Liam Payne ‘reinforcing stereotypes’ about bi women

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Liam Payne has been accused of reinforcing stereotypes about bisexuality on his new album.

LP1 came out on Friday and the song Both Ways immediately came in for criticism online.

“My girl, she like it both ways,” he sings, going on to depict group sex. “She like the way it all taste / Couple more, we’ll call it foreplay / No, no, I don’t discriminate.”

Meg Murphy from campaign group Bi-Pride UK says the lyrics play into harmful ideas about bisexual people.

“As a woman who exists on dating apps you get pretty tired very quickly of people asking things about threesomes, and his lyrics very much reinforce those stereotypes,” she says.

Meg says that bisexual women are only seen as valid “when they’re performing for the male gaze or when men can join in with threesomes”.

“The song shames bi women for being sexual while simultaneously condoning such sexual expression when it’s carried out to the straight male gaze,” the 24-year-old says.

Research has previously suggested that compared with heterosexual or lesbian women, bisexual women are more likely to have suffered sexual violence.

And the United Nations Human Rights Council (UNHRC) says lesbian and bisexual women are “especially at risk” of being victims of sexual violence.

Meg believes that adds a level of danger to Liam Payne’s lyrics.

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“If people who are young and impressionable and still questioning their identity hear lyrics like that, they then think they have to perform in that way – and if they don’t, that poses a risk to their lives.”

She adds: “It’s not the place of straight men to talk about bi issues unless they have lived experiences or they are an active ally and as far as I am aware Liam Payne has not been an ally of the LGBT community.”

Earlier this year Radio 1 Newsbeat spoke to Sali, a bisexual woman who says she was raped by a straight couple due to her sexuality.

“Bisexuality is seen by a lot of people as just a type of porn with two women and one man and that definitely influenced what happened to me,” she said.

Sali didn’t report what happened to the police because she didn’t think she’d be successful in court.

“Although I fully support people who do go to the police about sexual violence… bi women are seen as greedy, slutty, ‘asking for it’.

“So if I’d even had got as far as it having made it to court – which wouldn’t happen anyway because it would’ve been dropped long before that – there’s no way I’d win.”

Last year, Rita Ora apologised after a number of LGBT musicians accused her of exploiting bisexuality.

Singers including Kehlani, Hayley Kiyoko and Shura argued the song Girls belittled same-sex relationships.

Rita Ora said she’d “never intentionally” cause harm to LGBT people.

Newsbeat has contacted Liam Payne’s team for a comment about the reaction to Both Ways, but is yet to hear back.

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