Saturday, November 17, 2007

Are we through with being exploited? I say yes!

Why is it that whenever there is a show about bisexual women it has to be sensationalized or worse really cheesy? Tonight I’m pointing my bi finger at Bisexual Girls, on Logo. The show fell on the lower end of “exposing” bisexual women.

The “documentary” that is part of Logo’s Real Momentum documentary series Bisexual Girls follows four British bi-curious girls: Debbie, Linzi, Beth, and Ellie around the old English country and London as they sort out their girl-on-girl attractions. The exception was Ellie who already had her bisexuality figured out.

My big questions are, what is it with cutting to skin footage (not necessarily the naughty kind) and images of a cherry being dipped into a woman’s mouth or women wearing bright red glossy lipstick kissing each other between stories or while the women were talking about their sexual desires? What is it with interviewing a woman, Debbie, in bed with her boyfriend, Orville, or even lower interviewing two women, Angela and Ellie, in a bubble bath? Logo described the couple on its Web site as two lesbians, but in the show one of them, Ellie, turned out to be bi. Oh and let’s not forget, Linzi, the bi-curious stripper by night and horse farm owner by day. I loved when Linzi was giving Debbie a lap dance while two obviously staged women snuggled up voyeuristically martinis in hand watched obscured by other patrons from across the dance stage.

Thank God they had one “normal” bisexual woman, Ellie, happily in a relationship with Angela. Ellie and Angela, who lived in London, helped out Debbie who was struggling with her bi-curiosity, by taking her around to the all girl hot spots. This was all against her fiancé’s wishes, but Debbie was determined. I emphasized with the guy being a monogamous person myself, but I lost respect for him when he called her during her first outing in London.

All in all, you think that the LGBT community would do us bisexuals better than the straight community when presenting “this is what a bisexual looks like” to the rest of the world. Then I forget, not so long ago we were shunned by our own queer community. The show was just in bad taste from beginning to end.

Bisexual Girls reminds me of last year’s
Women Seeking Women: A Bicurious Journey, which was also a sensationalistic “documentary” about women who are attracted to other women, but hadn’t had the Sapphic experience. The cure to their curiosity was a Wild Women Vacation to Jamaica at Club Hedonism. Wild Women Vacation is a bi and bi-curious women’s and their partners’, men, vacation package.

I’m really starting to feel co-opted with these exploitative one-hour cinema vérité-style documentaries. These shows are just ridiculous. No wonder why a majority of people don’t understand bisexuals and have all of these bi myths and phobias.
In light of these “documentaries” reality show
A Shot at Love with Tila Tequila is starting to look more like a “real” honest perspective of a real bisexual woman than sensationalism. Almost.

We can do better. Just look at Nicole Kristal and Mike Szymanski co-authors of
The Bisexual's Guide to the Universe: Quips, Tips, and Lists for Those Who Go Both Ways and Jennifer Baumgardner, author of Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics. While these are successful recent books representing bisexuality in a realistic and positive way I’m sure the efforts that bisexuals are making on film, like the ones shown at this year’s Bi Request series at the San Francisco LGBT Film Festival, can make it to a wider audience at some point.

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