By Eve Kaufman ’20
What is it about that? It seems, no matter which way you put it, folks everywhere are prioritizing the affections of cis men over basically the rest of the population. Now, before anyone assumes this is a subtweet–please don’t. Rather, it is an observation on the mechanics of our society– particularly at the 5Cs. It’s a trend, a pattern of behavior I can identify within myself, friends, and okay maybe past crushes. I identify as bisexual, yet time and time again end up pursuing cis men over the rest. It has gotten to a point that, although my specialty in this column is usually art and architecture, I have to call it as I see it–and call myself out as I do so.
The 5Cs are filled with extraordinary people. People from all walks of life, who do of all sorts of things, and tend to do them very well. When I establish a polemic on the dating culture here, it is not to say that anybody isn’t worthy of being loved, or is in any way non-spectacular. That said there are often better fits for individuals that may not be pursued, or even attractions that are being deferred simply due to this phenomenon. Toni Anderson (2022) notes “I am 90% attracted to women, and somehow, unfortunately, 10% attracted to men”. A common sentiment and further evidence that cis men somehow always have a stake in the dating game.
I seek to investigate why it is we do that, and what it truly shows. For starters, it could lie within the fact that, in terms of people who identify as men/women at the 5Cs, there is a significant percent difference at every college. There are fewer self-identified men than women overall, so for people with a preference toward men, pickings are a bit slimmer. By virtue of this, standards of what to expect from a partner have already shifted, and feed into the mindset of “not the perfect fit but a fit nonetheless”. Ultimately, it translates to people choosing relationships that seem relatively straightforward, despite it not being what they want.
As frustrating as it can be, this phenomenon truly speaks to the sexuality of everyone involved. Sexuality is complicated enough, and often goes unquestioned. Exploring one’s preferences is already a daunting task, and although has a very special place in college, is not always easy to pursue. There is a lot that holds people back, and whether it’s one’s first kiss, or something a few steps further than that into queerdom, sexuality is heavily guided by what we believe society expects from us. Indigo Olson (Scripps 2020) opines that “people may feel more comfortable in a heterosexual-passing relationship”, suggesting that amidst fear of social ridicule and internalized homophobia, it’s easier to just date that bro from your philosophy class.
So much holds people back. Society is screaming at the queer youth to sublimate and dispose of their desires, whether overtly or through more insidious manners such as representation (or lack thereof) in the media. More than anything, this stirs an aversion to different lifestyles within all of us, one that can be worked through, but not easily. At the end of the day it is simply about recognizing our de facto collective deference to cis-men, and questioning it when observed internally. But there is hope. We live in a time and place that has been more welcoming to gay culture than many of us have witnessed in precedent. Gay tinder is flourishing, and much of the community, particularly on campus, actively celebrates their sexuality together over parties such as “Queggers” and the like. This acts as a testament to how far we have come, but based on my current track record, have to go. I like my guys, they’ve been good, but it is time to prioritize my life a bit differently (and maybe even get some homework done amidst it all).
In the print version of this article, the Voice mislabeled this piece as satire. It was not our intention at all to diminish the views of the writer or to call into question the legitimacy of the experience of bisexual women by labeling this as satire. We are deeply sorry for our mistake and for inadvertently perpetuating harmful stereotypes against bisexual people. All the quotes and opinions in this article are true.