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AUTHOR: Jennifer Baumgardner
PUBLISHER: Farrar, Straus, and Giroux
DATE: 2007
PAGES: 244

Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics

by Jennifer Baumgardner

For the acclaimed author and activist Jennifer Baumgardner, bisexuality has always been more than the “sexual non-preference of the ’90s.” In Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics, Baumgardner takes a close look at the growing visibility of gay and bisexual characters, performers, and issues on the national cultural stage. Despite the prevalence of bisexuality among Generation X and Y women, she finds that it continues to be marginalized by both gay and straight cultures, and dismissed either as a phase or a cop-out. With intimacy and humor, Baumgardner discusses her own experience as a bisexual, and the struggle she’s undergone to reconcile the privilege she’s garnered as a woman who is perceived as straight and the empowerment and satisfaction she’s derived from her relationships with women.

Part memoir, part pop-culture study, Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics connects the prominent dots of a bisexual community (Alix Kates Shulman, Ani DiFranco, Rebecca Walker, and, of course, Anne Heche) that Baumgardner argues have bridged feminist aims with those of the gay rights movement. “Look Both Ways “is a compelling and current study in bisexual lives lived secretly and openly, and an exploration of the lessons learned by writers, artists, and activists who have refused the either/or paradigm defended by both gay and straight communities. 

  • Acknowledgements
  • Introduction
  • 1. First Look
  • 2. What Is Bisexuality?
  • 3. The Woman-Identified Woman: Bisexuality and the Second Wave
  • 4. Bisexuality Now: The Ani Phenomenon
  • 5. Gay Expectations
  • 6. But Is It Sex?
  • 7. Men: Can’t Live With Them…
  • 8. Sexual Tension: Bisexual Women and Lesbians
  • 9. On Being Entitled: Bisexual Politics
  • Notes
  • Index


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