OVERRIDE

Look Both Ways

Bisexual Politics

Jennifer Baumgardner

Farrar, Straus and Giroux

For the acclaimed author and activist Jennifer Baumgardner, bisexuality has always been more than the "sexual non-preference of the '90s." In Look Both Ways, Baumgardner takes a close look at the growing visibility of gay and bisexual characters, performers, and issues on the national cultural stage. Despite the prevalence of bisexuality among Generation X and Y women, she finds that it continues to be marginalized by both gay and straight cultures, and dismissed either as a phase or a cop-out. With intimacy and humor, Baumgardner discusses her own experience as a bisexual, and the struggle she's undergone to reconcile the privilege she's garnered as a woman who is perceived as straight and the empowerment and satisfaction she's derived from her relationships with women.

Part memoir, part pop-culture study, Look Both Ways connects the prominent dots of a bisexual community (Alix Kates Shulman, Ani DiFranco, Rebecca Walker, and, of course, Anne Heche) that Baumgardner argues have bridged feminist aims with those of the gay rights movement. Look Both Ways is a compelling and current study in bisexual lives lived secretly and openly, and an exploration of the lessons learned by writers, artists, and activists who have refused the either/or paradigm defended by both gay and straight communities.

BOOK EXCERPTS

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  If you’re walking down the street in London, you’ll find helpful words stenciled on the street at most crosswalks: look right, reminds one, where the traffic whizzes by on the left side of the street. look left, instructs the next, as cars zoom past on the right. Sometimes you stand on a curb poised to take a step, look down, and the street tells you look both ways.In 1993, I stood poised at an unfamiliar intersection of attraction, sex, and love—and I looked both ways. My world was New York City, and it looked like this:Dinkins was mayor. No one walked down the street
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REVIEWS

Praise for Look Both Ways

"Jennifer Baumgardner's Look Both Ways is a jaunty, fearless, personal and political look at bisexuality today. Because she knows that sex is a way we communicate, not just procreate, she gives us a glimpse of a freer future in which sexuality is less about who is talking and more about what is said." --Gloria Steinem

"In a time when the powers that be are closing borders, narrowing our thinking and sexuality, Look Both Ways is a brave and celebratory call to open to complexity, to live in the questions, to surrender to the non-PC world of desire, to become sexual nomads."  --Eve Ensler, creator of V-Day and The Vagina Monologues

"From the personal to the political, Baumgardner speaks about bisexuality with honesty, eloquence, and authority. This interesting and contemporary book deserves a spot on every tuned-in woman's bookshelf." --Cathi Hanauer, author of Sweet Ruin and editor of The Bitch in the House

"I can't believe it's non fiction! From subway to bathtub and back again, this book reads like a great novel." --Kathleen Hanna, activist and musician, founding member of Riot Grrrl

"In Look Both Ways, Jennifer Baumgardner elucidates the pivotal--and too often unacknowledged--role that bisexual people are playing in America's social awakening. Deriving her own inspiration from renegade truth-tellers like Ani DiFranco and June Jordan, Baumgardner unleashes a gentle assault on those of all sexual preferences who would deny the complexity of human sexuality."   --Johnny Temple, writer and publisher, Akashic Books

"My god, its all so complicated! In Look Both Ways Jennifer Baumgardner does a wise and witty job of figuring out the hidden messages and reading them to us in her deliciously cool and contemporary voice: the one that gives us hope for the feminist future." --Vivian Gornick

"Jennifer Baumgardner is the big sister you've always wished you had. She is daring, intimate, and raw. She shows you how normal she is, how normal you are." --Leora Tanenbaum, author of Slut! and Catfight

Praise for Jennifer Baumgardner:
 
"Jennifer Baumgardner is smart, fearless and a formidable force for change."
--Barbara Ehrenreich

"Jennifer Baumgardner is funny, fashionable, feminist and about-to-be-famous. I love her writing, and I'm glad she is an activist so I don't have to be."--Katha Pollitt, columnist for The Nation

"Documentary filmmaker and feminist Jennifer Baumgardner . . . is now my favorite bisexual apart from Alice on The L Word."    --James Wolcott

"I want to be Jennifer Baumgardner when I grow up."  --Elizabeth Wurtzel, author of Prozac Nation, Bitch, and More, Now, Again

"In her role as author and activist, [Jennifer Baumgardner has] permanently changed the way people think about feminism … and will shape the next 100 years of politics and culture." --The Commonwealth Club of California, hailing Jennifer in 2003 as one of Six Visionaries for the 21st Century.

Reviews from Goodreads

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ABOUT THE AUTHOR

  • Jennifer Baumgardner

  • Jennifer Baumgardner, co-author of Manifesta and Grassroots, frequently writes and lectures on feminism, activism, and popular culture for  magazines and on college campuses around the country.
  • Jennifer Baumgardner Ali Prince
    Jennifer Baumgardner
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Available Formats and Book Details

Look Both Ways

Bisexual Politics

Jennifer Baumgardner

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