saintthecla asked: Explain why calling Anne Frank bi is so very wrong
So many reasons, so little brain.
If we flip through the notes on that post we’ll find people appropriating Anne Frank’s murder as an example of homophobia (or God forbid, biphobia) and not anti-Semitism. And I’m not denying that there were many people murdered in the Holocaust for reasons besides being Jewish, but Anne Frank and her family aren’t one of those cases. (And I’ve tended to feel that people who focus on those other murders do so less because they want to bring attention to the full depth of Nazi hatred and evil and more because in their heart of hearts they can’t empathize with the genocide of the Jews.) If Anne Frank would have grown up to put a name to herself as bisexual or lesbian or heterosexual, that would be one thing; the point is she didn’t get to do that because she was forced to spend her early teens hiding behind a wall before ultimately being murdered because she was Jewish.
Then there’s the problem of her diary’s text itself (which unfortunately I do not have with me but I kind of memorized big parts of both versions so go with me here.) Her father ‘cleaned’ the entire text; not only did he take out the parts where Anne expressed same-sex interests, he also heavily censored her writing about her relationship with Peter. Otto Frank worked to emphasize a budding romance between Anne and Peter in the manuscript he had published. In the full text, Anne is a lot more ambivalent about the whole thing and even writes about how she is feeling pressured, by general social expectations and her own particular circumstances to feel and act a certain way towards Peter. And Peter’s actually really intimidating in the full text; he’s whiny and a bit spoiled, but he uses his power of masculinity against Anne to manipulate her and her family. Seriously, I have as much of a problem of people trying to cast Anne and Peter as a couple as I do with anything else in this situation: why the fuck do people want to romanticize years of overcrowding, no privacy, and terror?
And while Anne’s feeling about Peter are contradictory at best, her feelings about the girl friends she left behind are not. She longs for them and misses them. I’m not going to try to make an argument that Anne Frank was a lesbian, that’s not fair either, but if we’re going to look for textual evidence in her writing then it’s pretty clear she didn’t view men and women in the same way.
I guess the final point I would want to make here is that by casting Anne as bisexual and insisting that her diary shows bisexuality is that it ignores what is actually a very big part of most adolescent’s girls lives: the appreciation for, and love of, other girls and women, both their bodies and their selves, before we are taught to hate feminity. While this can be a part of forming a lesbian identity, most women go through this, even those who are heterosexual. While I do want to fight to bring lesbian representation in to the writing for and about young women, we also have to remember that love between women isn’t always a sexual thing and that by insisting on doing that we’re not only erasing lesbians but female existence as a whole. It’s not okay to sexualize every aspect of women’s live, especially the lives of young women; Anne Frank was a teenager and a very young girl.
Okay, I guess one more point: the people in the notes of that post who are saying things like ‘HOT’ are disgusting and need to be hit upside the head, hard and repeatedly.
Look, you said here you’re not bisexual or Jewish and as a Bisexual Jewish person, I kind of take issue with how you’re talking about this.
You can look at my blog to see why I think how people are acting about this is fucked up on several levels, but some of the stuff you’re saying is wrong and fucked up too.
I agree that people emphasizing her bisexuality over her Jewishness (and especialyl the “hot” comments) need to stop, but for one thing, you act like people saying Anne Frank is bisexual is ‘sexualizing” her and the holocaust which is NOT true. To talk about someone’s sexual orientation is NOT sexualizing them. I had a sexual orientation as a child, that does not mean, if someone talked about that, that it would be”sexualizing” me. I’m surprised that you, a lesbian would say that, but I kind of wonder if you’d say if people were saying she was a lesbian and not bi.
Also your comment about people emphasizing other (non-Jewish) murders ignores the erasure of Romani people which my people (jews) have profited from, ok? Like we have profited from and participated in the erasure of the genocide of Romani people during the Holocaust. It is true people will act like the focus wasn’t Jews, which it was, and becomes clear when you look at the Nazi rhetoric, but actually a larger percent of the Romani population was killed, the population was smaller than the Jews, but still—this fact is ignored. And the continued anti-romani sentiments throughout Europe are ignored.
The fact you’re not Jewish bothers me a lot because you’re sure speaking with a LOT of authority on this and it makes me very uncomfortable the way you are writing in this ask answers and elsewhere, you don’t acknowledge here that you are not Jewish and instead talk as if you can speak for us, when I would argue there’s problems with how you’re representing this issue. I also think it’s nonsense to act like Anne Frank’s feelings and relationships can be written off as some neutered feminine love. Teenage girls can be sexual anyway, Anne Frank is expressing her sexuality. While we don’t know how Anne Frank would have labeled herself, plenty of people talk about figures in history who were likely gay, few do about people who were likely bi. Also your line about her feelings for guys being different as if that’s a point against her being bi kind of shows you don’t know much about the bi experience because MANY bi people feel differently toward different genders that doesn’t make them any less bi.
