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Lecture 18

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PHL 606
Kym Mac Laren

Adrienne Rich - How heterosexuality is a political institution - Women are governed by lives fulfilled by heterosexual relation - This is where the real meaning of your life gets its anchor - There is a societal pressure to find yourself fulfilled to have hetero relationships, which is a social norm rather than a human nature - She says nothing about sexuality is nature, talking about humans we don’t alk about creatures who simply answer to demands of animals - Political institution is established by power workings of society - Pg 35-38, “tells us the way power takes over women and gives examples that apply” she claims each of the forms of power over women is related to the norm of heterosexuality - Men have power by denying women their sexuality (chastity belts, punishment for sexuality etc.) o The way society functions is to isolate them (divide & conquer) - Multiple pervasive strategies of maintaining power over women o This is evidence of a counterforce that is being restrained (resistance from women to this state of affair)  often comes in the form of women identification – turning to women friends for support (community) o Sexism relies in part on compulsory heterosexuality - Adrienne is not advocating the elimination of heterosexual relations - On pg 64, “the lie of compulsory sexuality keeps women/men psychologically trapped trying to fit them into a prescribed script” - Pg 66, “....lesbian existence” John Russon - Basic project - Epiphany of the other as a singular + myself as singular o He starts by thinking difference between being a family member and when u live in a
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