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University of California at Los Angeles Women's Law Journal


In this Article, Professor Becker argues that heterosexual relationships are more problematic for women than lesbian relationships, particularly when such relationships are viewed in terms of their tendency to objectify the "other." She discusses how current "moral" norms concerning the inferiority of homosexuality to heterosexuality enable men to use women in immoral and subordinating ways. She explores moral taboos against lesbian relationships and asserts that these taboos facilitate heterosexual male exploitation of women's sexuality by obscuring from some women the possibility that they might prefer more equitable relationships with women rather than with men. She argues for greater acceptance of lesbian relationships because it will allow women to choose between heterosexual and same-sex relationships and will force men to commit to moral heterosexual relationships. She concludes by examining bans on lesbian marriages. She asserts that these bans not only discriminate between men and women on a formal level but also discriminate substantively by facilitating the ability of men to exploit women's sexuality as well as their emotional, domestic, and reproductive labor.

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Supported by the Jerome F. Kutak Faculty Fund and the Arnold and Freida Shure Research Fund

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