Adrienne Rich - Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence
I found Rich's article on Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence to be very interesting and enlightening. She explains that lesbians/homosexuals are being shunned out of society and not giving the right to choose their partner. Also that men use sex to control women as a way of dominance. Being a man I rarely look at the world through a woman's eyes. This gave me the opportunity to do so. Where I may not necessarily agree with everything written, I definately agree that woman are exploited for sex and men are often guided by their smaller head. There are men out there who use their male power in such manners as stated by Kathleen Gough, such as forcing sex upon women, denying them of their sexuality and using them as objects. However, I'd like to believe these are the exceptions and not the rule. It wasn't diffucult to identify and locate male egotism in the western culture. It took me only a three minute search to find this behavior highlighted on a popular day time TV show, Dr. Phil. It's pretty entertaining garbage. If you need a good laugh....
While in America homosexuals fear being socially cast out, other cultures such as Islam, India and China, are not even allowed to recognize this as an option. They experience significant marital disadvantages. For example, an article quoting the Koran states a woman must be readily available for sex with her husband whenever he desires or in China a woman is chosen based on her pedigree rather than love. In India daughters are often promised to a man by her father at a very young age in hopes of elevating the family's social status and/or in exchange for money. As stated by Rich, these women are really not given a choice of sexuality as they will be cast out socially should they decide not to marry let alone love another woman.
In conclusion, where I may not agree with Rich's theory on compulsory heterosexuality, I do believe every woman (and man) should live in a society where she is granted free will and not punished or criticized for his/her decisions.
In class tomorrow I would like to bring up Is sexual preference pre-determined at birth or a mere decision we all make at free will?" If the latter, at what age do we make this decision and do any of us remember doing so? Exclude tramatic events, such as rape, that may have altered the decision by default and otherwise removed free will.