To Rob Haskel: regarding Cara Delevingne on Childhood, Love Life, and Modeling – Vogue


Dear Biphobe,

On June 19, 2015 and article by you, Rob Haskel, was published in Vogue.  This article was a profile of Cara Delevingne, and for the most part it was as much of a fluff piece as that would indicate.  But then near the end of the article you wrote two awful paragraphs.

First,

Cara says she felt confused by her sexuality as a child, and the possibility of being gay frightened her. “It took me a long time to accept the idea, until I first fell in love with a girl at 20 and recognized that I had to accept it,” she explains. “But I have erotic dreams only about men. I had one two nights ago where I went up to a guy in the back of a VW minivan, with a bunch of his friends around him, and pretty much jumped him.” Her parents seem to think girls are just a phase for Cara, and they may be correct. “Women are what completely inspire me, and they have also been my downfall. I have only been hurt by women, my mother first of all.

I’ve bolded the most offensive parts here.  It is never a good thing to refer to someone’s current sexuality as “just a phase”, and only acceptable to refer to someone’s history when that’s the way they refer to it and they give you permission.  But I’d give you the benefit of the doubt with that given that you are only reporting her parents attitude, but then you confirm that you agree with them, or at least say the may be correct.  The one is you reporting on the elder Delevingne’s biphobia , the other is agreeing with them.  Just one more comment on this, do you realize how many 22 year old people can say  “Women are what completely inspire me, and they have also been my downfall.”?  Because that would be almost all straight men, lesbian women, and quite a few bisexuals of any gender.

On to the second offensive paragraph,

“The thing is,” she continues, “if I ever found a guy I could fall in love with, I’d want to marry him and have his children. And that scares me to death because I think I’m a whole bunch of crazy, and I always worry that a guy will walk away once he really, truly knows me.” When I suggest to Cara that to trust a man, she might have to revise an old and stubborn idea of hers—that women are perennially troubled and therefore only women will accept her—her smile says she concedes the point.

Before I say anymore to you, I’d like your permission to say a few words to her,

Ms. Delevingne,

It’s perfectly normal for someone in the early 20’s to think that they are “a whole bunch of crazy”, and that goes for everyone, men, women, and everything in between.  The key to making any relationship last is accepting the ways your partner is crazy, and in exchange, they accept your craziness.

Thank you, now back to you, Mr. Haskell.  Do I really have to say anything about you taking a smile as an agreement? I hope you can accept that a smile is not agreement.  As to the res, I really can’t tell if you are being biphobic (by assuming that she will and should end up with a man) or misogynistic (if she was currently dating a man, would you suggest how she could “trust a woman”?). It really is a bit of both isn’t it? The question is, are you one of the “bisexuality isn’t real” biphobes? or one of the “she’s just doing it for attention” biphobes?  I’ll try to answer so it doesn’t matter.  You are not there to give her advice, you are there to let Vogue’s readers know a bit about the person on the cover.  Just to let you know, you are not just giving unsolicited advice to the young lady you are profiling, you are giving unsolicited advice to every young bisexual women who reads your words.  And that is why I’m writing this open letter, I want to give advice to not only you, but to everyone who might think the same way you do about bisexuals.

Now, to my advice as to what you need to do now.  I think step one is obvious, as I’m sure you know, there is a petition asking Vogue to apologize, and that is a great idea.  You need to apologize, to Ms. Delevingne, to the bisexual community, and to St. Vincent (her girlfriend if you forgot).  If you really want to get a head start on being forgiven, you could actually sign the petition yourself.  That would do a lot to get people to accept that you are remorseful.  Then you can try to improve things, ask your editor if you can do a series of articles on prominent bisexual women, this would force you to learn more about bisexuals and project and image that you, and your magazine are trying to improve yourselves.

Or, you could continue on the path you are currently, and receive regular letters like this, until Vogue gets tired and lets you “find other opportunities”

Here’s hoping you make the right choice.

Troy

via Cara Delevingne on Childhood, Love Life, and Modeling – Vogue.