Bisexuals and asexuals have a lot in common. So I was psyched to read Look Both Ways: Bisexual Politics. A more accurate subtitle might have been Bisexual Women and Feminism, since that's what the book is about. Its author, Jennifer Baumgardner, takes much inspiration from her days as an intern at Ms. magazine, and interviews many prominent feminists to discover bisexuality's place in the feminist movement. Look Both Ways gives about one sentence to bisexual men, which isn't too cool. Baumgardner knows that bisexuality hasn't been very well documented. She also did a ton of research for this book. So I'm not sure why she didn't include any men's experiences, since her reach is otherwise pretty broad.
Look Both Ways spends a little too much time trying to convince us that bisexuality is legitimate. If we didn't already think so, what are the chances that we would read this book? Anyway, I could definitely appreciate Baumgardner's love of pop culture, which is found throughout the book. There's an entire chapter on bisexual musician Ani DiFranco, which was, sadly, mostly lost on me as I wasn't very familiar with Ani to begin with. Baumgardner talks about how important it is for us to have positive bisexual role models in the media. She says that "the positive force of pop culture is misunderstood" (111) and that when Ellen DeGeneres came out, it made coming out easier for her as well. The funny thing is, we do have asexuals who are fairly well-known, such as Paula Poundstone and Edward Gorey. But unlike Ellen, whose sexuality was front and center for awhile, the asexuality of these other celebs has been gleaned from statements that they may have made once, as sidenotes, and that's it. We probably do have an Ellen-level asexual celebrity right now, we just don't know who it is.
We everyday folk can afford to be bolder than famous people can. Ellen may have encouraged everyday lesbians and bisexual women to come out. But it's us, the everyday asexuals, who are going to have to encourage our celebrities.