The (Bisexual) Girl with the Dragon Tattoo

In a review of THE GIRL WITH THE DRAGON TATTOO (the new U.S. version starring Daniel Craig and Rooney Mara), the US Weekly critic Mara Reinstein writes of Lisbeth Salander, “The brazenly bisexual, leather-clad, withdrawn title heroine…” Wait — brazenly what? What does it even mean to be brazenly bisexual? The phrase suggests that being bisexual is a sort of kink, something akin to playing with whips and chains or having sex in an adult diaper. A lifestyle choice, if you will. Or, perhaps, that being bisexual is something to be ashamed of — and not something to be flaunted. Imagine a character being described as brazenly straight — what would that look like? A frat boy in pleated khakis with a “No Entry” sign taped to his butt? A breeder who divorced his infertile wife? And how about brazenly gay? Well, that’s easy, because that’s the kind of thing we can imagine someone saying a few years back, when it was still widely acceptable to discuss being gay as a sort of kink or something to be ashamed of. A lifestyle choice, if you will. (We know it’s still acceptable, in some parts, to talk this way, but, happily, not so widely.) In other words, DADT may be over, but bisexuality still gets no respect.