In the comments of my bromance post last week, a couple of people mentioned that bisexuality tends to be a more accepted trait in women than in men. I agree with this perception. I don’t agree with a theory I’ve heard elsewhere—that women are more inherently sexually fluid than men—but because bisexuality in women is often seen as more attractive and less threatening to the hegemonic male gaze than bisexuality in men, I do believe that women are more likely than men to openly express sexual and/or romantic feelings about other women. Even among straight-identified women I know, it’s socially acceptable and downright commonplace for women to articulate feelings of attraction toward other women. Perhaps due to the titillating nature of sexually fluid women, stories about intimate friendships between women are regularly found in media.
I have noticed that often such stories use sexual fluidity among young women to signify rebellion against hegemonic institutions. In stories ostensibly about conflict between women and their families and women and male lovers, hints of bisexuality are present as indications of the larger ways in which the women in question are opposing oppression.