This, reports Robert Stacy McCain, comes from page 209 of Gender Trouble: Feminism and the Subversion of Identity by Judith Butler, PhD, and since he actually paid for a copy of the book, I’ll take his word for it:
I use the term heterosexual matrix throughout the text to designate that grid of cultural intelligibility through which bodies, genders, and desires are naturalized. I am drawing from Monique Wittig’s notion of the “heterosexual contract” and, to a lesser extent, on Adrienne Rich’s notion of “compulsory heterosexuality” to characterize a hegemonic discursive/epistemic model of gender intelligibility that assumes that for bodies to cohere and make sense there must be a stable sex expressed through a stable gender (masculine expresses male, feminine expresses female) that is oppositionally and hierarchically defined through the compulsory practice of heterosexuality.
Look, I don’t care how high your SAT score was, there’s no way you can understand that paragraph without reading it at least twice, and how many college sophomores are going to be as diligent as I was, in that I ordered copies of Monique Wittig’s and Adrienne Rich’s books in an effort to make sure I understood the sources cited by Professor Butler?
As a matter of policy, I will not read anything more than once containing any declension of “hegemony.”
Still, were this paragraph easily comprehensible, it would not be doing its job, which is to make the disciples nod knowingly and the rubes shake their heads.