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at home with the movies

The OH and I saw Kissing Jessica Stein this evening. He thought it was OK, and I decided that there should be a new corollary to the Bechdel Test:

Movies about people who have romantic/sexual relationships with people of multiple sexes must use the B-word at least once.

The Q-word would also be fine...or really, any word or set of words that shows the slightest hint of acknowledging that bisexuality can be a lasting sexual identity and not a period of confusion or experimentation because you had a string of lousy luck with the gender you've been dating up until now.

KJS passes the Bechdel Test (a movie must have (a) two women who (b) talk to each other (c) about something other than a man) but fails the B-Word Corollary, to my great irritation.

A cute moment: After one scene, the OH paused the movie because I was looking puzzled. He asked what I was thinking about and I said, "I'm trying to remember if we've ever interrupted our reading to have sex." He said, "Why would we?!?!"

Comments

( 43 comments — Leave a comment )
loracs
Apr. 20th, 2006 09:50 am (UTC)
The B-Word is So Scary!
I agree with you, it is very irritating when they do everything to show/describe a bisexual person/relationship, but can not use the word.

I once had a lesbian at the fat swim come up to me (about 6 inches from my face) and say "I don't believe in bisexuals." I don't know what she expected me to do or say. I was so surprised. I don't remember what I said, probably not much. I wish I had said something like "I'm so glad my sexuality does not depend on your believing in it."

Or maybe I should have dramatically sweep my hand to my forehead, pretended to grow weak and say "Please, somebody help me and say 'I do believe in bisexuals, I do believe in bisexuals' before I fade away."
epi_lj
Apr. 20th, 2006 12:44 pm (UTC)
Re: The B-Word is So Scary!
That's such a bizarre thing. I mean, there are bisexuals out there. How can one not believe in them? It's like not believing in broccoli.
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - jinian - Apr. 20th, 2006 02:39 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - epi_lj - Apr. 20th, 2006 03:00 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - vito_excalibur - Apr. 20th, 2006 04:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - rmjwell - Apr. 20th, 2006 07:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - wordweaverlynn - Apr. 20th, 2006 05:37 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - the_siobhan - Apr. 30th, 2006 01:20 am (UTC) - Expand
rmjwell
Apr. 20th, 2006 01:22 pm (UTC)
Re: The B-Word is So Scary!
Maybe she thought you would vbanish in a puff of smoke? Or your gender identity would?
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - ruth_lawrence - Apr. 20th, 2006 02:52 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - redbird - Apr. 20th, 2006 03:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - jenk - Apr. 20th, 2006 06:26 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - rmjwell - Apr. 20th, 2006 07:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - vito_excalibur - Apr. 20th, 2006 04:04 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - firecat - Apr. 20th, 2006 05:11 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - technomom - Apr. 20th, 2006 11:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - micheinnz - Apr. 21st, 2006 08:16 am (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - technomom - Apr. 21st, 2006 04:55 pm (UTC) - Expand
Re: The B-Word is So Scary! - micheinnz - Apr. 21st, 2006 07:17 pm (UTC) - Expand
epi_lj
Apr. 20th, 2006 12:48 pm (UTC)
I'm often torn about the usage of "the 'B' word" these days, because 99% of my brushes with it are with lesbians achieving inner peace by deciding that even though they sleep with both men and women, it's okay for them to still identify as lesbian.

