Cognitive Dissonance

  • People:Genocide is bad.
  • People:No one should die because of shitty politics
  • People:That's inhumane.
  • Me:Hey, maybe people shouldn't fucking starve to death or freeze to death because they're poor.
  • People:Fuckin' SJW you just don't understand how the real world works.
  • People:They're lazy, okay, hun. ;)
I'm tired of people supporting whitewashed versions of fake oppression involving fake revolutions while policing and belittling the experiences of people who are actually oppressed.

I really am floored that so many of the people who have Hunger Games quotes and gifsets are running around trying to police how we react to real live violence against our persons. 

So I want to say to them:

Lets be real though. 

You aren’t Katniss. 

You’re not a tribute. 

You aren’t District 12. You aren’t District 8.

You aren’t. 

You are the freaking Capitol

You are the Capitol watching the Districts get angry, wondering why they’re so mad, after all, “you only had one of their kids die in Tribute during the Hunger Games, no harm done”.  Its not like you’re regularly oppressing their population and expecting them to contribute to something they don’t benefit from, sensationalizing the murder of their children and expecting them to be okay with it, and using the media to frame them as terrorists, while framing the whole mess like “well we could’ve done worse, shut up and pay us tribute for not slaughtering you en masse like we should have”. 

And you know it. 

That’s why, as much as you love the idea of a fictional revolution against some abstract, metaphorical oppressor (especially if its all centered on you), you are scared to death at the idea that we could revolt in real life, because you know exactly what role you would play. 

  • Person With Mental Illness:Please don't use these words, they're constantly used to dehumanize and infantilize me, and people like me.
  • Tumblr Activist:I will not use this word wow. I did not know that.
  • Person Without Mental Illness:*fucks up*
  • Tumblr Activist:How can you be so sociopathic?
  • Tumblr Activist:Why are these people so stupid?
  • Tumblr Activist:They have something wrong with them, you can just look at them and tell they're not right.
  • Tumblr Activist:You know they're crazy.
  • Person With Mental Illness:I thought we agreed we wouldn't use those words you know because of the stuff I said.
  • Tumblr Activist:How is this stuff even ableist?
  • Tumblr Activist:Stop making up shit to derail actual conversations on oppression.
Sometimes people hold a core belief that is very strong. When they are presented with evidence that works against that belief, the new evidence cannot be accepted. It would create a feeling that is extremely uncomfortable, called cognitive dissonance. And because it is so important to protect the core belief, they will rationalize, ignore and even deny anything that doesn’t fit in with the core belief.
—  Frantz Fanon
An Open Letter to Slate.com,

It was with some trepidation that we sat down yesterday to read your most recent piece by Mark Joseph Stern, “Is Bisexual Identity a Useful Fiction?”.  Sadly the piece was as bad as we feared.   

We don’t believe that Slate would ever publish a piece claiming that gay, lesbian, or transgender identity is a useful fiction.   We don’t believe that Slate would ever publish an article exploring the questioning of gay identity in this way.    Meanwhile this article, while purporting to be a rhetorical experiment, is blatantly disrespectful to bisexual people and displays a staggering lack of knowledge of the bisexual community to back up it’s sensationalist claims.

Nowhere was that more apparent than the section that stated Stern’s opinion on bisexual literature, namely that there isn’t any.   He said, “A book that’s identifiably “gay” has signifiers beyond sexual desires; most identifiably “bisexual” books merely have bisexual characters. That could surely change—but not until the bisexual movement focuses on more than just proving its own existence.”   

We at Bisexual Books have been writing about bisexuality and literature for a year now, and can say with absolute certainty that we know more about the subject of bisexual literature than Mr. Stern.   Bisexual literature is not as pervasive as gay and lesbian literature, but lack of popularity does not mean a lack of existence.  And it doesn’t mean that bisexual literature is unimportant.   One needs to look no further than the Bisexual Book Awards, now in their second year of honoring quality bisexual literature.  Or in the recent success of the Kickstarter campaign to support the publication of Best Bi Short Stories.   We invite Mr. Stern to follow our blog at bisexual-books.tumblr.com if he wishes to learn about the depth and breadth of bisexual literature.  

Mr. Stern’s allegations also come at an ironic time, considering that March is Bisexual Health Awareness Month.   The bisexual community has been working this month to raise awareness of the higher rates of abuse, suicide, anxiety, depression, heart disease,  cancer risk factors, and tobacco use than gay, lesbian, or straight people.     While Mr. Stern claims that the bisexual movement needs to do “more than  just proving its own existence,” we have not seen him or anyone else write about bisexual health issues recently at Slate.  

In fact, a quick search of Slate’s site shows that they’ve only published 229 articles with the keyword ‘bisexual’ (and many of those include those speaking of LGBT issues in general instead of bisexual issues in particular).   Compare that to the 1297 results for 'lesbian’ or the 5734 pieces that show up for 'gay’.    This includes zero results for the search terms 'bisexual health’.    

An article about the lack of bisexual culture that acknowledges that bisexual erasure prevents widespread knowledge about bisexuality, while at the same time claiming that bisexual culture doesn’t exist, is an absurd exercise in cognitive dissonance.  Bisexual people are not to blame for bi erasure or for the lack of attention we receive from the media.  The truth is that while Mr. Stern and Slate have been busy not paying attention, the bisexual community has been busy meeting with the White House and holding LGBT organizations accountable to serving bisexuals.   We’ve been too busy in fact to hand-hold a writer that cannot be bothered to do a 30 second Google search before presenting an ignorant pile of opinions as fact.  

We believe that this article shows a callous disregard for bisexual people and the bisexual community.   Bisexual people deserve better than to have our existence debated, whether that is from the New York Times or Slate.   There is no more debate to be had on this issue; we exist.  Trust us.  It’s our lives and our sexual identities.  We know who and what we are.  

And If at any time Slate (or any other media outlet) would like to discuss issues of bisexuality in literature with knowledgeable parties, we welcome them to contact us.

Sincerely, 

-Sarah, Ellie, and Evan

Cognitive Dissonance
  • Tumblr Activists:Oppression is bad.
  • Tumblr Activists:Ableism is bad.
  • Tumblr Activist:I would never make fun of a person for having a mental illness!
  • Tumblr Activists:Look at this oppressive asshole.
  • Tumblr Activists:He's so stupid!
  • Tumblr Activist:I bet he's crazy, he's probably a sociopathic psycho.
  • Tumblr Activist:Or at least missing a few screws in his head!

Hey, so just trying to make sense of the backlash Taylor Swift’s video for ‘Shake it off’ is currently getting from people like —>>

Ok that’s cool, but I just watched the new Nicki Minaj video for 'Anaconda’ and I’m pretty, prettyy, pretty confused in how her video isn’t getting similar responses from such commentators? 

IDK, is Minaj an exception in perpetuating black stereotypes and using them to entertain? Is it only ever okay to twerk in a video if you’re black? BUT ISN’T THAT STILL REDUCING A CULTURE TO A SEXUALISED PERFORMANCE? AREN’T BLACK WOMEN, WOMEN IN GENERAL, SO MUCH MORE THAN A TWERK? WHY ARE THERE ONLY BLACK WOMEN WITH BIG BUMS IN NICKI’S VIDEO? YOU CAN FIND MEN AND WOMEN ALL OVER THE WORLD WITH BOOTY? AM I MISSING SOMETHING? IS TWERKING A SACRED ACT? WHAT ARE THE RULES? WHY AM I YELLING?