heterosexuality: political institution that disempowers women. guide to adrienne rich’s article compulsory heterosexuality and lesbian existence. about the. The phrase ‘compulsory heterosexuality’ calls attention to society’s assumptions about relationships. Read about Adrienne Rich’s explanation. COMPULSORY HETEROSEXUALITY AND. LESBIAN EXISTENCE. Adrienne Rich. Originallypublished in , when the relationship between lesbianism.

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Although I was already familiar with a lot of her ideas, it was still a lot to take in, compuulsory to be reminded of all the ways I and other women are pressured into relationships with men. She has very good points about women treatment within aadrienne patriarchal society, the political and economic institutions that debase women in every aspect of their lives to serve male ambitions, there are plenty of frustrating example of female maltreatment and basically I kept highlighting favourite parts throughout the text!

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

Oct 06, Clara rated it really liked it Shelves: The womb or women is the first source of home both literally and figuratively that is romanticized throughout history and literature.

Furthermore, the ignorance of a female’s choice in sexuality has caused her position in society to be thought of as less, and more importantly, secondary to that of a man.

It would perhaps heterosexualitu useful to employ psychoanalytic feminist theorizing at moments it would seem like she’s negating the innateness Rich struggles through the tautology that is the socially constructed versus innate and therefore, timeless, biological, not historically contingent arguments about lesbianism, and homosexuality.

Would love to discuss.

Rich states, “I undertook ‘Compulsory Heterosexuality’ However, her oscillating between these ideas almost creates an argument for their simultaneity, which easy as it may sound, is a nod towards a deconstruction of what woman is altogether and what continuity exists in its definition?


Sex and Sexuality Chicago: She isn’t dismissing lesbian heterksexuality I believe she’s including women who choose each other, sexually or not, under the patriarchy as a “continuum”, and “existence” as identity. This provides a biological understanding on the case of lesbianism. Sep 23, shawna rated it liked it Shelves: Oct 14, Lesliemae rated it it was ok Recommends it for: Mar 20, Rayna rated it it was ok Shelves: It is not that I disagree with this opinion, but Rich seems to constantly try to find a bridge between lesbians and feminists, which I don’t think is always necessary.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence by Lixxie Polk on Prezi

Remember me on this computer. Furthermore, Rich explains that if heterosexuality is the natural way, as it was constructed over time, then women like in her examples would and were seen as deviants of society.

As Rich says, despite attempts to erase it from history, there has always been resistance to compulsory heterosexuality. Next that, “Lesbian Identity is the sense of self of a woman bonded primarily to women who is sexually and emotionally independent of men. I’ve read this before, and am reading it a second time for this month’s reading group meeting. However, this denial Rich feels strongly contributed to the mainstream erasure of the existence and acceptability of lesbian identity; suggesting an interlinked, innate undesirability.

She also argues that some women partner with men against their true nature or preference because heterosexuality is institutionalised in patriarchy, meaning that women are coerced through various means to participate in heterosexual relationships and adopt a male-centric sexuality; and kept from exploring their own genuine sexuality.

Rich further quotes from Kathleen Barry that: Along with an explanation of the designated term and its uses I shall illustrate its importance in contemporary criticism, particularly in the fields of gender, feminist and queer studies.

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Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence by Adrienne Rich

This entry was posted in Social Science and tagged adrienne richfeminismfeminist perspectiveheterosexualitylesbianmale dominance. Indeed, Rich objects to the term lesbianismwhich she sees as a stigmatized clinical term, instead advocating the terms lesbian existence for the historical and contemporary presence of lesbian creation and lesbian continuum to include the entire range of a woman-identified experience; she feels that new understanding and language must be created to counter the limited and clinical terms that society has historically used to describe those it views as deviant.

There is nothing lesbian about a heterosexual mother breastfeeding her baby, and that suggestion is more than a little creepy and gross; nor are women preparing a dead woman’s body for a funeral participating in an act of lesbian solidarity.

By better understanding the sexual harassment and heterosexual pressures that women are placed, the desire for male dominance and the institution of heterosexual male identity becomes clear. It is to stimulate the claim that women are weak and dependent creatures that require care and sexualization.

A foundational work that has not aged well. You might meet the right guy.

I know a lesbian who married a man This is both contradictory and as beneficial to lesbian feminism as punching ourselves in the face. Lesbianism is female homosexuality. It’s marred by the problems of the second wave and Rich’s repeated flip-flopping on the “innate” vs.

I believe this is because of compulsory heterosexuality.