The Official Blog for ENGL 41416.

Hidden Lesbian

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence  by Adrienne Rich is about lesbianism being erased from history and forcing heterosexuality on woman.  the approach while intended to enlighten about lesbianism is more of an acknowledgment of woman not specifically sexual preference. With the exclusion of sexual preference the following statement by Rich seems to be somewhat confusing:

I doubt that enough scholars and theorists have taken the pains to acknowledge the societal forces which wrench woman’s emotional and erotic energies away from themselves and other woman and from woman-identified values.

Many theorists have discussed and written about the plight of woman.This statement is also weakened by Rich’s statement:

I mean the term lesbian continuum to include a range- through each woman’s life and throughout history-of woman-identified experience

Rich talks about lesbianism including all woman experiences. When the topics Characteristics of male power include the power of men to separate a sect of woman fro m things that all have to face seems useless. the binding of the feet of woman, sex trafficking, denial of sexuality including preference, history and power cannot be separated, in my mind, for any group of woman.

One the point that the “lesbian existence comprises both the breaking of a taboo and the rejection a compulsory way of life”, do we truly understand the idea of forced heterosexuality (the topic of the article by Rich). The ideas Rich gives for reasoning of lesbianism

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Comments on: "Hidden Lesbian" (1)

  1. Rachelly Crime said:

    The question that arises at the end of your analysis: “do we truly understand the idea of forced heterosexuality?” , although it is the topic of the article I believe can not be answered. Particularly because in my understanding of her essay I don’t believe she thinks heterosexuality is forced but that it is constructed. When looking at the conception of the “lesbian continuum” arises the question whether lesbianism is defined by all interactions among women or is it an erotic choice? She argues that heterosexuality is not innate therefore it is made.

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