I also fail to see how presuming Anne Frank bi “romanticizes” her relationship with an abusive man (which, BY THE WAY, would not disprove her biness), especially since many bi women experience assault and rape at the hands of their male partners. That’s so much messed up shit you say about bi people in this ask answer.
So since you are NEITHER bi nor Jewish I wonder why you presume to speak for us and erase us. It is incredibly troubling to me. Your voice should take a second wheel to ours. You can call out people, but it would be nice if you reblogged what Jews had to say, especially bi Jewish women - plenty of us have been posting on this topic, you don’t need to speak for us.
Another bi Jewish woman, I agree with all of the above commentary. To be perfectly honest most representations of Shoah (especially those from gentiles) tend to creep me out. There seems to be this weird fetishization about the genocide and a particular kind of Jewishness.
There’s this tendency to simplify Jews and the Jewish experience of Shoah, to make us appear completely assimilated, to portray Jews without any markers of our culture and/or history (as an aside I do think it is important to portray assimilated Jews and Jews of other religions, as it highlights how Jewishness and Jewish identity functioned and currently function). This is especially true in the US and more recent depictions of Shoah where I think Jews are whitewashed so-to-speak because people have trouble sympathizing with some weird Semitic outsiders. We are made Jewish gentiles as opposed to Jews if you can parse out the difference.
If you can track down some early representations of the Holocaust (like 1960s 50s) you’ll find they are focused much more intently on those within the camps, they are much more complex, strange, and downright nightmarish than the depictions we’re used to seeing in contemporary media.
All that said I am also very, very, very uncomfortable by people dismissing Frank’s expressions of same-sex attraction as irrelevant to her presumed sexuality. It’s true that we will never know how she would have identified. I just find it highly suspect that her possible polysexual identity (there has to be a better term for “not-monosexual.” Someone tell me what it is) when I have never, ever heard anyone express doubt over a historical figure’s presumed monosexuality.
Indeed all too often bi people are made out to be monosexual even in cases where they have had significant relationships with people of multiple genders (see Freddie Mercury and Alan Cumming) or have made a point of publicly identifying as bi (see Lady Gaga and Alan Cumming).
The entire discussion really is just a mess of erasing both her Jewishness and her attraction to people of many genders. As another bi Jew it is really pissing me off.
Finally I have been going over issues of Jewish identity and history with so many gentiles lately. So. Many. At this point it would be really nice if all of you just stopped going on about who we are as a people, a culture, and a religion. It has become abundantly clear that the vast majority of you don’t know much about Jews and Judaism and more importantly don’t particularly care to learn.
Reblogging again for more awesome commentary.
if you were a twin in ancient rome they would name the firstborn and then name the secondborn after the firstborn
if your older twin’s name was geminus, your name would be anti-geminus
that is the equivalent of naming your children steve and not steve
#those wacky Romans
Families in Ancient Rome that had a lot of sons often gave up on names after the third or fourth and just started numbering them. The popular Roman names Quintus, Sextus, Septimus and Octavius literally mean “Fifth, “Sixth”, “Seventh” and “Eighth”.
Jurassic Cats [video]
Actual infomercial actor Hugh Dancy
It’s weird that I’m a hairless, talking ape with custom crystals suspended in front of my eyes so I can see, and I live with a tiny panther who just accepts me as a part of the world around him and attempts to interact with me despite the fact that he doesn’t understand my language and I don’t understand his
I do approximately no drugs
I have three of those panthers and also a miniature wolf, and I am connected right now to the entire rest of the world via electric telepathy.
(Source: rileymillion, via destin777)
we could hang Anne Hathaway up right now and she could be a disco ball in that dress
an incredibly attractive disco ball
make all the boy disco balls go
I have just seen the film Lifeboat, directed by Alfred Hitchcock and billed as written by me. While in many ways the film is excellent there are one or two complaints I would like to make. While it is certainly true that I wrote a script for Lifeboat, it is not true that in that script as in the film there were any slurs against organized labor nor was there a stock comedy Negro. On the contrary there was an intelligent and thoughtful seaman who knew realistically what he was about. And instead of the usual colored travesty of the half comic and half pathetic Negro there was a Negro of dignity, purpose and personality. Since this film occurs over my name, it is painful to me that these strange, sly obliquities should be ascribed to me. —
John Steinbeck wrote this letter to 20th Century Fox in 1944! (via roscoemcnally)
Hollywood has been doing this for a long time.