Today’s word of the day is “sapphophobia”

Sapphophobia describes the intersection of biphobia and misogyny. It is named after the poet Sappho, who, despite what you might have heard, was actually bisexual.

Sapphophobia is when bi women are seen as indecisive, because all women are seen to lack a strong mind. Sapphophobia is when bi women are seen as deceptive, because all women are seen as liars. Sapphophobia is when bi women are seen as making it up for attention, because all women are seen as attention-seeking minxes. Sapphophobia is where bi women are seen as greedy, because all women are seen to be out for all they can get. Sapphophobia is when bi women are seen as sluts, because all women in control of their sexuality are seen as pathological.

It’s impossible to separate sapphophobia from misogyny, just as it is impossible to separate it from broader biphobia. It’s telling that it’s usually men who repeat this trope, although as I painfully learned last year, women can do it too and that’s rooted in internalised misogyny as well as a heterosexual hatred of queer women.

So today, I send love to my bi sisters, my pansexual sisters, my queer sisters. You are beautiful, and fuck the world. Literally, if that’s what you want.


7 responses to “Today’s word of the day is “sapphophobia”

  • Reticent Mental Property

    Learned something new. I didn’t know there was a name for it, and I needed one as misogyny seemed inadequate – if that can possibly be an inadequate term! The amount of sapphophobia I am finding in arguments made largely by men against women, feminism, divorce/dating problems is rising. Unfortunately, yes, it erupts now in women v. women largely in the traditionalist or anti-feminist movement.
    The challenge is how frequently the most vocal promoters use/manipulate statistics on psychology and behavior to support the view and how convincing these “stats” are to those seeking justification for inaccurate but deeply held beliefs.
    We all tend to hear what we want to hear, turn to like-minded individuals to confirm our bias and then don’t have the time or inclination to dig into “facts” to verify accuracy or identify spin.

  • ravenwing72

    I could kiss you for this. Thank you.xxxxxx

  • Alice

    So many hatreds/oppressions intersect, and one must see and resist them collectively in order to ever stand tall. Thank you for writing this.

  • Rebecca

    Hail to the bi women! Queer women! Pansexual women! You are stronger than you know.

  • Bäumchen (@baum_glueck)

    Do you think it is possible to find a word without the -phobia?

  • Mika Murstein

    I would like to ask the same question the person above me asked. I regret when I can’t retweet a good and important posting (like this one) because of this -phobia endings. Someone in my TL came up with the greek word Misia (as in misogyny), Misia is supposed to mean hostility, and in my mothertongue German some try to avoid -phobia as ableist term, using -feindlichkeit (which means hostility as well) instead. As English is the brigde that gets many of us connected, it would be good to have an alternative word-ending. I know that if a term is actually two words and both uncommon it is more difficult to get the term spread and accepted, but keeping -phobia- endings… some people who experience ableism will be hurt, again and again, as if that is not so important, as if we are so used to it.

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