Kyrsten Sinema confuses the Washington Post


Manuel Roig-Franzia
has a stick up his butt about Kyrsten Sinema, the first openly bisexual person to be elected to Congress. It’s not that he disagrees with her policies, or thinks she’s corrupt, or won unfairly. Basically, he’s aggravated that Sinema refuses to acknowledge that her sexual orientation shapes her policy beliefs, her politics, and her public service. Because HOW COULD IT NOT?

Sinema goes into depth about how the grinding poverty she grew up in shaped her world view, far more so than her sexuality. She puts it pretty bluntly. For example:  “I don’t think religion or my orientation shaped my world view,” she says. “They’re parts of who I am, but they’re not driving the force.”

But since she won’t detail her sexuality for him, and since he refuses to accept that her sexual orientation isn’t all she is, Roig-Franzia’s lengthy piece in the Post’s Style section is devoted to painting Sinema as a hypocritical flip-flopper in other ways — and devoted to demonstrating his own views of bisexuality. Sinema, he poses, is impossible to nail down as one thing or another. According to him, she went from a Democratic “bomb-thrower” to angering progressives by being too friendly with conservatives. She helped defeat the same-sex marriage ban in Arizona, but only by betraying the gay rights movement. She focuses on family values and economic empowerment but hates stay-at-home moms. She grew up poor but now loves Prada. She attended Brigham Young University on scholarship but then left the LDS church. She is fun-loving and quirky, except when she’s a shrew.

Hunh. Possible that Roig-Franzia’s apparent view of bisexuality as confused and ephemeral (even though, in his words, gay elected officials are totally like, ho-hum) has colored his perspective of a bisexual woman who refuses to be defined by her bisexuality? Possible he’s pissed that since she won’t sit in the box he cornered her into, she must not really stand for anything at all? If only she were just straight-up gay, it’d be so much easier! At least for Roig-Franzia. He’s clearly a man obsessed:

After listening to Sinema go on for 20 minutes or so, one has to wonder: If she keeps this up, isn’t it possible that all these huffy and lengthy protestations about her sexual orientation not being a big deal end up making it into, well, a very, very big deal, indeed?

Well, no. One may wonder, however, why are YOU making it into such a big deal?

Join the Conversation

  • http://feministing.com/members/cassius/ Brüno

    Is the way she voted as described in this article delineated in the Washington post article as well? Because if it is its criticism of her voting whatever way is good for her political career Romney style.

  • http://feministing.com/members/einarragnarjonsson/ Ragnar

    She should simply ask the same of him and state, “Well, if my sexual orientation so fundamentally alters my own political proclivities and ideological viewpoints, then cannot the same be said of your heterosexuality?” Heteronormativity works by rendering all other forms of sexual identity, expression, orientation and preference abject and other, while thereby simultaneously rendering their own (hetero-) sexuality invisible.

  • honeybee

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but do we not WANT her to vote based in part by her sexual orientation? Isn’t that one reason we want a variety of people in office? If who you are is irrelevant then we wouldn’t care if it was all old white guys running things. And it seems to me that Repulibicans purposely vote for Christians who are pro-life, etc. on the basis that they think they will more likely vote inline with them.