Thursday, November 19, 2015
The Invisible Bisexual Man
There's a tricky double standard when it comes to bisexuality in our society. While some people question the existence of bisexuality all together, others suggest that only women can be bisexual. This gender-essentialist view on bisexuality may seem absurd to those of us who have studied the fluid nature of both gender and sexuality; yet the validity of male bisexuality is still being hotly debated, even in academic and scientific settings. Much to the relief of bisexual men, a recent study has suggested that male bisexuals do in fact exist. Shocking, right? But can we really be surprised by our society's denial of male bisexuality in light of how we condition masculinity? In our society, we condition men to never show weakness, feminine qualities, and especially not affection towards other men. The only exemption to these rules is if you are gay, and even then you are viewed as less of a man. So when a man dares to admit that he is attracted to other men, he is viewed as less of a man, less able to dominate women, less masculine. Once a man admits to liking other men it is as if all other aspects of his identity don't matter and he is put into a box as being not a "real man". So if our definition of masculinity includes not being attracted to men, how can bisexual men hold any other masculine traits? We know that men are not as simple as our society tells us they are. Men have emotions, they can cry, and yes, they can even like other men. This does not invalidate other aspects of their identity nor does it prevent them from being attracted to women. The erasure of bisexual men is very harmful in that it causes bisexual men to question the validity of their own identity and that is something that no one should have to struggle with.
Read more about the erasure of bisexual men here.