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"A minority group has 'arrived' only when it has the right to produce some fools and scoundrels without the entire group paying for it." ~Carl T. Rowan
The usually evenhanded online magazine Salon has taken the low road with a column title that is both rather misleading as to contents as well as being (unintentionally we presume) biphobic.

The title of Cary Tennis' August 16th 2011 "Since You Asked" lonely-hearts column is "A bisexual sociopath wrecked my life". However a reading of the letter reveals this woman's ex was many things of which being bisexual was totally insignificant as far as their problems went.

According to her complaint the guy was a two-timing cad who cheated on her with a number of people (including many women) as well as telling his ex one story and everyone else another. This has Nothing To Do with his Sexual Orientation at all. And yet that is what was blaring from Salon's rather misleading caption.

Salon needs to realize that "Bisexual" is actually not a modifier for "sociopath" any more that "gay" is for "pedophile" or "lesbian" is for "crazy murdering". But back in the bad old days before the rise of the LGBT Rights Movement and organizations such as GLAAD (Gay & Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation) they routinely were.

Bisexuals are simply people with the capacity to form physical, romantic, spiritual and/or emotional attractions to:

(1) those of the same gender as themselves
(2) those of some other genders/gender presentations.

Bisexuality is not synonymous with being polyamorous or promiscuous. Individual bisexual people may be celibate, monogamous or non-monogamous just as individual straight, lesbian or gay people can be.

As the noted bisexual-genderqueer-feminist academic and activist Shiri Eisner points out in Item 18 in her recent essay "The monosexual privilege checklist" it seems that bisexual people still have not reached the state where, "I can cheat on my partners or act badly in a relationship without having other people put this down to my sexual identity or have my behaviour reflect badly on all the people in my sexual identity group."

Concerned people may want to stop by Salon and leave a comment pointing this out.

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( 4 comments — Leave a comment )
22nd Aug, 2011 08:05 (UTC)
It was probably just a way to get people to read the article, but, you are right, that is no excuse.
22nd Aug, 2011 18:16 (UTC)
Yes exactly. The Title is what is being objected to here.

Salon is using the Gasp! Shock! Bisexual Sociopaths are on the loose preying on our Poor Virtuous Women! Release the hounds! type of mentality.
22nd Aug, 2011 21:46 (UTC)
It seems to me that some medias always have to use perfectly pointless factoids in their headlines, making it technically accurate but misrepresentative.

It's extra bad in this case because the only way the usage of bisexual makes sense is if it is a bad word on its own. If one wants to amplify sociopath, the usual approach would be attaching "shocking" or other traditional disaster-amplifiers you see on those giant headlines when waiting in line at the grocery store, wouldn't it? The way it's used here, it seems like it's "one more crime".

Has the words "promiscuous", "cheating", "two-timing", "double-faced", and other words that are about cheating a mutually agred upon monogamous arrangement, fallen out of favor? Or are they just not as delicious as bisexual? Didn't it used to be that "cheating" was a perfectly good attention-grabber? Too vanilla now? So lets go with all-purpose "non-heteronormative sexuality" for shock value, in spite of cheating being something that actually hurts people and therefor deserves the shock-label. Oh, I forgot, bisexual includes promiscuity with the whole package deal of being a perverted attention whore. Yeah, that can't just possibly be an immensely hurtful and stupid stereotype.
21st Nov, 2011 19:59 (UTC)
Typical of a magazine to use some insignificant information just to add "shock" value.
( 4 comments — Leave a comment )