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Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution

Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution [Kindle Edition]

Shiri Eisner
5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)

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Product Description


"Brilliant! I have been waiting twenty years for a book like this. It should be required reading for any person even considering entering the dialogue about where the 'B' fits in the LGBT world. Let the revolution begin." --Kyle Schickner, Bi Activist/Filmmaker "Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution ... is a groundbreaking exploration of bisexual politics by a revolutionary thinker." --Publishers Weekly "This is the most innovative and exciting book to be published on bisexuality in many years, and one which will move work in this area forward in many vital ways. Eisner weaves together bisexual theory and activism with related areas in a sophisticated and rigorous manner that enriches both the field of bisexuality and those that are drawn into dialogue with it. In particular, the explorations of racialization and the conversations between bisexual activism and the politics of global conflicts are highly original, thought-provoking, and important. Throughout the book Eisner challenges existing practices, such as biphobia and 'mythbusting' of bisexual stereotypes, and puts forward intriguing and valuable alternatives. The book will be helpful far beyond the bisexual movement itself and is a must-read for feminists, LBG&T workers, critical race and queer theorists and activists particularly." --Meg Barker, author of The Bisexuality Report "Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution is a brilliant and comprehensive look at where the bisexual movement has been, and where it should head in the future. Rather than merely denying or debunking the countless accusations and stereotypes that plague bisexuality (as many past writers have done), Shiri Eisner exposes the underlying assumptions and misconceptions about sex, gender, and sexuality that give rise to societal monosexism and biphobia. A must read, not only for those of us who fall under the bisexual umbrella, but for feminists, queer and trans activists, and anyone who is concerned with social justice." --Julia Serano, author of Whipping Girl: A Transsexual Woman on Sexism and the Scapegoating of Femininity and Excluded: Making Feminist and Queer Movements More Inclusive "Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution is a breath of fresh air. So much of sexual-political activism and writing these days seems to seek acceptance by mainstream society rather than profound change. Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution steps right outside of that. It is far and away the most significant analysis of bisexuality published this century." --Sue George, author of Women and Bisexuality and blogger at Bisexuality and Beyond "Shiri Eisner unpacks bisexuality and the bisexual experience, challenging 'monosexism' privilege in a refreshing, clear, unwavering voice. But, instead of the usual narratives of bi activism, Eisner brings us a global, "radical" vision, recognizing the seemingly endless battle for mere acknowledgement as whole people, while taking us further--toward a "bi revolution." Make no mistake: Shiri Eisner offers us more than a fresh voice for a new generation of bi activism; Eisner offers us all a call to action." --William E. Burleson, author of Bi America: Myths, Truths, and Struggles of an Invisible Community "Shiri Eisner has deftly woven a fresh, clear, subtle, and profound analysis of the revolutionary potential of bisexuality. I wholeheartedly recommend this passionate, engaging, and thought-provoking book to anyone who cares about the intersections of gender, sexuality, and social justice." --Jamie Heckert, PhD, co-editor of Anarchism & Sexuality: Ethics, Relationships and Power "What a joy! Hurrah, hurrah. Decades after we birthed our bi US anthology, Eisner's practical tips for organizers, brain food for theory-heads, and inspirational proposals offer a visionary trans-national approach that takes bi experiences and identities to new levels, depths, breadths. A volume for all of us, bi every name we call ourselves." --Loraine Hutchins, co-editor of Bi Any Other Name: Bisexual People Speak Out

Product Description

Depicted as duplicitous, traitorous, and promiscuous, bisexuality has long been suspected, marginalized, and rejected by both straight and gay communities alike.

Bi takes a long overdue, comprehensive look at bisexual politics—from the issues surrounding biphobia/monosexism, feminism, and transgenderism to the practice of labeling those who identify as bi as either “too bisexual” (promiscuous and incapable of fidelity) or “not bisexual enough” (not actively engaging romantically or sexually with people of at least two different genders). In this forward-thinking and eye-opening book, feminist bisexual and genderqueer activist Shiri Eisner takes readers on a journey through the many aspects of the meanings and politics of bisexuality, specifically highlighting how bisexuality can open up new and exciting ways of challenging social convention.

Informed by feminist, transgender, and queer theory, as well as politics and activism, Bi is a radical manifesto for a group that has been too frequently silenced, erased, and denied—and a starting point from which to launch a bisexual revolution.

