Start Encyclopedia69 Dictionary | Overview | Topics | Groups | Categories | Bookmark this page.
dictionary -  encyclopedia  
Full text search :        
   A   B   C   D   E   F   G   H   I   J   K   L   M   N   O   P   Q   R   S   T   U   V   W   X   Y   Z   #   




  Heterosexuality (partner choice of the opposite sex) as an institution has been questioned and examined by radical and revolutionary feminists. Adrienne Rich\'s essay ‘Compulsory Sexuality and Lesbian Existence’ argues that feminism needs to ask how heterosexuality as an economic institution is based upon the absence of any alternative for women. The presence of choice, Rich argues, would allow women to determine the meaning and place of sexuality. Rich deplores the way in which feminist theory has contributed to lesbian invisibility and marginality, and calls for a broader definition of what is considered ‘lesbian’ which is not limited to clinical definitions of ‘lesbianism’. Rich\'s strategy offers a way of breaking down rigid patriarchal definitions of heterosexuality, which devalue women\'s relationships with one another.

Anne Koedt and Charlotte Bunch argued that heterosexuality was an ideological construction and needed to be examined in the same way that feminists had looked at other areas of women\'s oppression. Ann Koedt believes that through heterosexuality patriarchy divides women from one another. Lesbians who questioned heterosexuality and heterosexism were considered by some as a threat to feminism. Charlotte Bunch argued that heterosexuality was basic to women\'s oppression, and also argued that feminist theory must ask itself difficult questions to lead to effective strategies in the future.

Gayle Rubin has put forward the view that very often feminism has buried lesbianism under a heterosexist agenda. For Rubin the separation of sexual and gender oppression is vital and she considers that in criticizing the sexual oppression of heterosexuality feminism will become richer. Many women have criticized feminism for being the view of the Western, white, middle-class, heterosexual. Rubin and Rich have offered feminism a means to criticize its own methodologies and assumptions.

In the UK, Sue Ardhill and Susan O\'Sullivan have argued that the psychoanalytic model of the development of the feminine position, which was thought by some feminists to create the psychic conditions for later female heterosexuality, does not adequately address women who are ‘femme’ lesbians. This seems to suggest that more work is needed in the analysis of the construction of femininity and, what was thought to be an intrinsic part of femininity, heterosexuality. TK

Further reading Charlotte Bunch, Not by Degrees: Feminist Theory and Education; , Gayle Rubin, Thinking Sex: Notes for a Radical Theory of the Politics of Sexuality.



Bookmark this page:



<< former term
next term >>


Other Terms : Verismo | Division Of Labour | Double Effect, Doctrine of
Home |  Add new article  |  Your List |  Tools |  Become an Editor |  Tell a Friend |  Links |  Awards |  Testimonials |  Press |  News |  About |
Copyright ©2009 GeoDZ. All rights reserved.  Terms of Use  |  Privacy Policy  |  Contact Us