con’t: Because everyone wanted me to be “straight.” And while all my friends were being queer, I was seen as a traitor in my community for dating a guy. I am much more welcomed at queer events when dating women then I am when dating men. When I’m with men I’m seen as an Ally and not someone who is actually part of the community. And people both straight and queer don’t want to date someone who is bi out of some stupid fear that I will suddenly switch and date whichever sex they are not….
And people just assume I am a greedy slut, which is generally not considered a good thing in our current society. So yes, on the off chance I am dating a guy at the time perhaps I have a little bit of “straight privilege” but its kinda like fat people who become anorexic. Suddenly they are treated better for their appearance, but that’s only cause people aren’t finding out the whole story and are biggoted in the first place. Life for that person is still freaking hard and complicated.
OK so here is the problem I have with this:
1. Comparing bisexuality to anorexia and the privileges associated with anorexia is a bit of an offensive false parallel. Not to mention thin privilege is actually a thing that people try to discredit because of eating disorders, while actually eating disorders are a byproduct of thin privilege, and entirely new can of worms that I don’t feel like getting into right now.
2. But your comparison and your entire ask sort of conflates the issue into a false description of what privilege actually is. Privilege, ANY type of privilege, is somewhat isolated in that it doesn’t mean YOU DON’T HAVE ANY PROBLEMS AT ALL. Nor does privilege mean that IT IS SOMETHING THAT SHOULD BE GRANTED TO YOU. Nor is privilege necessarily “YOUR FAULT.” These are, in fact, things that make privilege suck. And also arguments that people use in very problematic ways that deny privilege.
3. And while complaining about privilege is valid in that yes, it sort of is horrible that people assume these things, denying privilege because privilege can negatively affect you in certain situations does not mean it does not exist.
4. In the types of privilege that are entirely based on societal perceptions/passing, it means you are treated nicer but don’t necessarily WANT to be treated nicer.
5. And ok, there’s lots of people on both sides of the fence who hate bisexual/pansexual people because of Society’s basic heteronormative/dichotomous thinking of “either yes or no not both and probably straight.” Which is silly.
6. But those SAME PRESSURES are the reason why many people within the queer community (and possibly the straight community) are so skeptical of bi-ness. It’s because many people have actually experienced:
a) being forced to say “it was just a phase” and thus bisexuality’s sort of equal opportunity to love thing may invalidate a lot of their personal struggle with defining their sexuality in terms that straight people and society will accept
b) Bisexuality is thus seen by the straight community as proof that lesbianism/gayness isn’t actually a thing
c) And thus it’s Society’s means of invalidating several people’s identities, because society sucks when it comes to non-dichotomous things especially when one side of a false dichotomy is actually a thing but Society doesn’t want to acknowledge its existence.
7. So in the end, yes, there is a negative attitude towards bisexuality from straight people and the majority of Society which is oppressive, because Society is generally heteronormative and queerness is seen as odd and not at all natural. Still.
8. But it also means that whenever accepting queerness comes into play, lesbians and gay people have to actively defend their sexuality and define it and put labels on it just so that a discourse can happen.
9. But labels on sexuality are just plain dumb and hurt everybody, but they’re the only way that any sot of discourse can happen, because otherwise, nobody knows what we’re talking about.
10. And yes, reactionary generalistic behavior is never a good thing. But we would never conflate that with the ability to oppress others.
11. For example, it’s pretty much accepted that lots of women can internalize sexism and sexist attitudes, but they still don’t have the ability to really be an oppressor in an institutionalized, sexist, way. Claims of misandry are simply more problematic offshoots of the Patriarchy. Obviously, that’s a huge general blanket statement because obviously every issue is intersectional. But you get my point.
12. Reactionary prejudice is prejudice, but it should never be conflated as being just as bad as the prejudice that started in the first place.
13. And the problem with labeling the whole of bi-negativity attitude as “bi-phobia” is that it’s clearly an offshoot of homophobia, and the only reason why bi-phobia is a thing is because bi people sometimes are in homosexual situations. The queer lack of privilege for bisexuals comes from HOMOPHOBIA.
14. And comparing the negative attitudes towards bisexuality with trans-phobia and cissexism is inherently flawed and a horrible parallel and just not at all accurate.
15. It’s comparing two very different things and it’s also implying that you can’t be bisexual and trans/genderqueer, which is just fucked up and wrong and ignores intersectionality.
16. And so my point is this: “Bi-phobia” is less about specific generalized atittudes towards bisexuals in an institutionalized, generally accepted, specifically targeted way (i.e. like homophobia, ableism, racism, etc.) and more like an individual manifestation of both heteronormativity and homophobia.
17. Not to mention, whether you and I like it or not, there is definitely privilege associated with heterosexual relationships and the capacity to be heterosexual.
18. These privileges manifest NOT JUST IN THE WAY SOCIETY VIEWS YOU but also in the way that SOCIETY AND THE LAWS GOVERNING SOCIETY TREAT YOU. Ex: while a gay or lesbian person would never be able to jump the hurdles involving immigration law and international marriage, this is potentially a non-issue for you. Sex education classes are also generally applicable to your situation and potential situations. You will not be discriminated against if you have to adopt (there’s lots of rules involving fatherhood and signing and parental rights and valid marriage that discriminate against homosexuality).
19. Like most passing privilege, the passing isn’t just in the lack of harassment (because let’s be real here: passing has always been seen as a negative and a positive and cause for resentment and identity crises, no matter what the passing entails).
20. It’s the general things you can enjoy and your legal rights.