Describe Adrienne Rich's critical argument in her essay "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence."

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In Adrienne Rich's essay "Compulsory Heterosexuality and Lesbian Existence" argues two main points. First, it argues the fact that heterosexuality has been forced upon society by males. Second, it argues that lesbians have been ignored in literature.

Essentially, Rich's argument grounds itself in the ideology surrounding male power and dominance. Rich believes that "male control of law, theology, and science" insures the "coupling of women with men and obstructed or penalized our [women's] coupling or allying in independent groups with other women." Rich goes on to suggest that the explanation of sexual preference is ignored.  When it is explained, Rich defines its explanation as lying rooted in "female Oedipus complex or the necessity for species reproduction."

Her argument, overall, lies in the "fact" that "the sexual imbalance of power of males over females" needs an societal overhaul. Given that the power (both mental and physical) men exert over women tends to be the dominant factor, Rich believes that women are female sexual slaves to men. In the end, Rich calls for a undoing of male power.

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Lesbian Identity in Literature

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