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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On a more radical note, Rich describes the possibility that all women exist on a lesbian continuum, and we see each other moving in and out of this space throughout the lives of women. Skip to main content. Lesbianism is female homosexuality. Fuck this is essay is good!! I mean the term lesbian continuum to include a range–through each woman’s life and throughout history–of woman-identified experience; not simply the fact that a woman has had or consciously desired genital sexual experience with another woman.

This essay discusses the way that 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 group meeting.

In this way I feel her text to be important in demonstrating the power of deconstruction to shed light upon social conventions that seemed before to be essential and unchangeable. Oct 27, Bucket rated it it was ok.

Relationships between women are so devalued in society – I think of all the stories of women who get married and become estranged from their best friend, the person who was once the most important person in their life. 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.

This is an uploaded copy of the essay.

Pornography does not simply create a climate in which sex and violence are interchangeable; it widens the range of behavior considered acceptable from men in heterosexual intercourse-behavior which reiteratively strips women of their autonomy, compuksory, and sexual potential, including the potential of loving and being loved by women in mutuality and integrity.

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All of the characteristics show how the denial of sexuality for women is a means to control and suppress any transition, creativeness, and economic advancement of women. Conclusively, women feared to raise the issue of female-female relationships and desires for fear of losing social status both amongst women and men. She urges women to direct their energies towards other women rather than men, and portrays lesbianism as an extension of feminism.

Insead of dry but informative texts, Rich’s are always lively, emotional and beautifully written, as well as well-formulated and well-researched. Rich explains, “historians need to ask at every point how heterosexuality as institution has been organized and maintained through the female wage scale, the enforcement of middle-class women’s ‘leisure’, the glamorization of so-called sexual liberation, the withholding of education from women, the imagery of ‘high art’ and popular culture, the mystification of the ‘personal sphere, and much else”.

Aug 19, Aline Job rated it it was amazing.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

Conducting research, writing articles, essays, and blogging, I give informative information on a variety of topics and issues that affect society. Rich struggles through the tautology that is the socially constructed versus innate and therefore, timeless, biological, not historically contingent arguments about lesbianism, and homosexuality. Reli este artigo para pensar e repensar sobre algo que estava eu mesma escrevendo. Rich’s theory demonstrated what was normal, expected, required, demanded of all women.

Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Guess what we hear when we come out to straight people? Men are expected and encouraged in these media to desire women only for procreation, sexual pleasure, and physical good looks, while if a woman has these desires for a man, outside of a series aimed specifically at a female-only audience, it is treated as at best a punchline or at worst, the character is looked down upon by the rest of the cast, implying that the audience should join in the judgement.

University of Chicago Press,pp.

To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: We may faithfully or ambivalently have obeyed the institution, but our feel “Women have married because it was necessary, in order to survive economically, in order to have children who would not suffer economic deprivation or social ostracism, in order to remain respectable, in order to do what was expected of women because coming out of “abnormal” childhoods they wanted to feel “normal,” and because heterosexual romance has been represented as the great female adventure, duty, and fulfillment.

Below are the characteristics in which male power has demonstrated the suppression of female sexuality. Apr 08, Destynie rated it it was amazing Shelves: To me, the most important point that she makes is that human relationships cannot be considered as taking place within a vacuum.


Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence by Lixxie Polk on Prezi

Rich demonstrates that the debate over what is good, bad, right or wrong is a detailed and subjective one. In order to gain this physical, economical, and emotional access for women, Rich lays out a framework developed by Kathleen Gough both a social anthropologist and feminist that lists “eight characteristics rivh male power in archaic and contemporary societies”.

Nov 24, Safaya Mann rated it it was amazing. But then, after all this, she undermines her message about the naturalness of lesbianism by suggesting that the definition of lesbianism should expand to include experiences that are not lesbian.

Lists with This Book. This offers a basic understanding of what lesbians are subject to in a patriarchy. The concept of a “lesbian continuum” that encompasses all forms and degrees of relationships between women, brought me excitement when I first read it.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence by Adrienne Rich

These self-identifying female liberators feared to question the boundaries around their own desires, so convincing heterosexality created the menace of the adeienne Other.

My biggest critique is her use of ‘lesbian’ falling outside the definition of what ‘lesbian’ actually means. Such a notion blurs and sentimentalizes the actualities within which women have experienced sexuality[ Aug 11, Noor rated it really liked it.

Archived from the original on February 13, Just in case I have not understood the text perfectly, feel free to correct me or take my thinking a step further. In Diving into the Wreck and The Dream of a Common Languageshe continued to experiment with form and to deal with the experiences and aspirations of women from adriienne feminist perspective. Log In Sign Up.

The womb or women is the first source of home both literally and figuratively that is romanticized throughout history and literature. Mar 20, Rayna rated it it was ok Shelves: Adrienne Rich made a lot of important points and arguments that speak to me but went off the rails in some of her ideas, so I have mixed feelings about her work.

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