View that heterosexuality is the “default” mode

That everything other than cishet is unnatural or deviant

assigns Privilege to heterosexual people

According to Adrienne Rich, heteronormativity is the idea that heterosexuality is the only natural, normal, and acceptable sexual orientation. She coined the term “compulsory heterosexuality” to describe how women are pressured and coerced to conform to heterosexual norms and expectations by patriarchal society.

She argued that heterosexuality is not a biological instinct, but a political institution that oppresses women and limits their choices, freedom, and potential. She also challenged the binary and essentialist views of sex and gender that underlie heteronormativity, and advocated for lesbian existence and feminism as forms of resistance and liberation.