wrt the iron bull, and ‘bi’ vs ‘pan’


i’ve seen a few arguments going on in the past few days in various posts about whether or not it’s okay to call the iron bull bisexual instead of pansexual (as patrick weekes, i think, clarified on twitter). and if word of god is your argument, that’s totally fine and absolutely legit.

but there’s another argument that’s used that makes me, as someone who is attracted to their own and other genders and readily identifies as bisexual, hugely uncomfortable:

because bi = ‘two’, therefore bisexual = ‘attracted to two genders’ (which somehow ~automatically~ means men and women) while pansexual = ‘attracted to all genders’. so the iron bull has to be called pansexual.

which is, frankly, bullshit. aside from the fact that ‘two genders’ could mean any two genders; if that’s your argument, you’re basically signing off on a damn cissexist definition of bisexual. the word literally means ‘twosexual’, which, if you’re so desperate to argue with semantics? homo = ‘same’, while hetero =/= ‘the other’, it just means ‘other’. so by that logic, heterosexual people are attracted to all genders not their own. and bisexual means (and has commonly been defined as) being both homo- and heterosexual. ergo, attracted to all genders.

basically when somebody uses the above argument, all i’m hearing is ‘this word was made by people like you, has been used by people like you, but you’re not allowed to use it now or define it.

and that’s shitty.

tl;dr: i don’t care if someone calls the iron bull bisexual or pansexual; if you do and want to argue the case, use word of god, that makes your case plenty. don’t try to tell bisexual folks how their sexuality is defined.


A girl in my Sociology class turns around during a class activity on goals to start a conversation with me. Her opening line is: ‘I want to get married.’ I nod and smile. She does not ask me my goals, just continues telling me the sort of guy she’d like to be with and how many kids she’d like. Thoughtfully, she adds, ‘My mom told me to meet someone and marry them. You don’t wanna date around because you wanna be fresh for the guy and not a….you know what.’

My cousin’s Facebook ‘About Me’ lists things she would like in a man. There is nothing about her or the things she does, only qualities she finds attractive. ‘Looking for someone who can play the guitar and cook a great dinner,’ she wrote. I can hear her bubbly, singsong voice while reading it. She is thirteen years old and has told me that girls ‘oughta only kiss their husbands and that’s it.’ When I ask her what she wants to be when she’s older she says, ‘Married.’

My male friend tells me that he has no problem with what girls do, but that he would not date a girl who’s ‘been around’ because she’d be ‘dirty.’ I wonder if each time someone touches you, a part of you is soiled. If there are piles of dirt in the spaces where others’ fingers once rested. In the shower, I try to scrub the smell of dirt from myself, but come out, still polluted, with red scratch marks all over me.

Being called a ‘you know what’ taught me some things: that I do not want to be touched by somebody who will judge my past. That I am not a tally book, with others’ names burned into me. If you have to label me as something, let it be a human being.

A “You Know What” | Lora Mathis 
(via conor-broberst)




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