So, I’ve been seeing this a lot lately and I feel the need to write a stand alone post about it. There’s this argument out there that bisexual women have some version of privilege because they’re “sexually available” to men and lesbians don’t have that because they’re not “sexually available” to men. I keep seeing this over and over again about bi women being “available to men,” those are the words used, and I just really need to talk about how really horrible that is.
So a disclaimer before I begin - yes, bi women get treated differently by straight guys than lesbians do, I’m not going to argue any different, it’s a thing, it happens.
So the thing is… You know how really actually truly believes that women, any women, are “sexually available” to men? Rapists do. Rapists believe that all women either are or should be sexually available to them and that’s a big part of why they rape, abuse, sexually assault, and harass women. This is a fact and it’s a serious rape culture issue. And you know who’s not “sexually available” to men? FUCKING EVERYONE!!! NOBODY is available to anyone! People might choose to have sex with individual people and that’s their choice but NOBODY is just available to anybody for any reason.
Straight women are not “available” to men either (despite what rapists and abusers would like to think). Some straight women may choose to have sex with some men some times but they’re damn sure not just “available” to anyone (not even their intimate partners who might feel that the relationship means an availability exists which it doesn’t). When you claim that bi women are “available” to men you’re stripping them of their agency, you’re saying that everything is all about what the men want and think and that’s rape culture.
And yeah, some men do think that kind of shit, that’s totally a thing, but those men are fucking rapists and abusers and them thinking that is totally 100% on them. It’s not something bi women create via their sexuality anymore than women who get raped by their husbands have created those men thinking they’re available via their agreeing to marry them. It’s something rape culture has created by virtue of commodifying and objectifying women and their sexuality and telling men that women are or should be their property. So yeah, it exists but it’s damn sure not a privilege! It’s a rape culture issue, it’s a method of oppression, it’s something women, all women, SUFFER not something that benefits us!
A lesbian being perceived as a “challenge” by abusive men is the obverse of women who aren’t lesbians being perceived as “available” by abusive men. These are different sides of the same coin, it’s all about control and conquest and objectification. It’s all oppression. It’s all terrible. None of it’s privilege. And ALL of it is created by those men, it’s their responsibility, it’s in no way the fault of any of the women who deal with it.