Product details

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • File Size: 626 KB
  • Print Length: 352 pages
  • Publisher: Seal Press (2 July 2013)
  • Sold by: Amazon Media EU S.à r.l.
  • Language: English
  • ASIN: B00BE65KIG
  • Text-to-Speech: Enabled
  • X-Ray:
  • Average Customer Review: 5.0 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (1 customer review)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: #197,237 Paid in Kindle Store (See Top 100 Paid in Kindle Store)
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More About the Author

Shiri Eisner is a feminist bisexual and genderqueer activist, writer and researcher. She resides in Tel Aviv, Israel/Occupied Palestine, where she founded and currently heads the grassroots bisexual organization, Panorama - Bi and Pansexual Feminist Community. She is currently pursuing her MA in gender studies while keeping involved with various political movements, including Mizrahi, feminist, queer, disability, animal liberation and Palestine solidarity work. She hopes to incite the revolution very soon.

Customer Reviews

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
Simply put: this is the book I've been wishing for every time I opened a new book about bisexuality.

It's inspiring and empowering, it makes me feel proud as a bisexual and it makes me feel like we can make the world better. At the same time, this book isn't here to hide the problems we have as a movement. It's here to help us be the best that we can be and unlock our full potential, and in order to do that, we have to own up to our faults.

Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution is so many things all at once. It's a tool to analyse our situation. It's a guidebook for a way forward. It can function both as an introduction to bi history and theory and as an advanced course. It's a manual for inclusiveness in our community. It's a radical bisexual manifesto. It's a wake-up call to the bisexual community. It's a celebration of bisexuality.

Already in the introduction, Shiri Eisner proves herself a skilled writer and someone who, as the expression goes, knows her stuff. It's clear from the start that we're in good hands. She introduces herself with an examination of her privilege and oppressions, the first time I've ever seen such a thing in a published book. She explains the concept of trigger warnings and how the book uses them. Trigger warnings! It's amazing and it turns the entire book into a safe space.

She then goes on to examine bisexuality and what it means to be bisexual, drawing on her absolutely vast knowledge of the bisexual community and its history. This might sound like intro-level stuff, but it isn't. While it's written in such a way that people new to bisexual politics or privilege-oppression analysis can keep up, it's also very interesting and informative for those who've read a handful of books on the subject already.
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Most Helpful Customer Reviews on (beta) 4.4 out of 5 stars  17 reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars A truly amazing book on bisexuality-a must read 24 Jun 2013
By Gene A. Bradley - Published on
Bisexuality has long been seen as something weird, stupid, not-real, and just generally not accepted by the straight or even the LGT community. If you are looking to learn more about bisexuality, you need to read this book. Bisexuality is something that should be accepted as something real, because it is! (If you have been questioning your sexuality, I would also strongly suggest that you read this book) Shiri Eisner explains the meanings, politics, and controversy of bisexuality, and shows how it can enlighten to everyone a whole new way of going against social norms. Read this book-you will not regret it!
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Long Past Time: You Need This Book 11 July 2013
By Patrick RichardsFink - Published on
This is the book we have been waiting for. Eisner carefully, systematically, and thoughtfully teases out the tangled threads of what it really means to be bisexual and how the dominant culture fears, reviles, and erases bisexuals -- and how the mainstream of Lesbian and Gay is complicit in this via their deliberate erasure even unto rewriting history. From the ongoing "Anything But Bisexual" label issues, to misogyny, to homophobia and biphobia, this book breaks it down to first causes.

There is no attempt to be hip, to be titillating, to drop a wink and say something shocking because it's expected. No, this book is deadly serious. It's important, truthful, unflinching, and sincere.

I do not agree with all of Eisner's ideas (just the great majority of them) -- and I also don't think that this book is completely exhaustive. By nature, it could not be. Scholars will be spending the next generation filling in the gaps. But this is the book that the bisexual community has needed for years. Finally, a book for us, by us, about us; a book liberally sprinkled with trigger warnings so that it is accessible to everyone; a book that looks at bisexuality and the bisexual movement through the lens of bisexuality rather than trying to figure out how we fit into Gay or Straight.

When you read this book your perspective on the world will change, even if you are already knowledgeable about bisexuality.

No collection of queer nonfiction or queer theory can be considered complete enough to be even remotely useful if it doesn't have this book in it.

Full disclosure: I received a copy of this book free of charge. However, I will be buying multiple copies, because this is one of those books that you will have to lend out and give to other people and to organizations who need it in their libraries.
7 of 7 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Exciting and revolutionary 22 July 2013
By missteared - Published on
I originally bought this for my Kindle, but two chapters and a lot of highlighting in, I realized I absolutely needed a physical copy as well. This is a book I will come back to again and again, as a resource and a reminder.

This book is fantastic. It came for me at exactly the right time in my life just as I was ready to step out of the closet, and contextualized much of my personal feelings and struggles. It's helped me on my own path toward reclaiming bisexuality. I can interface with my own sexuality and community on more than a superficial level. It gave me the tools to combat the oppression of and inside my community.

