To Rich, patriarchal culture socializes women to be heterosexual. She calls it “compulsory heterosexuality”. Lesbians and transgenders attempt to re-make their bodies. Thus Lesbianism, as a political commitment, turns to other women for emotional support. This patriarchal conditioning to accept heterosexuality as a norm keeps women from being free, according to lesbian ethics.
According to Mary Eagleton, “Lesbianism exists not as a ‘sexual preference’ or as an ‘alternative life style’ or as the choice of the minority group but as a fundamental critique of the dominant order and as an organizing principle for women” (3). Lesbianism also rejects essentialism. Heterosexuality is considered to be a political institution and their struggle…show more content… She wrote A Vindication of the Rights of Woman (1792) to protest against the subjugation of women and its perpetuation in the society. According to her, knowledge is gained through experience. But if one’s experience is circumscribed by social customs, then one will be unable to perfect his/her nature. Wollstonecraft protested against the institutions that treated women as less than human by denying them any other identity except the one acquired through men. Her solution was to provide education to women so that they can fulfil their human potential and act autonomously.
John Stuart Mill wrote his The Subjection of Women in 1861. According to him, marriage makes a woman a servant and hence perpetuates “domestic slavery”. Mill argued strongly for changes in the legal status of women. He found that among the poor, women were subjected to indignities and cruelties and men proved their superiority by crude force. Male ascendency or superiority is the psychological foundation of all forms of…show more content… Woolf asserts that patriarchal culture was responsible for the economic, intellectual and artistic impoverishment of women. She stresses the fact that women should have more space within the social structures to realize their creative potential. She contends that the limited achievements of women in the field of arts are due to lack of opportunities, money, education and privacy and also due to domestic servitude, demands of motherhood, male hostility and above all, the absence of any nurturing female tradition. She makes it clear that if women are to write they must enjoy that material independence which is one of the necessary conditions for their