
I’m totally charmed by this witty autobiographical comic that doesn’t take itself too seriously to make fart jokes. I especially love her take on the absurdities of sex. And her perspective on being a queer girl with a boyfriend is pretty awesome.

That last one really resonated with me because I, too, was pretty insecure about being seen as a L.U.G. (damn, that concept needs to die!) for a little while, even though I didn’t even identify as a lesbian for most of college. But still, I met my boyfriend about a month after I graduated… from a women’s college! So the timing was kind of hilarious. Now, I am way more secure in my still-queeritude, but it’s still always nice to find someone else who resists the “it was just a phase” stereotype.

21
Jul
08

Why Bi The Way Really Doesn’t Get It (Or, Why This Blog Exists)

Almost a year ago, sitting in a bar with Sarah and a few other friends and rehashing a ridiculous conversation she’d had with a man who insisted that male bisexuals don’t exist, Aviva decided that she wanted to become a bisexual superhero. Not in any sort of flashy, large-scale activism way, which she wasn’t sure was suited to her personality, but by talking to people, engaging everyone she encountered who said something deeply stupid about bisexuality and seeing if she could get them to think about it a little bit more. There’s value, after all, in having someone say “Actually, I do exist;” in knowing that someone you like and respect claims an identity you denigrate. She started reading all of the books she could find on the subject (and there aren’t many), but she was soon sidetracked by a pressing need for trans activism elsewhere in her life.

A little while later, both of us went with friends to see Bi The Way (directed by Brittany Blockman and Josephine Decker) as part of NewFest, New York’s LGBT film festival. And we were so irritated with so many aspects of the film, and there were so many things we wanted to say to the directors (and everyone else in the theater with us), that it reminded us of Aviva’s original vow to become a superhero. In the Q&A, Aviva asked the only political question, and the directors avoided answering it meaningfully. Sometime during the long dinner that followed, while we criticized and analyzed the film, Sarah turned to Aviva and said, “We should start a blog!” And now, several weeks and other writing projects and a lot of procrastination later, here we are sitting down to finally do it.

So, let’s start with the thing spurred us to get off our butts and actually start something, shall we? That will have the added bonus of introducing in brief things that we’re sure to blog about at length later, since an analysis of this film touches on so many of our pet peeves in its perceptions and treatments of bisexuality.
Continue reading ‘Why Bi The Way Really Doesn’t Get It (Or, Why This Blog Exists)’