Originally Posted by RfromRMC
A bisexual man I know explained it to me as this:
Bisexual means two-- you like biological men and women.
Pansexual means a gamut--you like men, women, and anything in between. I.e., androgynous, transgendered, intersex, etc etc.
So he says he identified as bisexual and not pansexual because he "likes his men very much manly and his women very much womanly". (His words, not mine.)
So that's what I've been assuming since.
Using the definition of bisexual like that though sadly does send a very transfobic message (also a bit mysognistic (sp?) and perhaps even misandryc (sp?)), even if it is unintentional on the part of the person who uses the bisexual definition like that. It might not be intentional but the underlining patriarchical (sp?)cultural baggage for that kind of definition for bisexual gives unintentionally a very negative and rigid message within it.
If you define bisexual as someone who is attracted to biological
men and women, with the add on of only manly macho men and womanly feminine women, then you are defining to others (and other bisexuals) whether you meant to or not what makes a real man and a real woman.
With a bisexual definition like that a real man
is someone who is born as a cis-gendered male and who is butch, strong, stereotypically masculine and macho and a real woman
is also only someone who is born as a cis-gendered female who is stereotypically feminine, soft, sweet ect.
A definition of bisexual like that basically unintentionally rigidly defines and labels for others what makes a real man and a woman. It wipes out for others a bit more flexible fluid defining of gender.
For example a definition of bisexual like that (only biologically born cis-gendered manly men and womanly women) excludes the existence and even a possibility of there being other bisexuals who are attracted to for example tomboyish women and androgynous looking men, because by definition like that tomboyish women (cis-gendered or not) are not womanly & feminine enough and androgynous looking men (cis-gendered or not) are not manly and macho enough. You are implying for other bisexuals that they must be gender confused in their attractions or label them as pansexuals, even if they don't feel the label sticks for them.
A definition like that basically implies that everyone who doesn't fallow a rigid patriarchic (sp?) stereotypical their born biological sex gender behavior code is not a real
man or a woman. That anything outside of the stereotypical gender parameters must be a gender confused person. That is the kind of strictly labeling negative and limiting message a person sends out without meaning to if they use a definition of bisexual like that.
Instead it is preferable to use a definition of bisexual is someone who is attracted to both genders
. And that's it! Without adding any other of biological sex or stereotypical manly men and womanly women to the definition. That way you don't define for others and send out a message of what makes for a real man or a woman.
When you define bisexual as someone who is attracted to both males and females without adding anything to the definition you will give people of both genders some breathing room to be simply men and women without labeling them in to boxes or telling them they are gender confused. Gender makes what is between your ears and not what is between your legs.
Pansexual would still be a needed term, because even with a definition of bisexual as simply someone who is attracted to both genders without any add ons, there still would be people who don't subscribe to any gender definition whatever their biological sex is.
Sorry for the rambling and bad spelling. Hopefully I was coherent. English is not my first language.