The Difference Between Monosexism And Biphobia
I see biphobia as a particular aspect of monosexism, they are definitely not interchangeable. Monosexism, as I see it, refers to the structural privileging of monosexual identities and behaviours. So, monosexism refers, for example, to the belief that one can only be either straight or gay, that it is better to be monosexual than bisexual*, that only monosexual identities are “real”, that monosexual issues are the only ones deserving of attention, etc. Monosexism causes bisexual erasure (from media, literature, art, TV and film, etc.), it causes discrimination when it comes to activist priorities, budgeting, etc. It causes the social isolation that leads many bis* to have poor health and mental health, and prevents proper treatment and support that might help alleviate them. It keeps bi* people “low” on the “pecking order” and creates all sorts of oppression. I see monosexism as the main factor responsible for all the horrible statistics in the Bisexual Invisibility report, for example. So, basically, monosexism is the system, the ba
I also have to say that monosexism is a structure that first and foremost comes from heterosexism and the patriarchy – 99.99999999% of it comes from heterosexual culture. So for me, monosexism is a term that allows us to look at all the ways that the “broader” culture creates oppression against bisexuals*. In addition, it allows us to consider monosexism as a structure that affects everyone instead of just bi* people – for example, by limiting other people’s options.
Biphobia, on the other hand, is direct negative attitudes and treatment of bi* people. It’s one specific result of monosexism. So here we can think about the many negative attitudes and behaviours specifically aimed against bis*. For example, when people refuse to date bisexuals*, when bis* are represented in stereotypical ways in the media, when bi* womenbecome the target of sexual violence (because they’re perceived as particularly sexy sexual ob
I think it’s important to make that distinction, because these are two completely different levels of oppression working against bisexuals* – and of course, I think that the room that biphobia occupies right now in bi* political dialogues is unproportionate, and that we need to pay lots more attention to structural, heterosexual, monosexism.
X-posted from tumblr, because I think people might find this helpful.