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Author Topic: Bi inclusion and equality report, UK
Redskies
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I thought this was an interesting report, and probably not news to a lot of bi/pan/etc folk.

http://www3.open.ac.uk/media/fullstory.aspx?id=22987

http://www8.open.ac.uk/platform/news-and-features/the-bisexuality-report-%E2%80%93-the-first-its-kind-in-the-uk-%E2%80%93-published&samsredir=1334266450

(The Open University is a distance-learning teaching and research institution, and generally pretty highly respected in the UK.)

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Heather
Executive Director & Founder
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Love the Open University, love Meg Barker: thanks so much for this, Redskies, will get it passed around!

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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WesLuck
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I listened to the podcast and watched the two minute summary. As well as highlighting problems for bisexual people it does a really good thing by finishing off the report in mentioning positive parts of the bisexual experience - which along with the reports of the bad stuff will help it get a much better reception by people in general, since the media so often talks about bad stuff only (and brief patches of good stuff only). I think it helps to see the issue from different perspectives and see the good and bad points that exist now.

But maybe the term currently in wide usage - bisexual - needs to get changed to pansexual, to encourage the acceptance of gender being constructed in society and not being a binary like in traditional media. And just like people with any other sexual or gender orientation are not attracted to every example of the group they are attracted to, neither are pansexuals. That's the first serious thing that I learnt about the group - being able to be attracted to different genders does not make any group-wide differences on relationship models (including monogamy, closed partnerships of more than two people, and other types of polyamory) individuals and partners choose to enact.

[ 04-13-2012, 08:49 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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Redskies
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Wes, on another thread I see you put the word bisexual, while talking about people, in inverted commas - I guess that that's because of the point you make about language here. Please don't do that? I realise where you, individually, are coming from; but there are enough people in the world who try to say that bisexuals don't "really" exist, or should choose, and it makes it sound a bit like that.

About the language issue. This is not a new point, and sometimes, bisexual people get a little tired of it and feel like it's being used as another stick someone is deliberately beating us with. I actually have academic training around language issues - that doesn't mean I'm right or won't make errors or omissions, but it does mean that I know my stuff. It would be fairly daft not to understand that the word "bisexual" can Suggest some wrong/restrictive things, but language very often does not mean what the small parts of it literally mean. I'm pretty hot on eliminating language that is/has been used to oppress any group, but I don't think "bisexual" comes into that category. There are some excellent arguments about this on various bisexual blogs, which said it better than I'd ever thought it - you could always try googling if you're interested.

I try to make my intentions very clear by usually writing something like "bi/pan/etc". If anyone trans*/non-binary ever wants to say to me that they've got concerns about the word "bisexual", I'm very open to hearing that.

I think the word "bisexual" is imperfect, and have every sympathy with anyone who doesn't want to describe themself that way. It doesn't seem like it's one of many words which are used as a tool of oppression, though, and so (until someone makes a point that makes me see it differently) it's not a word that I think is necessary to invest time or effort in actually changing.

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The kyriarchy usually assumes that I am the kind of woman of whom it would approve. I have a peculiar kind of fun showing it just how much I am not.

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Jill2000Plus
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Yeah, I think it ends up being a bit like the whole "well technically homophobia means fear of the same?" which 99% of the time is bought up by someone who doesn't want there to be a word to describe their own prejudices. I don't think the discussion of the potential gender-binary reinforcement implications of the word bisexual is exactly the same thing, but sometimes it can unintentionally have that effect, plus, homo/heterosexual people don't tend to get so much grief about the gender binary implied by their orientation labels. Some people who identify as bisexual actually literally are bisexual - only attracted to people who identify their gender in binary terms. And the thing about pansexual is that though it's not right that people have this attitude, it's still got those connotations of paedophilia and attraction to animals to many people (as that was the original meaning of the term), so can you blame bisexuals for shying away from it?

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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WesLuck
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I apologise. And I did not mean to offend with that suggestion - the only reason I mentioned pansexual in that way was because Heather seems to think it was an OK alternative word, and I don't like the idea of people suffering from something outside their control if I can help it. You may have realised that I have been doing a reasonable amount of affirming for other people of all genders and orientations on these forums, in my positive and hugs-type replies. I realise now that putting bisexual in inverted commas can be misinterpreted easily, even though it was not my desire to provide a bone of contention, so I will refrain from that use of quotes in my future posts.

[ 04-18-2012, 11:01 AM: Message edited by: WesLuck ]

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