Posts tagged ‘heterosexism’

Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence

Adrienne Rich’s essay constitutes a powerful challenge to some of our least examined sexual assumptions. Rich turns all the familiar arguments on their heads: If the first erotic bond is to the mother, she asks, could not the “natural” sexual orientation of both men and women be toward women?

Rich’s radical questioning has been a major intellectual force in the general feminist reorientation to sexual matters in recent years, and her conception of a “lesbian continuum” sparked especially intense debate. Does lesbianism incorporate all support systems and intense interactions among women, or is it a specifically erotic choice? What is gained and what is lost with the second, narrower definition? Rich’s assumptions also usefully raise the more general theoretical question: Is adult sexuality so closely associated with the infant bond that genuinely satisfying sex relations are likely to be structured primarily around nurturance?


Bystander Intervention Training Tonight

Today is the Diversity Interest Group and Women’s Center’s second Bystander Intervention Event from 5:30 – 7:00pm in LSII 291. In these dialogue and practice-based sessions, participants will look how to intervene in situations that perpetuate oppression and inequality. In each session they will explore a different position in instances of oppression and develop strategies for intervention from each position.  This week they will focus on developing intervention strategies when we are the targets of oppression and injustice.

There will be one more bystander intervention event on Monday, April 9th at 5:30pm.

This event is co-sponsored by the Diversity Interest Group and The Women’s Center. Please email Lissa Lim (llim [at] with any questions you may have.

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