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.