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A Tale Of Three Cities. Made Of Cola.

sympathy, bad news, unhappy, modern, serious
On the train into work, I asked my wife suddenly "What's the third cola?"

I explained that I was trying to come up with an analogy for bisexual invisibility. Some people assume everyone they see is straight, unless they look gay. Others would look around the carriage and think "Straight, gay, straight straight, gay, gay, god knows". But few people look at a stranger and when they think "Straight" or "Gay" actually mentally add "or bisexual", especially not to both cases.

It's like Coke and Pepsi, I said. The big two are so well marketed that everyone assumes there isn't a third.

She pulled a face then. "Don't use that as an analogy for bisexuality! Other colas are disgusting - no-one likes them! You thinking of supermarket colas, right? Weird stuff."

I laughed and suggested Tab. Coke and Pepsi are so popular that people forget there are other brand names, that have followings, have fans, thousands and thousands of them.

But this is the thing - people forget to list them. Worse, it doesn't occur to them that it's a list, or that the list can be longer than two. If it's not Coke, it's Pepsi, and if it's not Pepsi it's Coke. It's the same with sexuality - people aren't forgetting the third (and fourth and so on) from the list because they've been brought up to not think of it as a list. It's a pair. It's one or the other.

Brokeback Mountain Dew?

Female partners are ignored if a man has a male lover. If a prominent politician is suspected of having a same-sex affair, the question "Is he gay" is deflected with "He and his wife have always seemed a perfectly happy couple." It's not that people are deliberately not asking "Is he bisexual?" - the question doesn't occur to them at all. You'd rather have Dr. Pepper?

Media tropes feed into this - 'the gay man who gets married in order to hide his sexuality'. It's like changing the label on the cola - it's still one of the two.

Much later, still wondering if it'd make a good analogy, I looked up online the cola wars. Turns out the big two are actually now Coke and Diet Coke. Pepsi is the third cola.

But I think I'd shy away from suggesting the big two sexualities were Straight and Diet-Straight, or even Gay and Diet-Gay.

So maybe I won't make a soda analogy, I'll just post about how I'm not going to.

Comments

adjectivemarcus
Oct. 13th, 2011 02:54 pm (UTC)
So we're linux. Not sure that sells it any better... (c;
minnesattva
Oct. 13th, 2011 02:59 pm (UTC)
Aw, c'mon! No viruses!
valkyriekaren
Oct. 13th, 2011 03:59 pm (UTC)
Bit nerdy and hard to get into but once you've tried us you'll never go back... hmm!
babysimon
Oct. 13th, 2011 04:33 pm (UTC)
hard to get into

Speak fer yerself love.
minnesattva
Oct. 13th, 2011 07:14 pm (UTC)
I think it fits very well with the on-a-shoestring, DIY, endlessly-hackable vibe I get from "the bi community."

Underdocumented, as well.
valkyriekaren
Oct. 14th, 2011 12:05 pm (UTC)
I was going to say underdocumented (srsly, Ubuntu, help files?) but thought I'd get lots of Linux nerds jumping on me.
minnesattva
Oct. 14th, 2011 08:03 pm (UTC)
Nerds don't care about documentation. If they did, this wouldn't be such a problem ;)

(they can jump on me if they like; I've been using Linux pretty much exclusively since 2002 (or, they can just jump on me if they're pretty and need an excuse ;) )
aegidian
Oct. 14th, 2011 09:01 am (UTC)
vi or emacs
valkyriekaren
Oct. 14th, 2011 12:07 pm (UTC)
I've just remembered there is also a cola called Ubuntu.

http://www.ubuntu-trading.com/