acts of horizontal aggression
February 7, 2014
so after reading yet another ridiculous ‘monosexual” privilege checklist, i really think it is time to properly understand what is happening when one group within a putative ‘community” does something like this.
Note: biphobia and bi ppl do, indeed, exist. the oppression is real. and, furthermore, the way that other non-bi queers behave and act is also an example of horizontal aggression.
so, you read down this list and you are probably thinking… “um, i don”t think this is only true of bisexuals” and you”d be right. very few of the items are actually exclusive to bisexual experience.
you might also note just how……. fucking white all of this is. which of course means that these people are viewing oppression from a flat, single dimension.
to the extent that privilege is a worthwhile concept to understand oppression (which tbh isn”t worth all that much), exclusivity of the experience matters because otherwise the list fails to accurately delineate who is privileged and who isn”t. like. i read through the list and only five of the things apply to me (with one ‘idk”). but i”m not bisexual. as a so-called ‘monosexual” person, i”d imagine that at least half of these ought to apply to me.
but the actual items (and their exclusivity) actually matters a lot less than how this list is framed: the monosexual privilege checklist. this is actually is what manages to transform what might otherwise a decent run down of some of how bisexual ppl experience privilege into an act of horizontal aggression.
since, by virtue of this framework, they are implicating people who don”t actually oppress them.
if we look at the classic checklist (the checklists where all checklists spring from), the invisible knapsack, we can see a stark contrast between who is oppressed and who is implicated by privilege (and thus are the oppressors). all white ppl participate in white supremacy and oppress iaopoc.
but if we consider the difference between ‘monosexuals” and everyone else… it is hard to understand how all monosexuals are thusly implicated in the oppression of bisexuals.
the fact that bisexuals are treated awfully within the gay and lesbian movement is shitty… and it contributes to the oppression of bi ppl. but it doesn”t originate from there. heteronormativity is the culprite here. that gays and lesbians are willing to mobilize certain aspects and degrees of heteronormativity against bisexuals isn”t cool. but neither is the way that they mobilize aspects of cisnormativity and transmisogyny against trans women.
a lot of this boils down to… ‘i”m excluded and shit on by queers and mad about it”
you should be mad. mad about the fact that white cis gays and lesbians have stolen a movement started by twoc, made it all about respectability politics, and assimilation into the dominant power structure.
but the lack of resources and spaces for all groups. the scarcity that forces us to continuously fight over the few resources and space that exist… is one that is manufactured by the hetero/cis normative society we live in. They are the ones who decide that all of us unwillingly pushed into the same ‘umbrella” get only so much space and that we”d better work it out amongst ourselves.
it is horizontal aggression to go hard against one of the symptoms but never the actual cause. just as it is horizontal oppression for white cis gays and lesbians to control and steal most of the scant resources that do exist.
but the way out of this is, um, you know actually focusing on the oppressors and working to dismantle a heteronormative society that legitimizes only one sexuality (and, lo and behold, is neither gay nor lesbian nor bisexual).</p>