It's a conflicted thing for me, because on an instinctual level I want to support people's ability to self-define, and I don't think that it's my position to challenge someone else's identity. At the same time, you only have to hear so many times people achieving calm by realizing that they don't have to be bisexual (although they rarely use the word) and expressing open revulsion at the idea of changing their self-identification to anything other than lesbian before you start feeling like the alternative (which happens to be my own identification) is somehow bad or dirty or something like that.
loracs
Apr. 20th, 2006 03:16 pm (UTC)
Yep, I have that same schism. Self identify is important. AND I know several lesbians who sleep with men and can't use the "b" word even as in "woman identified bisexual". JoAnn Loulan is rather famous (in my circle at least) as the very public lesbian, who says she loves her partner(a man), but refuses to use the "b" word and will ONLY identify as a lesbian. I wonder how he feels about this? I would feel a little "put in my place" by that kind of open, public pronouncement; and invisible. But then Joann has made her living in the lesbian community, so maybe this plays into it. She said if they every broke up she would only be involved with a woman.
(no subject) - firecat - Apr. 20th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC) - Expand
firecat
Apr. 20th, 2006 05:22 pm (UTC)
Said lesbians do this because there's a lot of prejudice against bisexuals in the lesbian community, and if you label as bisexual you get slapped with this prejudice. I can understand individuals choosing to label as lesbian because of this - I think the situation is a big shame and they "shouldn't" sidestep the issue like that (thereby contributing to it), but I'm not going to waste my energy feeling angry at the individuals. I'd rather spend my energy complaining about the media portrayals that support the prejudice and the invisibility (like the Bitch magazine thing I complained about a few months ago, and this movie).

I probably would try to avoid personally describing the sexual identity of such individuals with a single word, since if I used my word it would conflict with their chosen word.
(Deleted comment)
johnpalmer
Apr. 20th, 2006 03:17 pm (UTC)
I've always made romantic love the deciding factor, because the ability to reach orgasm can be learned pretty easily if the proper stimulus is applied. Of course, this would cancel out people who never feel much in the way of romantic love, but still have long-term partners that make them happy... but then, it's my definition, and I don't apply it to anyone else unless it agrees with their own self-identification.

(no subject) - loracs - Apr. 20th, 2006 03:27 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
(Deleted comment)
(no subject) - johnpalmer - Apr. 20th, 2006 05:25 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Apr. 20th, 2006 05:47 pm (UTC) - Expand
firecat
Apr. 20th, 2006 05:07 pm (UTC)
For me the determining factor was figuring out that I was fairly regularly feeling romantic love for women. I frequently felt sexual attraction to women too, but because of all the sex-oriented ads in women's magazines, I thought everyone felt that. (Turns out that is not true, either.)

I mostly don't care what individuals call their own sexual identity. I do care about media portrayals of this type leaving out the word bisexual or queer entirely.
(no subject) - jenk - Apr. 20th, 2006 06:28 pm (UTC) - Expand
(Deleted comment)
keryx
Apr. 20th, 2006 02:01 pm (UTC)
I remember thinking the exact same thing about that movie - like, maybe her image of her sexuality isn't that she's bi, queer, whatever... shouldn't someone at least mention it at some point?
firecat
Apr. 20th, 2006 04:54 pm (UTC)
Ding ding ding ding ding!
(no subject) - keryx - Apr. 20th, 2006 05:41 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - firecat - Apr. 20th, 2006 07:50 pm (UTC) - Expand
(no subject) - keryx - Apr. 20th, 2006 07:56 pm (UTC) - Expand
ex_serenejo
Apr. 20th, 2006 05:24 pm (UTC)
I'm trying to think of anything we *haven't* interrupted to have sex.
johnpalmer
Apr. 20th, 2006 07:03 pm (UTC)
The obvious question is "What about sex? Have you ever interrupted *that* to have sex?"

But there are ways to answer "yes" to that, and some of those are actually kinda-sensible, so it can ruin the joke.
(no subject) - ex_serenejo - Apr. 20th, 2006 07:05 pm (UTC) - Expand
tedesson
Apr. 20th, 2006 09:10 pm (UTC)
The B-word is almost always missing in action.

Example from _Slap Shot_ (a funny movie that's smarter about sex and hockey than I ever suspected, which I saw for the first time a couple of weeks ago).

A man and a woman are naked in bed. She's telling him the story of how she came to leave her husband for another woman. He's listening with interest and compassion and acceptance. When she'd done talking they go back to making out.

The B-word is noticably absent.

lysana
Apr. 21st, 2006 03:26 am (UTC)
I'd tell you which movie I saw recently that missed the Bechdel Law but hit the B-Word Corollary, but it spoils the punchline of the final scene. Suffice it to say I was duly impressed with Vince Vaughn and Ben Stiller. It even managed a poly moment.
( 43 comments — Leave a comment )

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