Bi erasure or simply ignoring bisexuality as a sexual preference has been a constant problem for the community. Bisexuality as a sexual preference is often seen as a state of confusion which is resolved when one “chooses” one side by indulging in either same sex relationship or being straight. This problem intensifies its grip over the population’s mind due to the incorrect portrayal of the bisexual experience by cinema or entertainment media.
The shows that we all have watched have certain wrong portrayal of bisexual characters. Often bisexual women are set in the scene just to make them look “sexier”. This can be seen in the movie Scott Pilgrim vs The World in which the lead female protagonist had a relationship with the same sex and when the conversation was brought up with her current male boyfriend, she termed it as a “phase” and his boyfriend then added- “was it a sexy phase”.
Such representation of bisexual women is outrageous and misleading to the crowd. More so, the lack of representation of bisexual men in cinema just proves how bisexuality for men is a taboo even today. The latest show on Netflix- Tiny Pretty Things- has a male bisexual character who is seen taking a “side” by becoming straight suddenly after his bisexual experience and denying any liking towards the man. This again shows how bisexuality is not freely expressed in the cinema and is always seen as a state of confusion.
Let us talk about the show- How I Met Your Mother- now, Lily is seen having certain feelings towards Robin yet whenever it is brought up it is seen as something to laugh on rather than to discuss. Lily never fully confronts it and the sitcom displays her desires as comical and something humorous.
Angelina Jolie has been a global icon when it comes to bisexual women in the world. She has constantly spoken about her past relationships and sexuality vividly with the media. Yet, even today she is often perceived as a straight woman mainly because she has married a man. This is where the media lacks the understanding and the notion of taking sides come to play. Simply because one chose to marry a man does not link it to her sexuality changing to straight and vice versa. The problem of bi erasure has existed since decades and bisexual people still lack a proper representation in media and correct portrayal of their sexuality. Bisexuality isn’t a state of confusion or denial, it is not a “sexy” attribute of a woman or a “shameful” act of a man, and it most definitely is not “experimenting”. Bisexuality needs to be embraced by the media instead of being erased repeatedly. 21st century demands more and the repression must end.