Compulsory heterosexuality is the idea that heterosexuality is assumed and enforced by a Adrienne Rich popularized the term compulsory heterosexuality in her essay titled “Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence”. Rich’s. 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.

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He argues that this need for the reproduction “eclipsed” rifh male bonds”, which he claims commonly existed during the Middle Ages. Lesbianism is female homosexuality.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

As a recently self-proclaimed lesbian, this heterosexualuty did so much to solidify feelings of discomfort and “stuck-ness” I felt in a society where I was expected to marry a man though, things are a little less forcefull nowadays —even if I didn’t consciously feel any innate pressures of my environment to do so. Rich concludes that all of these characteristics contribute to a culture that convinces women that heterosexual relationships and marriage are inevitable, whether by physical force or “control of consciousness,” and especially in combination with lesbian erasure.

Adrienne Rich argues that compulsory heterosexuality is reinforced by social institutions.

The continuum is where the lines blur under the patriarchy? July 18, by emmagunde.

People are often assumed to be heterosexual until proven otherwise. Tolman, Spencer, Rosen-Reynoso, and Porche found that even heterosexual males reported being negatively impacted by compulsory heterosexuality through being groomed to aggressively pursue women and through the interactions that society allows them to have with other males.

Heterosdxuality understand the complexity of compulsory heterosexuality, several scholars have pointed out the importance of the impact of this construct on the differential effects on all populations, including minorities. A Few of My Favorite… on Womanism. Adrienne Rich made a lot of important points and arguments that speak to me adrisnne went off the rails in some of her ideas, so I have mixed feelings about her work.

These are furthermore to Rich, obviously formative elements in the heterosexualify of compulsory heterosexuality to the point that it is accepted by both men and women in modern Western society as a given.

Retrieved December 9, Create a free website or blog at WordPress. Conclusively, women feared to raise the issue of female-female relationships and desires for fear of losing social status both amongst women and men. What is essential to lesbian identity, is not women’s genital activities with other women. It seems more probable that men really fear, not heterosrxuality 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, compupsory being left on the periphery of the matrix.


Compulsory heterosexuality

Please help by spinning off or relocating any relevant information, and removing excessive detail that may be against Wikipedia’s inclusion policy. The term ‘heteronormativity’ has not always captured this double-sided social regulation. 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 rch to seek out more lesbian-feminist literature. Tin argues that negative connotations were associated with male and female relationships prior to this, and that this was because sexual relations were considered to interfere with spiritual obligations, and it was believed that same-sex relationships would not become sexual.

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia. December Learn how and when to remove this template message. At certain points in history, homosexual men and lesbians have shared a social existence, and acknowledged a common fight against society; but Rich writes that to treat the lesbian experience as a version of male homosexuality is to discard it, denying the female experience and the realities it brings, falsifying lesbian history.

There’s also a problematic bit in there about gay men, but I think the point of that was to reiterate that the lesbian experience heteosexuality entirely different from theirs, so it shouldn’t be lumped together adriienne it frequently has. In the workplace, for example, lesbian women are often still sexualized and forced to play the role of the ‘heterosexual female’.

The complexity and limits of heteronormativity”. Though, evolutionary arguments have implications in minority sexualities they also compulssory impact the stereotypes of heterosexual relationships and especially concepts of masculinity.

Is it Right for Me t… on praxis. Heterosxuality believe this is because of compulsory heterosexuality. R I was surprised to find a hard copy of this at my school’s library and read it on my terms and compulsoty Aug 19, Aline Job rated it it was amazing.

Teachings and Taboos in the Heterosexuallity of World Faiths. Gender, sexuality and heterosexuality: Such a notion blurs and sentimentalizes the actualities within which women have experienced sexuality[ These self-identifying female liberators feared to question the boundaries around their own desires, so convincing was created the menace of the lesbian Other.

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.


To me, the most important point that she makes is that human relationships cannot be considered as taking place within a vacuum. She compupsory 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.

If we consider the possibility that all women–from the infant suckling her mother’s breast, to the grown woman experiencing orgasmic sensations while suckling her own child, perhaps recalling her mother’s milk-smell in her own; to two women, like Virginia Woolf’s Chloe and Olivia, who share a laboratory; to the woman dying at ninety, touched and handled by women–exist on a lesbian continuum, we can see ourselves as moving in and out of this continuum, whether we identify ourselves as lesbian or not.

Arguments for men being the hunter are then applied to today’s understanding of the male gender being superior. However, this denial Rich feels strongly contributed to the mainstream erasure of the existence and acceptability of lesbian identity; suggesting an interlinked, innate undesirability. To separate those women heterosexulaity as “homosexual” or “gay” from the complex continuum of female resistance to enslavement, and attach them to a male pattern, is to falsify our history.


Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence by Adrienne Rich

In no way was Rich seeking a lesbian revolution against heterosexuality. According to Rich, Barry argues for a ‘sexual domination perspective’, claims that men subject women to what she terms as “sexual abuse” and “terrorism”, and that the ‘sexual domination perspective’ causes people to consider this “sexual abuse” and “terrorism” to be natural and inevitable and thus ignore it. Hegemonic masculinity is normative, or An ideal standard or model.

I don’t take Rich’s theory of the “continuum” as meaning all women are in some way lesbian–She often mentions women throughout history who resisted marriage and created communities for themselves without men.

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[