6 of 6 people found the following review helpful
on 31 July 2013
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. In many ways, this book presents an entirely new way of looking at bisexuality and politics - a way that is refreshing, clever and so very empowering.
Particularly refreshing is the way Shiri Eisner criticises the conventional idea of "bi myth busting" and offers in its stead a new analysis of these myths and how we can use them and the fears they expose. I thought I was going about this in a pretty inclusive way, being careful not to exclude any members of our community. This book has shown me a new and radical way forward, and I am infinitely grateful.
There are chapters on different intersections of gender and race with bisexuality. More books should be written this way, and especially more books on bisexual politics. It highlights how different bisexual experiences can be and reminds us not to think of any one experience as universal to bisexuality, but instead work to create a safe and welcoming space in our community. This book has provided me with a lot of knowledge on how to go about this, and I'd advise anyone looking to create a bi group, or any kind of group for that matter, to read the book and take every bit of advice it gives.
Bi: Notes for a Bisexual Revolution ends by painting a picture of what the bi community and movement could be if we embrace its full potential. It's beautiful and powerful, it's moving and it makes you want to get out there and change the world. And that is possibly one of the best things about this book: it describes how things are and then it gives us the tools and the inspiration to change them.
The entire book is very well-written and well-structured, and it's obvious that a lot of care and thought has gone into every part of it. It is a joy to read, and it's a very emotional ride it takes us on. This book speaks to me and my experience as a bisexual in a way that very few books do, and I expect many others will feel the same way about it, because it embraces all of us, with all our differences. Books on bisexuality often have a narrow focus on middle-class white cis people in the US or the UK, but this book goes way beyond that.
This is now the number one book I'm going to recommend to other other bisexuals. I highly recommend it to all non-monosexuals, in fact, no matter how they identify. I read this as a review copy, and now I'm anxiously waiting for the print copy I bought as soon as I could to appear in my mailbox, so I can read it all over again and make highlights and margin notes. And then I'll see how I can go about starting my own little bisexual revolution.
on 9 July 2015
This book gave words to the issues I wanted to talk about, things I felt where wrong both inside and outside the community. It is a wonderful read and you will not be disappointed. Oh and for those worried about being triggered the most common triggers are preceded by trigger warnings. It does better on attempting gender inclusiveness than any book i've read, and even goes on to explain why there is the assumption of male exclusiveness, racism, misogyny, and bi issues within the LGBT community, better yet it even covers the reasons behind why these are issues. All bisexuals should read this book. It should be a requirement. Yes it's that good.