chapter  3
13 Pages

Locating Bisexual Identities: Discourses of Bisexuality and Contemporary Feminist Theory

Bisexuality appears to be all the rage at the moment. It has been much discussed recently within lesbian and gay politics and feminism. After such a long silence vis-à-vis bisexuality as a viable political identity (really since the early days of gay liberation), more and more people appear to be ‘coming out’ as bisexual, thinking about or writing about bisexuality. There has been a spate of books on bisexuality and its relation to feminism in the last few years, as well as a number of ‘personal narrative’ volumes (e.g. Bisexual Lives (1988)—Bisexual Lives II is on its way). Sue George’s Women and Bisexuality (1993) was the first British book on the subject for more than ten years.1 Yet Anglo-American feminist theory has still failed to address bisexuality as worthy of theoretical and political attention in its own right. The above-mentioned volumes are all by self-identified bisexuals. Interest in bisexuality has rarely been articulated by nonbisexuals. French feminists have written about bisexuality more consistently,2 but always within the specific French philosophical and psychological traditions. Anglo-American feminists have tended to keep away from those traditions and so have not been greatly influenced by the French interest in bisexuality. It is the Anglo-American traditions that I address in this chapter as they have most obviously compelled the recent resurgence of interest in theorising bisexuality.