A #SexStrike Is Not The Answer To A Ban On Abortion
Over the weekend, celebrities including #MeToo activist Alyssa Milano and Bette Midler called on women to stop having sex, after the latest restrictive abortion law was passed in the US.
In other words, a #SexStrike. The theory is that a sex ban will act as a form of protest against these laws, which are effective abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures.
In Georgia, The Living Infants Fairness and Equality (LIFE) Act was signed last week, and will come into effect on January 1st. It’s also known as the “Heartbeat Bill”, as it draws the line for terminating a pregnancy after a foetal heartbeat can be detected. Usually this is about six weeks into a pregnancy.
“We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country,” Milano said on Saturday. “It’s reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them.”
Despite backlash from both sides of politics, Milano said she’s happy with the criticism as it's “getting people to talk about the war on women".
I would like to be so bold as to suggest that there is no “war on women”. And before the furious argument kicks in about a woman’s absolute right to bodily autonomy, here are just some of the reasons this #SexStrike is flawed:
1. Sex is not a currency
If your worldview sees sex as currency, you need to change your lens and adjust your focus. You can’t put a value on sex, use it as payment or for bribes. If you are doing any of those things, your ethics are questionable.
2. It’s outdated
Sex strikes date back to ancient Greece. In Aristophanes’ ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, women persuaded other women in warring cities to withhold sex from men until they put an end to the Peloponnesian War. That was the year 404 BC -- and while there were undoubtedly some voices in the 1950s that suggested “sex and food can fix anything” -- don’t we all hope we’ve made some progress since then?
3. Not all relationships involve men
It’s 2019. You do not need a man to have a relationship. Milano and Midler may like to give some thought to precisely how their proposed #SexStrike will work for women in same-sex relationships.
4. Women are not the “providers”
For any strike to be effective, those choosing that path of action have to be providing a service to others who will suffer if they don’t deliver. Women are not the “providers” of sex and men the “consumers”. Only a fanatical feminist would see sex in that way.
5. Good sex is mutually enjoyable
If you’re seeing sex as a chore, you’re doing it wrong. Sexual chemistry and intimacy are what makes relationships different to friendships. If you’re in a position where you dread sex so much that you’re looking for excuses to go on strike, there is a problem that is much closer to home than the government. Newsflash: sexually empowered women enjoy sex as much as men.
6. You’re denying yourself fun
Devoutly religious folk may see sex purely as a means to procreate, but most of us see sex as fun. It’s not a chore. Why go on strike and deny yourself pleasure?
7. It’s hypocritical
If proponents of a #SexStrike are telling women not to have sex, isn't that hypocritical? They too would be denying women control over their own bodies.