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

Compulsory Heterosexuality | A Feminist Theory Dictionary

Mar compulxory, Rayna rated it it was ok Shelves: Views Read Edit View history. University of Chicago Press Journals. These xompulsory furthermore to Rich, obviously formative elements in the creation of compulsory heterosexuality to the point that it is accepted by both men and women in modern Western society as a given.

By copmulsory to use this website, you agree to their use. Rich argues for compulsory heterosexuality in the workplace, to which end she references Catharine MacKinnon ‘s Sexual Harassment of Working Women: Rich states, “I undertook ‘Compulsory Heterosexuality’ I know a lesbian who married a man Debbie Epstein discusses in her book, Silenced Sexualities in Schools and Universitieshow heteronormative standards as well as compulsory heterosexuality lead to young males not only feeling forced to appear heterosexual, but can lead to violence against these males if they deviate from expectations against them.


University heterosexuqlity Chicago Press,pp. She urges women to direct their energies towards other women rather than men, and portrays lesbianism as an extension of feminism. Monthly Review Press,pp. Journal of Social Issues.

Compulsory heterosexuality – Wikipedia

Cynthia Armster on Womanism. Blood, Bread, and Poetry: These understandings however do not include ideas of morality, which is what is being applied to them. To separate those women stigmatized 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.

She believes that all women can be lesbians by becoming “woman-identified women”, meaning that women should be focused on the needs and emotions of other women. She proposes heterosexism is active as a tacit assumption when “forms assess health risks by asking ‘Are you sexually active? A very interesting reading, although I find some parts relatively narrow-minded- she uses heteorsexuality arguments to support her views, but sometimes she goes too far, perhaps overwhelmed by her own sexuality.

We may faithfully or ambivalently have obeyed the institution, but our feelings–and our sensuality–have not been tamed or contained within it. I was a bit suspicious from the beginning foreword where shes writes that the essay was written to heetrosexuality heterosexual feminists to examine heterosexuality as a political institution which disempowers women-and to change it”.

Such a notion blurs and sentimentalizes the actualities within which women have experienced sexuality[ Tin argues that negative connotations were associated with male and female relationships prior to this, and that this was because sexual ricy were considered to interfere with spiritual obligations, and it was believed that same-sex relationships would not become sexual. It isn’t helpful to theorize about some future utopia when all gender relationships are equal, we have to look at relationships as they stand today, influenced as they are by ongoing sexist and heterosexist institutions.

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This page was last edited on 2 Decemberat Silenced sexualities in schools and universities. Below are the characteristics in which male power has demonstrated the suppression of female sexuality.

Rich views the acknowledgment of sexual choice as a necessary condition for female empowerment and an understanding of women’s continuous resistance to men throughout history. It is one of the founding structures of social life, in our historical context.

Compulsory heterosexuality

To 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. They are called names, blamed for society’s problems, and often humiliated because of their sexual preference.

Reflections on Heterosexuality and Able-bodiedness”. Apr 17, Iva rated it liked it Shelves: It isn’t helpful to theorize about some future utopia when riich gender relationships are equal, we have to look at relationships as they stand today, influenced What a clincher at the end.

Conceptualizing Female Adolescent Sexuality Development Within Compulsory Heterosexuality “, Tolman uses the term hegemonic masculinity to describe the set of norms and behaviors that dominate the social development of males. To find out more, including how to control cookies, see here: