chapter  5
9 Pages

Liz Bondi, 'Feminism, Postmodernism and Geography: Space for Women?' (1990)

This chapter discusses what it is like to live in an ableist and heterosexist society. It presents experiences of ableism and heterosexism separately; this should by no means suggest that these are separate from oppressions based on class, gender, race/ethnicity and age. Rather, there are multiple locations of oppression in patriarchal, capitalist societies including those based on both ableism and heterosexism. Heterosexism refers to social relations, practices and ideas which work to construct heterosexuality as the only true, 'natural' sexuality whilst negating all other sexualities as deviant and 'un-natural'. The frequent use of the terms 'gay' and 'homosexual' to mean all lesbians and gay men both affects and denies the realities of lesbian existence. It makes invisible the huge power differential based on gender between lesbians and gay men. Much of the geographic work to date on lesbians and on gays has concentrated on increasing visibility rather than critical analyses of heterosexual hegemony.