Alyssa Milano proposed a sex strike to protest restrictive abortion laws but it kind of misses the point.

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.  

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.

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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If the past year has taught us nothing else, it's that sending love out into the world through selfless acts of kindness can have a positive ripple effect on people and communities. People all over the United States seemed to have gotten the message — 71% of those surveyed by the World Giving Index helped a stranger in need in 2020. A nonprofit survey found 90% helped others by running errands, calling, texting and sending care packages. Many people needed a boost last year in one way or another and obliging good neighbors heeded the call over and over again — and continue to make a positive impact through their actions in this new year.

Upworthy and P&G Good Everyday wanted to help keep kindness going strong, so they partnered up to create the Lead with Love Fund. The fund awards do-gooders in communities around the country with grants to help them continue on with their unique missions. Hundreds of nominations came pouring in and five winners were selected based on three criteria: the impact of action, uniqueness, and "Upworthy-ness" of their story.

Here's a look at the five winners:

Edith Ornelas, co-creator of Mariposas Collective in Memphis, Tenn.

Edith Ornelas has a deep-rooted connection to the asylum-seeking immigrant families she brings food and supplies to families in Memphis, Tenn. She was born in Jalisco, Mexico, and immigrated to the United States when she was 7 years old with her parents and sister. Edith grew up in Chicago, then moved to Memphis in 2016, where she quickly realized how few community programs existed for immigrants. Two years later, she helped create Mariposas Collective, which initially aimed to help families who had just been released from detention centers and were seeking asylum. The collective started out small but has since grown to approximately 400 volunteers.