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.

Author: Mosho Fenrikora
Country: Belarus
Language: English (Spanish)
Genre: Software
Published (Last): 12 October 2008
Pages: 375
PDF File Size: 20.29 Mb
ePub File Size: 3.66 Mb
ISBN: 773-9-63695-160-6
Downloads: 97826
Price: Free* [*Free Regsitration Required]
Uploader: Zull

However this seems fallacious due to majority opinion — if there are assortments of ways to desire that are not-heterosexual; it seems strange that heterosexuality alone is held up as the ideal and everything else as wrong or mistaken. 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.

Trivia About Compulsory Hetero Want to Read saving…. Jun 18, Polytimi rated it really liked it Shelves: Be the first to ask a question about Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence. December Learn how and when to remove this template message.

In no way was Rich seeking a lesbian revolution against heterosexuality.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence – Wikipedia

But along with this message comes another, not always recognized: From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. Sep 23, shawna rated it liked ric Shelves: This article may contain an excessive amount of intricate detail that may interest only a particular audience.

I believe this is because of compulsory heterosexuality. If we expand it to embrace many more forms of primary intensity between and among women, including the sharing of a rich inner life, the bonding against male tyranny, the giving and receiving of practical and political support[ Rich asserts that compulsory heterosexuality is not innate or natural or a “choice”, but rather a political institution that serves to maintain gender inequalities and misogynistic social constructs.

Conducting research, writing articles, essays, and blogging, I give heteroaexuality information heterosfxuality a variety of topics and issues that affect society. Fuck this is essay is good!!

Views Read Edit View history. Rich proposes that all women should separate themselves from men and engage in some form of lesbian relationship, whether it leads to a mere lesbian expression at one time or another or an identified lesbian sexuality.

Overall, this is a really important piece that helped me understand my identity as a lesbian woman in ways I never thought about previously, and inspired me to seek out more lesbian-feminist literature. I was surprised to find a hard copy of this at my school’s library and read it on my terms and honestly As such, feminists to Rich indirectly endorsed the right of males to define female desires and to police intra-gender relationships.


This binarisation of sex as a masculine desire and dependence as a feminine is encouraged even today, as respectively male and female approaches to a romantic relationship.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

This entry was posted in Social Science and tagged adrienne richfeminismaxrienne perspectiveheterosexualitylesbianmale dominance. 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. It was written to challenge the erasure of lesbian existence from a large amount of scholarly feminist literature. This is both contradictory and as heterossxuality to lesbian feminism as punching ourselves in the face.

Thanks for telling us about the problem.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence by Lixxie Polk on Prezi

It was not written to widen divisions but to encourage heterosexual feminists to examine heterosexuality as a political institution which disempowers compulskry and to change it. She is arguing against the homophobic idea that women pursue comulsory with women only because they had bad experiences with men. Born to a middle-class family, Rich was educated by her parents until she entered public school in the fourth grade.

This offers a basic understanding of what lesbians are subject to in a patriarchy. It seems more probable that men really fear, not that they will have women’s sexual appetites forced on them, or that women want to smother and devour them, but that women could be indifferent to them altogether, that men could be allowed sexual and emotional-therefore economic-access to women only on women’s terms, otherwise being left on the periphery of the matrix.

Open Preview See a Problem? The concept of a “lesbian continuum” that encompasses all forms and degrees of relationships between women, brought me excitement when I first read it.

Aug 16, Mersadys rated it really liked it. It is a failure of inequality and obligations to the important role that women play.

She urges women to direct their energies towards other women rather than men, and portrays lesbianism afrienne an extension of feminism. Jul 17, Abi Mott rated it really liked it. Conclusively, women feared to raise the issue of female-female relationships and desires for fear of losing social status both amongst women and men.

Another issue is that it’s obviously outdated and exclusive of the experiences adriennd bisexual and trans women. The lesbian continuum is the overall “range—through each woman’s life and throughout history—of woman-identified experiences, not simply the fact that a woman has had or consciously desired genital sexual experience with another woman”. It is not that I disagree with this opinion, but Rich seems to co A very interesting reading, although I find some parts relatively narrow-minded- she uses strong arguments to support her views, but sometimes she goes too far, perhaps overwhelmed by her own sexuality.


Rich saw this tendency as undermining the very foundations of feminism. But now she says that women “bonding against male tyranny” and “not associating with men” falls on a continuum of comlulsory. This pre-civilised idea of physical dominance nevertheless forms a Foucaultian power-threat to which women learn from a young age and from the experiences of their mothers and grandmothers to submit.

Women’s sexuality is a subject given very little attention in our Australian sexuality education in schools. Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Notify me of new comments via email.

This essay discusses the way heterosexualuty our cultural assumptions about sexual identity erase, sublimate and destroy the lesbian, and m I’ve read this before, and am reading it a second time for this month’s reading heterosexualigy meeting.

Feminist adrienhe can no longer afford merely to voice a toleration of “lesbianism” as an “alternative life-style,” or make token allusion to lesbians. It is not a strategy for all women to heterosexualkty so they can better resist patriarchy, and heterosexual and bisexual women should not be encouraged to co-opt lesbian women’s identities to further their own political agendas.

I also think this has limited our efforts to tackle sexual violence and in producing a clear and explicit understanding of sexual consent. I think Rich sets out with these thoughts in mind heterosexualjty complicates and contextualizes, and provides into words the possibility of Woman gaining autonomy to fade out to the periphery of men both in her psyche and literally.

Women fighting against male supremacy and refusing to associate with men are noble goals that I support wholeheartedly but they are not lesbian acts. This causes men to be driven by women; the continuous cycle of coming home.