Please use this identifier to cite or link to this item: https://hdl.handle.net/10356/44729
Title: Heterosexuality, patriarchal notions and a lesbian continuum for female identity
Authors: Gan, Amelia Si Min
Keywords: DRNTU::Humanities::Literature
Issue Date: 2011
Abstract: As exemplified from a long tradition of feminist history, various arguments, criticism and theories have arisen over the position of the weaker sex in a world where the masculine dominates. Male power also effectuates sexual subjugation and inequality through conventional heterosexual relations, as apparent in After Leaving Mr Mackenzie. Rich subsequently recognises “the enforcement of heterosexuality for women as a means of assuring male right of physical, economic, and emotional access” (Rich 238) and perceives “a corresponding neglect of the presence of lesbians”, including “the erasure of lesbian existence from so much […] scholarly feminist literature, an erasure which [she] felt (and feel) to be not just anti-lesbian, but anti-feminist in its consequences, and to distort the experience of heterosexual women as well” (227). Hence the impetus for the next two novels, Sputnik Sweetheart and Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit to determine a possible alternative identity for the female. While both depict female-female relations, Sputnik Sweetheart is however, written by a male author who becomes the omniscient male. It is essential to evaluate patriarchal notions of female-female relations as once more, there is the risk of objectifying the female. The final analysis of Oranges Are Not the Only Fruit seeks to provide hope for the subjugated female, supporting Rich’s argument that it would be “more accurate, more powerful, more truly a force for change” because “the author dealt with lesbian existence as a reality and as a source of knowledge and power available to women, or with the institution of heterosexuality itself as a beachhead of male dominance” (229). With heterosexual relations acting as the traditional or even compulsory definition for female identity, this essay will turn towards female-female relations to undo such patriarchal institutions as well as masculine notions for an alternative female identity.
URI: http://hdl.handle.net/10356/44729
Rights: Nanyang Technological University
Fulltext Permission: restricted
Fulltext Availability: With Fulltext
Appears in Collections:HSS Student Reports (FYP/IA/PA/PI)

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