Compulsory heterosexuality

Compulsory heterosexuality refers to the power structures that have historically allow men to control women’s sexual expression and ensure male access to women (Rich, 133-135). This form of thinking is reiterated through two assumptions: that women are innately attracted to men and that lesbians are just bitter towards men (Rich, 130). These assumptions, combined with the power structures that have allowed men to control and curb women’s sexual expression, have created a narrative of erasure and pathologization of lesbian experience (Rich, 135).