Tuesday, October 13, 2015
Blog Post #5
Adrienne Rich, Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence
When I first started reading the text I was confused because she kept mentioning compulsory heterosexuality I wasn't quite sure what she meant. When she stated, "... to encourage heterosexual feminists to examine heterosexuality as a political institution which disempowers women- and to change it." I began to get an idea what it could mean. She kept mentioning heterosexuality as a political institution and that is what I think she means by compulsory heterosexuality. One example that made me understand compulsory heterosxuality was when she said, "Compulsory heterosxuality simplifies the task of the procurer and pimp in worldwide prostitution rings and "eros centers", while, in the privacy of the home, it leads the daughter to "accept" incest/rape by her father, the mother to deny that it is happening, the battered wife to stay on with an abusive husband". It is "the way" it should be, heterosexuality is the only sexuality while homosexuality is "deviant". With that quote it just goes to show how the girls are brought up that men are in control and that they must please them. This leads into lesbian existence which is, "... both the fact of the historical presence of lesbians and our continuing creation of the meaning of that existence" (pg. 90). It is to talk about the existence of lesbians from the very beginning. It isn't just a "phase" that just started lesbians have been around for a very long time but as stated in the article it has been erased, made into something bad and abnormal in this society. When Rich talks about women resisting men to show proof of lesbian existence she links it to love connection between women and women. On page 91 she says, "... central to lesbian existence" the erotic sensuality which has been, precisely, the most violently erased fact of female experience". Which is just an example of compulsory heterosexuality and showing how mandatory it is.