Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Ch-ch-changes. Part two

Of course, I failed you again and had no chance to carry on posting last night. So anyway, here's a continuation of those changes that I've noticed.

1990s: I've slapped up a picture of Madonna here because it seems to me that she was one of those "bi-try" women of the early 90s. Think her book Sex. Think all those other songs... Justify My Love, was it? Think her giggling appearance with Sandra Bernhard on the David Letterman show.
Of course, there was also the flowering, if you can call it that, of "lipstick lesbianism" which is generally agreeed to have started when KD Laing was seen on the cover of Vanity Fair being "shaved" by Cindy Crawford. Whatever, there was a decline in the separatist feminism of yore which made it easier for women to say they were bi. Sadly. Can't we have fun, acceptance and feminism?
Bi men were still having a terrible time, although the introduction of ARVs in the mid-1990s meant people weren't dying in such huge numbers, or so rapidly. Thank God. Although outside of the wealthy West, and indeed inside it for people with no medical insurance or national health service, it wasn't a great deal of help.
Then queer theory started being taught at universities. Ah, queer theory. Very important to many people, and certainly a good tool in deconstructing gender, but a bugger if it hasn't been explained to you. I try to muddle through but given that it wasn't invented when I was at university its jargon can be an uphill struggle.
The bi community started off the decade pretty healthy, but in the UK anyway, it seemed to me to be wobbling a bit. The bi community has always had far more than its fair share of computer geeks and they started setting up listservs and message boards which meant that meeting in person became less significant. The general public took a few years to catch up...
Then, in 1997 - very important to us in the UK but not elsewhere - the election of the labour government. Lots of anti-gay laws repealed, true, but lots of changes in society that haven't helped anyone...

(Note to self. This is a blog. It is not a newspaper article. Stop now and have some dinner. You can write about the changes since 2000 next time.)


Anonymous said...

Interesting timeline. I was a baby through most of this, but it's still relevant nonetheless.


Anonymous said...

And to think, I am just a content bi chick, travelling through my daily duties with no thoughts about the history of bi women and men...I ought to give a little more consideration...

Seriously, Sue, thanks for the timeline posts. It is really interesting ~ and socially imperative ~ to look at how we have progressed (though not always in a *progress as positive* sort of way). What a great read.

Oh, and Happy Belated Birthday :)

Al said...

"Then, in 1997 [...] the election of the labour government."

This era is interesting to me, because although it is within my memory I had no interest in sexual politics at the time. I remember the odd story, but I wasn't really paying attention. Yet it is a bit strange to think that in 1997 I was 15 years old; so this must have been the time I really started to suppress my thoughts. Was I ignoring it on purpose?

Anyway, it would be great if you would come back and elaborate on this era when you feel inspired.