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Atelier Genre(s) et Sexualité(s) « Bisexual Feminist Politics of Anti-Monogamy, Polyamory and the Value of Erotic Autonomy »


by Christian Klesse, Manchester Metropolitan University

Feminist anti-monogamy arguments signify a longer-standing endorsement of the value of erotic autonomy within feminist politics. Different currents within North American and European feminist movements presented vocal critiques of monogamy as an integral part of hetero-patriarchal gender relationships. This paper focuses on bifeminist rejections of monogamy from the 1970s onwards. Drawing own and other people’s research, I highlight the prevalence of distinctively feminist voices in debates on non/monogamy in bisexual activist circles. An analysis of core texts within the bisexual non/monogamy debates shows bifeminist anti-monogamy critiques share some of the core assumptions prevalent within other identity-related feminist currents (such as lesbian feminism and heterosexual feminism). Arguments have been oscillating between radical, liberal and queer-feminist positions (without being limited to them) but there is a convergence with regard to a sahred focus on the value of erotic autonomy. Bifeminist critiques tend to articulate this endorsement from a particular perspective or standpoint.

Christian Klesse is Reader at the Department of Sociology at Manchester Metropolitan University. Christian has conducted research in various aspects of gender and sexual politics, including non/monogamy, transnational LGBTQ activism and Queer Film Festivals. Christian is part of the Network Critical Relationship Research that includes academics from Germany, Austria, UK and Belgium and focuses on critical research into consensual non-monogamies. He is author of The Spectre of Promiscuity (2007).

Thursday 29 November, 5 pm – 7 pm

Salle Henri Janne (15e étage)
Institut de Sociologie
Avenue Jeanne, 44
1050 Bruxelles

Free entry