Privilege – Is it still a Thing?

General Broadcast Warning: This post contains some material unsuitable for people who are not aware of the following: A) I am bisexual; B) I am opinionated; and c) I have a child. Right. Carry on.

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No auto-fill was harmed in the making of this screen-capture from today.

I was given this link about Google and what is being termed the ‘Bisexual Problem’ today. I must say, as I was reading it, I was struck by a couple of things.

Firstly, I find it very odd that in a world aiming for an end to discrimination of all groups of people, the black and white lines seem to have been made even more apparent.

It is a fairly constant peeve amongst those of the bisexual orientation that you’re not liked by anyone. So many people misconstrue what it means to be bisexual. The usual misconceptions that I have personally encountered are, as follows:

  1. “You’re not really bi. You just don’t know what you want.”
    Ummmm, no, I’m fairly certain I DO know what I want. I want a nice life, a happy family and someone to love and be loved by. I am just more flexible than most as to where I look for all of that.
  2. 2) “You’re just greedy.”
    Well, this may be true. You put a tub of ice cream in front of me, it’s going to disappear. However, when it comes to who is included in my life, I am very discerning. Even more so when it comes to who I let into my heart. So, no, I don’t think I am greedy.
  3. “You’re just a lesbian in denial.”
    No. Just. No. I am in denial about many things. I deny that I have uni assignments due over the horizon all the time. In the case of my sexuality, I am very certain that I have it right.
  4. “It’s okay. You’re just experimenting.”
    Again, no. I am past my wild, impetuous teens and early twenties. I have experimented and found a formula that works.
  5. “If you’re with a boy one month and a girl the next, your kid is going to grow up with one hell of a complex.”
    Before you ask, yes, I have been told this. I have no doubt they were well-meaning intentions that precipitated this, but I couldn’t help but shake my head. If I stayed with one partner for all eternity and was unhappy, surely that would set a poor example for my kid. If I was changing up my boyfriend (or girlfriend, for that matter) every month, not only would I be concerned about my mental health, but I’d be concerned for my kids. However, I am not one for changing my partner at a whim. I also like to think I keep my kid away from the details of my romantic life until it is at such a point that I feel comfortable in inviting that new person into our home. It’s called discretion and respect for my kid.

So where am I heading with all of this? The stigma held against bisexual people is NOT lowering. It is remaining constant, if not increasing. It is there from straight people and from gay, transgender and transsexual people. It is everywhere. Think about it. An actor comes out as gay, no biggie. An actor comes out as bi, and suddenly everyone has “been with” them and it’s more of a storm than if a straight person simply said, “I kissed a girl and I liked it…”

Secondly, the article struck me as strange for using the term “monosexual privilege” (while citing Shiri Eisner). I was left asking myself is “Privilege even a THING???”

See, to me, we are too busy attempting to come up with rational, NICE (read: vaguely academic) terms for all kinds of bigotry and nastiness. Privilege is just one of those all-encompassing prefixes to otherwise not-so-nice occurrence of life, namely people openly displaying their conscious or sub-conscious prejudices. Male privilege, speaking from a stand point of a male in society unaware of female issues. White middle-class female privilege, speaking from a stand point of a white female with no understanding or awareness of lower-class issues. The list goes on, and you can use for every stand point. If you say anything that might be offensive to one or more groups of people, you are speaking from a stand-point of privilege. It is simply another term for speaking from the situated self.

I guess, with all of this, I am attempting to get people to think about what it is they’re saying before it leaves their mouth. I am asking Google to show the way in actual tolerance and acceptance, by reviewing their embargo on auto-fill of “bisexual” as they said they would. It isn’t a “bug”, it’s prejudice plain and simple. You’re speaking, through your inaction, from a place of “multi-faceted, technological giant corporate” privilege… Oh goodness! Now I’m talking like one of “them”!

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5 comments on “Privilege – Is it still a Thing?

  1. Rach says:

    This is so dang true.
    It is unbelievable in this day and age that this exists, and yes I know the article it made my blood boil.
    Hugs to you for being so brave, and out, may many more have your courage.

  2. dcarm85 says:

    Ugh. I think you’re bang on the money – especially with your explanation of Privilege… And I think there *is* a culture of “monosexual privilege”, one that is easy to come to since no small number of homosexuals (myself included) self-identify as bisexual as a bit of a halfway house while they get more used to the same-sex attraction, even though they don’t stick to that category for long.

    I have always found the existence of prejudice within the Queer community towards bisexuals to be disgusting and disturbingly similar to the heteronormative atmosphere we rail so hard against. I make a point of calling people on that crap whenever I hear it and recognise it. I probably miss a lot of it though because I’m a member of the privileged…

    Great article!

    • nephthysnile says:

      Thanks for your reply!
      Firstly, thank you for standing up and calling people on their mistakes and attitudes when they irk you. It’s the first step to getting this behaviour recognised and, until it’s recognised it can’t be modified.
      Secondly, being a “member of the privilege” doesn’t stop you from seeing bad behaviour, which is a point I am so happy you made. Just because a person comes from wealth doesn’t mean they can’t stop and see when wealth becomes a problem for others.
      Thank you again for reading!

      • dcarm85 says:

        I completely agree, it doesn’t stop me from seeing it. I guess I just wonder what I see but fail to recognise as coming from the place of privilege because I don’t… *argh* I know what I’m trying to say but not doing a good job with the words tonight… Ahhh! I wonder what monosexualist things don’t *seem* privileged to me *because* I am one of the privileged…
        Where are the “glass ceiling” areas for polysexual people?
        Am I making sense?

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