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Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence
  • Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

    Adrienne Rich.


    Denver: Antelope Publications, 1982. Staplebound pink wraps lightly faded on the front and back, else fine. 32 pages. Second edition. Near fine.


    First published in Signs: Journal of Women in Culture and Society, 1980, vol. 5 no. 4. New foreword by Rich. A major intervention in queer theory by a once prominent resident of Santa Cruz.


    "My organizing impulse is the belief that it is not enough for feminist thought that specifically lesbian texts exist. Any theory or cultural/political creation that treats lesbian existence as a marginal or less "natural" phenomenon, as mere "sexual preference," or as the mirror image of either heterosexual or male homosexual relations is profoundly weakened thereby, whatever its other contributions. Feminist theory can no longer afford merely to voice a toleration of 'lesbianism' as an 'alternative life-style,' or make token allusion to lesbians. A feminist critique of compulsory heterosexual orientation for women is long overdue. In this exploratory paper, I shall try to show why."

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