It's gotten quite a mixed reaction.
You may have seen the hashtag #SexStrike trending on Twitter over the past few days, and if you’re baffled by it, we don’t really blame you.
It all started on Friday when former Charmed actress Alyssa Milano called for women to stop having sex until bodily autonomy is granted in the States.
The strike is to protest strict abortion bans passed by Republican-controlled legislatures recently.
Earlier this month, Georgia became the fourth state in the U.S. this year to ban abortions once a foetal heartbeat is detected. This can be as early as six weeks, which for many women is before they even know they are pregnant.
Taking to Twitter, Alyssa said: “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.”
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.
— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019
“A #SexStrike is a way to target straight, cisgender men so they may feel the physical consequences of our reproductive rights being systematically eliminated,” she later added in an Opinion piece.
“This form of protest has the potential to raise the issue far beyond the usual groups engaged in debates about reproductive health. It’s a way to ignite conversation and help everyone understand the gravity of the situation and the immediate need for swift action.”
Some of Alyssa’s followers, including Bette Middler praised her for the idea and some even agreed to join her.
I hope the #womenofGeorgia stop having sex with men until these indignities are overturned.
— Bette Midler (@BetteMidler) May 11, 2019
After retweeting @Alyssa_Milano’s plan for a #sexstrike, one thing is very obvious. Based on the rabid and abusive comments I received from white republican men, the strike has them scared. Damned right it will work. #RighttoChoose #WomensRightsAreHumanRights #WomenRiseUp pic.twitter.com/Oq4JkZHMon
— 💗🖤BohoGirlResists🖤💗 (@KikiAdine) May 13, 2019
However, many felt this form of protest missed the mark a little because it implies that sex is something that women give to men, and not something that women enjoy for themselves.
Some also felt that it implies women should punish themselves for laws which already do so. It also encourages the outdated theory of abstinence only.
The #SexStrike assumes men are the ones against abortion. This is absurd.
— Heidi Matthews (@Heidi__Matthews) May 12, 2019
The #SexStrike is problematic because:
-Sex is not the problem
-It buys into the narrative that abstinence is a solution
-It’s cis-heteronormative; not all sex leads to pregnancy
-It takes consent for granted
-It ignores pro-life women
-It’s respectability politics/victim blaming https://t.co/oTYdYrIAtb
— Kentington Clarke 🔮 (@KentingtonC) May 11, 2019
If you want to be seen as more than just a sex object, dont act as if a vagina is the only powerful tool you have 🤷♀️
— Ash🐰 (@ashsnashs) May 13, 2019
It’s not the first time a sex strike has been implemented for women, there is reports of such strikes taking place as early as the 1600s, but perhaps in 2019, it’s an outdated approach to getting something changed.
That said, whether or not any one is really going to take part in the strike, it certainly has gotten men and women all over the world talking about the strict abortion laws in the States, and that is no bad thing.