By Dr. Grace Vuoto
April 19, 2011
n the April issue of Harper’s Bazaar, bisexual author Jennifer Baumgardner touts her ability to love women and/or men. The article, “From dating a woman to marrying a man” is teased in the subhead as providing an explanation of “why gender doesn’t matter.” In other words, the next frontier in our culture wars is not simply about gays having more rights: There is now a tacit declaration of war on gender categories altogether. Let us remake the universe in our image, argue the sexual renegades of our day.
Harper’s Bazaar is a mainstream fashion magazine, usually not radical at all. The nation’s first women’s fashion magazine, founded in 1867, caters to America’s upper middle class and currently has approximately 743,000 subscribers. Yet, in this article, Ms. Baumgardner writes candidly about her sex life in a tone that is surprisingly defensive—as though she feels the need to apologize for having abandoned her lesbian lifestyle. The author marries a man after “a series of big loves with men and women.” She wants to convey the idea that her wedding to Michael Bedrick does not mean “her life is a sham.” Instead, her husband really understands and accepts her bisexual nature: “Michael proved he understood me as someone who can love women and men, and he didn’t reduce my relationships to ‘phases’.”
Ms. Baumgardner reveals the depth of her feelings for women, especially for her previous lover, Amy Ray, a member of the folk rock musical duo, Indigo Girls. The relationship was in her view “cowifely: loving, healthy and egalitarian.” Yet, evidently emotions were not so powerful that either “was willing to give up her home for the other’s city”—as one lived in New York and the other in Atlanta. They split up after five years together.
Ms. Baumgardner then fell in love with a man, got pregnant, gave birth, broke up with that lover, found Michael, lived with him, got pregnant again—and then walked down the aisle. In the end, the author reveals she is not declaring she is a heterosexual, but that these categories are altogether irrelevant: “My lifelong mate is male but it hasn’t changed my sexuality. I believe my sexuality emanates from me and is not conferred on me by my partner.” She “didn’t pick a team” by marrying Michael, she explains, she is just “part of a team.”
This is the new mantra for bisexual America: you are the maker of your own body and can have partners of both genders. There are no natural or moral laws; the universe is simply whatever you make of it.
There is, however, a key problem with this analysis if we are to rely on the author’s life story as a model. Her children were ultimately fathered by men, not women. Hence, we must wonder to what extent a partner does confer key roles such as motherhood and wifehood. But that would mean we have to accept limits on what we are permitted to do—and for a radical feminist such as Ms. Baumgardner that is unacceptable, at least in theory (evidently, not in practice).
This is not simply an isolated article. This bisexual ideology is gaining greater currency. We are currently witnessing an increasing promotion of the bisexual lifestyle. Its most notorious proponent in recent years has been the leading A-list celebrity Angelina Jolie. She is currently the mother of six children, and cohabitating with her lover, Brad Pitt. Yet in several interviews she has explained her love for women such as model Jenny Schimizu with whom she had a passionate affair. In her view, it is the person one loves, whether male or female, and the gender is irrelevant. Yet, we must note that she too has some biological children fathered by a male lover (three of her children are fathered by Mr. Pitt; three are adopted).
Other examples of this bisexual cult abound. At the 2003 MTV Video Music Awards, Madonna exchanged kisses on stage with Britney Spears and Christina Aguilera. All three leading ladies of pop have been married to men and have children fathered by their ex-husbands but have had lesbian dalliances. In addition, former Christian singer turned pop star, Katy Perry, launched a chart-topping song in 2008 “I kissed a girl” that touted same-sex flings while remaining in a heterosexual relationship. Recently, even America’s so-called “sweetheart,” Academy-Award winning actress Sandra Bullock, known as a heterosexual, has made a public display of lip-locks with women: She kissed actress Scarlett Johansson onstage during the 2010 MTV Generation Award and kissed Meryl Streep that same year at the Critics Choice Awards. Hence, the promotion of bisexuality is now rampant.
This reveals how the sexual revolution descends not into greater freedom for so-called oppressed groups, but ultimately to greater degrees of perversity among all citizens—thus confirming the worst fears of traditionalists. In the 1980s when the topic of homosexuality gained greater currency in America, its proponents insisted that the homosexual is simply “born that way” and to oppose the lifestyle is cruel and heartless. On the other hand, traditionalists argued that gays already have enough rights in America but that they seek greater tolerance in order to make their lifestyle acceptable—and pervasive.
Social conservatives have warned for over three decades that homosexuals generally do not seek only to “be themselves” but to convince others to join their party. This is often lampooned as a “homophobic” perspective. Yet, when we examine our contemporary popular culture, it is obvious that we are well past the point of merely discussing whether we can tolerate and accept homosexuality. Instead, this behavior is now being actively promoted among heterosexuals as an exotic adventure. This is free-for-all America—a land where anything goes.
But this pattern of behavior is not as new as it may appear. During the declining years of the Roman Empire, both homosexuality and bisexuality were in vogue, especially among the upper and ruling classes. It resulted in a general level of decay that made the Empire ripe for the taking—by cultures that placed more emphasis on military prowess and communal goals than on individual self-gratification. History has shown that the ultimate result of collective hedonism is not greater freedom, but enslavement—to sin, vice and eventually outside enemies. Moral decay inevitably leads to social collapse.
Currently, as we immerse ourselves in our fleshy glory and consider ourselves “progressive” and “free,” an Islamist wind is blowing on the horizon. A powerful creed of subjugation is being steadily advanced by those who plot, plan and pray while we prance around blissfully in our underwear.
-Dr. Grace Vuoto is the Executive Director of the Edmund Burke Institute for American Renewal.