In 1980, Adrienne Rich articulated how compulsory heterosexuality controls and oppresses women. She explains how men systematically force women into heterosexuality. Specifically through:

1. Denying us our own sexuality (punishment including death for female adultery and lesbianism, FGM, contemporary feminist debates about the compulsory nature of PIV and the way it is culturally perceived as the only valid sexual act even if women don’t want it, fits in here)

2. Forcing male sexuality on us (through rape, being beaten, and physically, emotionally and psychologically coerced into sex with men, male sexual harassment and assault, socialisation that tells us male sexual aggression is a “right“ and he “can‘t help it“)

3. Controlling women’s labour (through the institution of marriage/cohabitation and motherhood and the informal (unpaid) domestic role in the home as well as predominantly carrying out low paid caring roles in the workplace)

4. Controlling women’s movements and keeping them imprisoned…

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