Fetishisation and Representation

So this was something I've been thinking about. This is your first clue that this post is going to be garbage.

The other day, someone came up to me and said, essentially, that worries about the fetishisation of MOGAI relationships in the media are used to silence other queer people and are queerphobic. I would like to call bullshit on this.

Now, before people start imagining that I'm going to put on my straight people voice (whatever that is; I've lived around straight people for 18 years and I still have no idea what that means), I'm bi. No, this doesn't mean I'm half-straight, half-gay, faking it, or carrying around passing privilege for not writing "I AM QUEER" on my forehead in purple sharpie. It means I get sexually and romantically attracted to men and women. Not that hard of a concept, is it? I don't claim to speak for all MOGAI people, because we're not a monolithic group and more people (regardless of sexual orientation) need to learn this.

As a bisexual person, I don't get much media representation, except as maybe someone sexually promiscuous or duplicitous. Straight people, and straight relationships, are also considered the norm in the media. In Western society, being straight is considered normal, even boring, so being anything but straight is considered a deviation from the norm. This is where the whole "bisexuals are faking it" idea comes from. Actually, MOGAI people and relationships as a whole are shockingly underrepresented in the media. We're normally thrown in as tokens to stop the writers from looking completely bigoted and, presumably, to stop those whiny queers from throwing a tantrum. When you discover that you don't experience opposite-sex attraction, or that you experience other attractions in addition to opposite-sex attraction, it can be a really confusing and shitty time. I was lucky; my parents bought me books that explained that being queer was real and not shameful. So when I started to notice that I liked girls as well as guys, I quietly noted down that I was bisexual. No role models needed. Most other people aren't as lucky as me.

In short, proper representation and acknowledgement is really important for everyone - for the MOGAI people out there who want to be acknowledged as equal instead of being hidden away as deviants, and for the straight people who need to learn that being MOGAI is just as normal as being straight, not a fad or some horrid moral aberration.

The thing is, I don't consider fetishisation to be proper representation. Sorry, but I'm a real, live human being, not dehumanised fap fodder. I deserve to be represented in all my facets, not just the ones that look the sexiest - and I'm not prepared to settle. Fetishisation can also come wrapped up with some other questionable things, like treating nonconsensual sex and statutory rape as okay if your pairing is hot or they're, like, totally into each other. So fetishisation does not help properly represent MOGAI people: it presents a heavily sexualised and objectifying image, yes, but it quietly leaves everything else out. And those other things are important. Those other things are things like how some of us like curling up on the sofa watching dark comedies and others like to go out and snigger at bad jokes, and some of us are obsessed with listening to every recording of Mozart's Requiem ever recorded, and how some of us love hugs and some of us are private, secretive people. Those other things are what you learn about people when you treat them as friends and equals, not as sex objects.