chapter  17
4 Pages

Susan Bordo, 'Anglo-American Feminism, "Women's Liberation'' and the Politics of the Body' (1993)

This chapter describes that heterosexuality is the dominant sexuality in modern Western culture. This supremacy is attributed to the fact that opposite-sex sex is constructed as natural and therefore superior to homosexuality because of its association with procreation. However, heterosexuality is not defined merely by sexual acts in private space. It is a taken for granted process of power relations which operates in most everyday environments, thus highlighting the inaccuracy of assuming a sexual public-private dichotomy. The lack of recognition of alternative sexual identities means that places and organisations exclude lesbian and gay life-styles and so unconsciously reproduce heterosexual hegemony. As a result of this expression and representation of heterosexual relations in space, heterosexuals as a group are allowed to appropriate and take up space, for example, with heterosexual signifiers such as pictures of partners or through constant (hetero)sexualised dialogue.