Gay and Lesbian Criticism and Queer Theory Adrienne Rich: from Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Experience Prepared by: Marie Joy M. Anhaw Jaypee Rogel Pacres
Adrienne Rich (1929- 2012) -> One of the most celebrated poets of her generation. -> Winner of the Yale Younger Poets Award at the age of twenty two. -> Won the National Book Award for poetry with the poem Diving Into the Wreck (1973) -> by the mid-1970’s Rich was openly lesbian and in her poetry and prose she was exploring all aspects of “lesbian experience”
Gay and Lesbian CriticismAn approach to literature thatfocuses on how homosexuals arerepresented in literature, how theyread literature, and whethersexuality, as well as gender, isculturally constructed or innate.
Gay, Lesbian, and Queer Theoryexamine the ways in whichsexuality and sexual difference playwith, within, and against the veryconditions of meaning that allow aword to be uttered. and queerAlthough gay, lesbian,theory are related practices, thethree terms delineate separateemphases marked by differentassumptions about the relationshipbetween gender and sexuality.
> Gender differencerefers to thosespectrums of meaninggoverned by the binaryterms man/woman > sexual difference refers to those governed by the binary terms heterosexual/homose xual.
DefinitionsGay theory examinessexual difference asit is applicable to the Lesbian theorymale gender. examines sexual difference as it is applicable to the Queer theory attempts to female gender. examine sexual difference separate from gender altogether, or with a radical DE privileging of the status of gender in traditional
Queer Theory Disembodies desire and examines how homoeroticism and heteroeroticism function, intermingling and mutually confusing modes of expression within the constructions of cultures and identities. Homoeroticism refers to same-sex Heteroeroticism is erotic expression that is more subtle sexual feeling directedand less explicit than overt depictions of toward someone of the homosexual situations and behaviour.Homoerotic content in art and literature opposite sex. can be either consciously or unconsciously intended by the artist or author.
Eve Kosofskys SedgwicksBetween Men: EnglishLiterature and Male Homosocial Desire (1985) -The text that has been most responsible forinitiating the tenets of queer an analysis of -> Sedgwick eschews theory Homosocial is a term used primarily homosexuality and heterosexuality in to describe the nonsexual bonding of men with men an examination of favour of and women with homosexuality and "homosociality." women. Homosociality manifests itself in many forms and institutions, from friendships, social circles, and single-sex clubs, through athletics and the military, to prisons, convents, and monasteries. Although homosocial relationships are not sexual, there often is an element of homoeroticism in them, even when it is expressed in heterosexual activities, such as when two men vie
Homosociality represents thevarious bonds between men thatare necessary to maintain asociety Queer theory celebrates pleasure and therefore puts too much emphasis on sex. It also puts too much emphasis on the visual, and too much emphasis on the young and trendy.
Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Experience Rich argues that heterosexuality is a violent political institution making way for the "male right of physical, economical, Urges women to directto women. and emotional access" their energies towards other women rather than men, and portrays lesbianism as an Rich challenges the notion of extension of feminism. Calls for what she describes as a greaterunderstanding of lesbian experience, andbelieves that once such an understandingis obtained, these boundaries will bewidened and women will be able to
Characteristics in which male power hasdemonstrated the suppression of femalesexuality:1. To deny women their own sexuality: destruction ofsexuality displayed throughout history in sacred documents.2. Forcing male sexuality upon women: rape, incest, torture, aconstant message that men are better, and superior in societyto women.3. Exploiting their labor to control production: women haveno control over choice of children, abortion, birth control andfurthermore, no access to knowledge of such things.4. Control over their children: lesbian mothers seen as unfitfor motherhood, malpractice in society and the courts tofurther benefit the man.5. Confinement: women unable to choose their own wardrobe(feminine dress seen as the only way), full economicdependence on the man, limited life in general.6. Male transactions: women given away by fathers as gifts orhostesses by the husband for their own benefit, pimpingwomen out.
Rich discloses that the purpose of“Compulsory Heterosexuality” was tocomplicate the proverbial, i.e.heterosexuality, in an attempt toinclude different realities, i.e.homosexuality. In no way was Richseeking a lesbian revolution againstheterosexuality.