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Do Homosexual Relationships Require "Opposites"?

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Nicolette Reese

on 8 April 2011

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Transcript of Do Homosexual Relationships Require "Opposites"?

Economic power has been stripped of women by men by means of enforcing heterosexual dependence, further rendering lesbian relationships illegitimate. Do Homosexual Relationships Require "Opposites"? The Question:
Do homosexual, specifically lesbian, relationships require opposites? I unofficially polled my 8 roommates on whether they felt a relationship between two women required a "masculine" woman paired with a "feminine" woman... Let's begin with some important definitions according to the Merriam-Webster Dictionary... Masculine: a. male b. having qualities appropriate to or usually associated with a man
Feminine: a. female b. a characteristic of or appropriate or unique to women ,<feminine beauty>
Feminist Theory on Lesbian Relationships: Alice Rossi: women are "innately sexually oriented" towards men The Problem with Previous Feminist Theory on the Lesbian Existence: Invalidates relationships between women
Has lead to the neglect of lesbians in Feminist Theory
Doesn't take into account patriarchal social constructs that have been established throughout history . Nicolette Reese's Breakdown of Adrienne Rich's piece "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" Mommy Issues? This implies women who are lesbians had some restrictive development and were unable to break away from their mothers' influences Characteristics of Male Power: 1. Deny women of sexuality: female genital mutilation (preserving virginity)
chastity belts
extreme punishment for female adultery
denial and/or punishment of lesbian sexuality 2. Force sexuality on women: Rape
Wife-beating
Incest (father-daughter/brother-sister)
Assertion that male sex drive is a natural right of men
Idealization of heterosexual relationships in art, literature, other media
Prostitution and "harems"
Pornographic depictions of women taking pleasure in violent sex acts and humiliation (sadism) 3. Exploitation of female labor Institutions of marriage and motherhood as unpaid production
Decreased salaries for women in empolyment
Male control of abortion
Prostitution
Female infanticide 4. Control or rob women of their children "Father-right"
Seizure of children from lesbian mothers in the courts
Forcing a mother to inflict genital mutilation on her daughter 5. Confining women physically and preventing their movement Rape terrorism (keeping women off the streets)
Foot-binding
Denial of women's athletic capabilities

Veiling women when in public
Forced full time motherhood (breeds economic dependency on men)
6. Use of women as objects in male transactions Bride price
Pimping
Arranged marriages
Use of female entertainers to facilitate male deals
Required uniforms of female cocktail waitresses, secerataries or other such traditionally occupied professions meant to titillate males 7. Cramping female creativeness Definition of male pursuits as more valuable than female pursuits
Structuring of cultural values surrounding the male experience
Sexual exploitation of women by male artists and teachers
Social and economic disruptions halting female creative aspirations 8. Withholding of women from knowledge and cultural attainments Preventing women's education ( 60% of the world's illiterate are women
Silencing of women, particularly lesbians in history
Sex role stereotyping preventing female accomplishments in science, mathematics, and technology (male strengths)
Employment discrimination Implications of Male Power over Women Why animosity towards lesbian relationships? In a society that has been traditionally structured by and around men, lesbian relationships reject the necessity of a male presence in a woman's life All 8 said this was not only a truth, but a necessity for a successful relationship... The general population tends to agree. But why? Adrienne Rich, prominent author, poet and feminist of the 1970s attempts to answer this question by breaking down women's prescribed roles in the economy, family, media and romantic relationships. Doris Lessing: the lesbian choice is the product of bitterness towards men Perpetuated by violence and isolation of women discovered to be in lesbian relationships throughout history, this forces lesbians to hide, becoming even further invisible in society Chodorow: idea that "lesbian relationships do tend to re-create mother-daughter emotions and connections, but most women are heterosexual" What do we learn from Rich's article? Violence inflicted upon lesbians by men has instilled fear and placed a taboo of being in a female-female relationship Heterosexuality might not be an innate preference for most women Men have supressed women's learning and knowledge making them historically economically dependent Heterosexuality is compulsory because women have been denied the tools to lead successful, economically viable lives without the presence of a man The number of lesbians is probably underestimated due to fear of breaking social constructs in patriarchal society The fact that society has been so engrained with patriarchal dominance breeds female submissiveness in society. Males are excused for violent behavior against women because "it's their nature" and women are expected to accept this as a simple fact of life. Without a male presence, a relationship is deemed unsuccessful. A main focus of Rich's article is the role men play in constructing females' roles in society... Due to patriarchal structuring and male dominance, this is interpreted as a direct undermining of male importance. Men create and enforce anti-lesbian notions and societal constructs to prevent this Image Citations: 1. Gippo. BlobBlog. Playboy Bunnies London, 1970. 6/29/10. Viewed: 4/4/11. <http://zwaik.blogspot.com/2010/06/conigliette.html?zx=85949e8b371ba268> 2. Dalke, Anne; Blankenship, Laura. Chastity Belt. 4/8/09. Viewed: 4/4/11. <http://gandt.blogs.brynmawr.edu/web-papers/web-papers-3/personal-ruminations-of-the-technology-of-government-and-its-impact-on-gender-and-sexuality-as-presented-in-the-handmaid%E2%80%99s-tale-and-in-real-life/> 3. Chasteen, Stephanie. Heterosexual Relationship. 7/08. Viewed: 4/4/11. <http://sciencegeekgirl.wordpress.com/2008/07/>. 4. Lin, Mike. Chinese Foot Binding. Unknown Publishing Date. Viewed: 4/4/11. <http://www.china-mike.com/facts-about-china/facts-women-marriage/> 5. Dixon, Kate B. Two Veiled Women in Jibla, Yemen. 10/9/09. Viewed: 4/4/11. <http://www.flickr.com/photos/kdixon/4682136842/> 6. "molls225". Perfect Housewife. 4/30/10. Viewed: 4/4/4. <http://focusonthelittlethings.wordpress.com/2010/04/30/from-scratch/>. 7. Sweezey, C. Otis. Marilyn Monroe. 9/4/07. Viewed: 4/4/11. <http://www.siue.edu/COSTUMES/history.html>.
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