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Political Lesbianism

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian ExistenceAdrienne RichOnlywomen Press1981

From Wikipedia: Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence is a 1980 essay by Adrienne Rich, which was also published in her 1986 book Blood, Bread, and Poetry: Selected Prose 1979-1985.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence is a text that is constructed to think about and inspire change about lesbian visibility, structures of lesbian sexuality, and the role of literary criticism in relationship to lesbianism. Adrienne Rich argues that heterosexuality is not “natural” or intrinsic in human instincts, but an institution imposed upon many cultures and societies that render women in a subordinate situation. It was written to challenge the erasure of lesbian existence from a large amount of scholarly feminist literature. It was not written to widen divisions but to encourage heterosexual feminists to examine heterosexuality as a political institution which disempowers women and to change it.

Lesbian Identity is the sense of self of a woman bonded primarily to women who is sexually and emotionally independent of men.

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence