MORE BLOGS: Blurt | Stuck in VT | Solid State

Seven Days Blogs: Mistress Maeve

« Stuck on Amadis | Main | College Dating 101 »

Monday, September 08, 2008

Pondering "Party Lesbians"

There's an interesting debate at Jezebel over whether opportunistic "bisexuals" are good or bad for the GLBT movement. The opportunists in question are people like Tila Tequila, the object of everyone's desires on MTV's bisexual-themed dating show, A Shot At Love With Tila Tequila, and Katy Perry, the singer who's responsible for the 2008 pop hit "I Kissed A Girl." (Lyrics: I kissed a girl and I liked it / The taste of her cherry Chapstick / I kissed a girl just to try it / Hope my boyfriend don't mind it.)

The idea is that these "party lesbians" have used their bisexuality (or, at least their healthy curiosity of the opposite sex) to further their careers — and make more men like them. The same could be said for Britney's and Christina's on-stage kissing with Madonna at the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards.

Jezebel asks, does "the presence of someone like Tila Tequila create more awareness of the sexuality spectrum and as a result, more understanding? Or is it just a spectacle that ultimately belittles what real lesbians and bisexuals go through?"

First of all, I take offense to how the question is phrased. Who's to say Tila Tequila isn't a "real" bisexual? If we have to live in a world with labels, the least we can do is trust people to pick their own.

As for the real meat of the issue, as nauseating as these pop culture phenomena are, I think they do serve some positive purpose in the GLBT movement — mainly, visibility and acceptance from the younger generation who will hopefully grow up to be more tolerant.

For those right-wing conservatives who would use these bits of alternative pop culture against the GLBT movement, I would remind them that people in glass houses shouldn't throw stones. Just turn on the television and you'll see countless depictions of "straight hedonism" — and they wouldn't want all heterosexual people to judged upon those depictions, right? Plus, television and other media are also depicting a more ho-hum view of queer culture with story lines about loving gay families, etc.

Do I like Tila Tequila? No. Do I think she should be able to show her sexuality in any way she pleases? Yes. It makes me very nervous when a person or movement tries to tell a group of people how to — or how not to — behave.

I had the pleasure of seeing Leslie Feinberg speak at UVM some years ago, and he said something that I'll never forget. He reminded the crowd that when you're going to bat for civil rights, you're "only as strong as the people on your picket lines." Meaning, your movement includes e-v-e-r-y-b-o-d-y who is representing it — whether that be a gay family with 2.5 kids, a Volvo and white picket fence or Tila Tequila. Than again, has Tila done any kind of activism? Is her television show "activism"?

What do you think?


blog comments powered by Disqus
All Rights Reserved © SEVEN DAYS 1995-2010 | PO Box 1164, Burlington, VT 05402-1164 | 802.864.5684