These days there are an endless number of bright, ambitious, well educated, self-actualized and highly successful people who twist themselves into philosophical and linguistic pretzels in order to avoid having the dreaded "F-word" applied to them. BUT . . . they all also fully expect to live lives full of equal rights, equal pay, plentiful "bennies" AND (more importantly), if trouble in the form of sexism strikes their happy little label-free post-feminist world they all also expect that that NOW, NARAL et. al. will be there, fully staffed and funded and ready to spring to their defence whenever they need it.
I thought of these people today when reading this blog entry "Has Bi organizing gone the way of TV Guide?".
I thought of all the people who these days are quick to say that they are Hetroflexible, Bi-Curious, Pansexual, Homoflexible, Bi-chic, Omnisexual, Bi-serious, Undecided, Fluid, Unlabeled, etc., etc., etc. . . . just about anything but Bisexual. And I thought about the various well known literary and cultural figures who while pleased to to chatter on to the press about their various boyfriends, girlfriends, husbands and wives are just as quick to disavow the "B-word" as others are the "F-word". It seems that they all just "don't believe in labels".
Yeah. Uh huh. Whatever you say.
In particular I thought of a popular bi celebrity who acknowledged the "B-word" in an interview, but when asked about "bi-focused organizing" said: ". . . . I will say that it doesn’t interest me. At a couple of my readings, representatives of bi-oriented groups have attended. I so appreciated their presence and support of the book, but I feel like I have an informal bi community and don’t personally need a support group, nor do I want to have to go to more meetings! I feel like I’m a feminist without being part of NOW or a bunch of organizations, and I can be bisexual without joining a bisexual network."
Of course I also noted in great and ironic amusement that I did not ever hear of said celebrity turning down any of the publicity and therefore money brought in from those same Bisexual, LGBT or even Feminist groups. I only noticed that the celebrity did not want the bother of actually supporting any of these groups, that are the underpinnings of the communities she draws her fame and fortune from.
So no, I don't think it is the time to abandon America's national bisexual rights advocacy group, any more than I think we should disband the NAACP because Condoleezza Rice is the US Secretary of State or that Senator Barack Obama is a serious candidate for US President. Sadly they are still the exception, not the rule and from what I can tell the same holds true in the lives of most ordinary bisexual people.
What I think we need is more people to realize that the bisexual community that they assumed would always be there to assist them is primarily a DYI type of thing. What we needed is more people stepping up to do a bit of volunteer work or to donate a bit of money to the cause.
And if life is too overwhelming right now to commit the time to volunteering or things are too streached thin for a donation, then we need people to make a promise to themselves that they will help out someday when in a better position . . . but that today they will at least take the time to drop that one hard-working volunteer a line and tell her that her work is appreciated and needed.
X-posted here and there - please feel free to do the same.