More valuable were its discussions of biphobia and how to combat common stereotypes and myths without falling into exclusionary language, as well as looking at the root of biphobia and why bisexuality threatens monosexism. An entire chapter on so-called passing privilege was especially helpful, given the criticism non-monosexuals often get from monosexual-identified people. The concept of bisexuality as subversive never occurred to me, but seems so natural now. After all, who better to break down borders than those who pass between them? She situates bisexuality both within the straight world and the LGBTQ+ community, expanding on the unique problems of navigating both, and her deconstruction of biphobia experienced differently by men, women, trans*, and genderqueer/nonbinary people is particularly useful.

Eisner is well aware of her own privileges when she writes, as well as the backgrounds of her audience. The book contains concise definitions of terminology and trigger warnings to make it accessible to people of all backgrounds. She prefaces sections and ideas so that her intent comes across clear.

The scope of this book is enormous and I sincerely hope it inspires Eisner or other bi activists to expound on many of its ideas in greater depth.

This is the book on bisexuality I didn't know I needed until I had it.
5 of 5 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Must-Read! 18 Aug 2013
By A. J. Walkley - Published on
I just finished Shiri Eisner's Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution and, I must say, I am geared up and ready to make change! Looking back over the book now, I realize I have highlighted almost every single page in this non-fiction call-to-action and will have quite the challenge to synthesize my thoughts into a digestible review. Nevertheless, here we go...

First off, overall I would like to say that this is a definite must-read for not only every bisexual activist, but every bisexual, pansexual, monosexual, homosexual, heterosexual, genderqueer -- heck, everyone! The research Eisner has done for this book is clear from the beginning and the result is an incredible historical review of the bisexual movement from a whole host of perspectives and views, as well as clear ideas for revolutionizing it from here on out. With chapters on bisexuality, monosexism and biphobia, privilege, feminism, women and men, trans*, radicalization and what Eisner calls the "GGGG movement," or the Gay-Gay-Gay-Gay movement, readers are exposed to the major issues that have impacted bisexuals over the years and those that are affecting us today.

While I could easily write a series of articles based on Bi, I have instead chosen some specific quotes that truly spoke to me to comment on; we begin with, "our political struggle needs to reflect the interests of everyone, address everyone's needs, and endeavor to attain resources for and empower people of all groups -- not just the ones who fit a certain palatable standard." Eisner continues: "A very long list of people is being thrown overboard in the effort to `fight biphobia.' In this way, the rebuttal in fact imposes biphobic normative standards on the bisexual community itself, drawing a line between `good' and `bad' bisexuals." And further on: "It seems that in order to receive mainstream approval and acceptance, bi communities adopt and repeat the same mainstream values that are normally used against them."

These quotes truly jumped out when I read them because of the fact that, in my own writing and in the Bi the Bi column I have co-written for The Huffington Post, I believe I am at fault for trying to make greater society accept bisexuals by assuring that I am a monogamous bisexual, for instance, attempting to counter the stereotype that bisexuals cannot be monogamous. Eisner is spot on here -- some bisexuals are monogamous and some aren't, and that is okay, that is beautiful. We cannot hope to move forward in bisexual activism by scapegoating anyone. I will be sure to check myself in this area in my own writing and speaking engagements from here on out, and I thank Eisner for calling this aspect out. I hope others will do the same.

Perhaps one of the most important points for bisexual activism is that we cannot continue to neglect specifically bisexual causes in order to assimilate into the "GGGG movement." We have put a lot of force behind repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" and the fight for marriage equality, for example, which do impact bisexuals -- but perhaps not as much as issues of health disparity, homelessness and domestic violence. Eisner writes:

"People with more urgent needs than marriage are neglected from the resources and activist efforts of the GGGG movement. GGGG organizations spend many millions of dollars on the struggle for marriage, while organizations addressing the issues of queer and trans homelessness [sic] youth, HIV+ queers, queer and trans people of color, queers in poverty, queer and trans survivors of violence, and many others suffer from a constant lack of money and resources."

And when bisexuals are affected by these issues to a greater extent than lesbians and gay men, it truly makes you take a step back to reassess where our time and money is going -- as well as why we are trying to assimilate to begin with.

There are definitely some radical points of view Eisner poses that may not be for everyone; but regardless, the messages within Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution are important and ever so relevant. We must actively build up a varied bisexual community that is welcoming to all gender identities, races, ethnicities, abilities and disabilities, etc. so that bisexuals no longer have to, in Eisner's words, "[come] to terms with our identities in, and through, communities where we are strangers."
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Eyes and mind opening 19 Mar 2014
By Adi - Published on
Format:Kindle Edition|Verified Purchase
Even if you wont agree was some of it, its a mind and eye opening book about bisexual identity and politics, recommended for bisexuals as well as any other orientation or identity.
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