Alabama and Georgia have passed restrictive and possibly illegal abortion laws, and, no surprise, a lot of people are upset about it. Many Hollywood productions that shoot in Georgia are departing from the state in protest.
Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams announced they will continue to shoot Lovecraft Country in Georgia, but the money they earn from the show will go straight to two charities working to overturn the law.
But actress Alyssa Milano, who shoots Insatiable in Georgia, came up with probably the most attention-grabbing (and kind of problematic) way to protest the law. She called for a sex strike.
Georgia’s new law forbids abortion when a heartbeat is detected, roughly six weeks into a pregnancy. Legal abortions after a heartbeat is detected are allowed if the pregnancy jeopardizes the life of the mother, or if the fetus will not survive outside the womb. Abortion is also allowed in the case of rape or incest as long as the woman files a police report.
“Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy. JOIN ME by not having sex until we get bodily autonomy back. I’m calling for a #SexStrike. Pass it on,” Milano wrote on Twitter.
Milano’s sex strike received some support.
Saw lots of people criticizing this idea today. I fully support a sex strike. It’s not admitting that we are here to service men. It’s reminding them that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them. Boycotting sex is an effective method of protest. #SexStrike https://t.co/WFHUw6UtZP
— 💗🖤BohoGirlResists🖤💗 (@KikiAdine) May 11, 2019
But others were quick to point out the flaws in Milano’s logic. The idea of a sex strike reduces sex to a bargaining tool. It reinforces the misogynistic ideas that women’s bodies are there to give sexual pleasure to men, women are not supposed to enjoy sex, and refusing to have sex with a man is a punishment.
I know this is well-meaning but the WHOLE. ENTIRE. POINT. of these horrifying laws is to punish women for daring to have and enjoy non-procreative sex.
You think people who *already* believe women have no right to their own bodies are going to respect partners who say no? https://t.co/dteI9uPq9p
— andi zeisler (@andizeisler) May 11, 2019
Hi the idea of a #sexstrike just perpetuates the idea that sex is something women give and men take, creating a power imbalance where men feel like they have to coerce sex from a woman and women feel like they have to weaponize their sex lives thank you for coming to my Ted Talk. https://t.co/llZRy54zNE
— Maria Del Russo (@maria_delrusso) May 11, 2019
Living under patriarchy has already robbed me of safety, autonomy, opportunities, and trust in our institutions. Now I’m supposed to give up sex, too, and play into the fiction that it’s just a bargaining chip/transaction for women? Love you, but nope.
— Kristi Coulter (@KristiCCoulter) May 11, 2019
Milano said that the idea of a sex strike was to get people’s attention and to raise awareness of the issue, which it did. “A #SexStrike is another way for people who have the potential to get pregnant to call attention to this systematic onslaught and assert the power to change our own destinies,” Milano said.
Sure, the whole Lysistrada thing might have worked in a time when men were writing books with titles like How to Train Your Wife, and nobody batted an eye. But we’ve progressed a lot since Ancient Greek times, and so must our ideas of what should be considered a protest.
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