Is Alyssa Milano’s ‘Sex Strike’ the Way to Go?

Since the approval of Georgia’s fetal heartbeat law, which basically makes it virtually impossible for women to get safe abortions, some celebrities and people of influence have been making efforts to counter it. Filmmakers Jordan Peele and J.J. Abrams, who are shooting their HBO drama series Lovecraft Country in Georgia, have decided to donate all the episodic fees from their new show to the ACLU of Georgia and Fair Fight Georgia in protest of the controversial bill’s passing. Actress Alyssa Milano has taken a different approach, and has called for a sex strike.

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On Friday, she tweeted out, “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.”

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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. pic.twitter.com/uOgN4FKwpg





— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019

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The tweet immediately became trending, and so did the hashtag #SexStrike. Naturally, the response to Milano’s call for women to stop having sex in order to supposedly reclaim their bodily autonomy has received mixed reactions. Though Milano, and other celebrities like Bette Midler who expressed the same idea, had good intentions with the strike it’s also an ironic “solution” that subscribes to arcane views on who sex is for.

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As Twitter users have pointed out, this form of protest goes against progression as it assumes that men are the sole benefactors from sex. @JessicaValenti points out, “The idea of a #SexStrike – where sex is something men seek and women withhold – is the same regressive model of sexuality that Republican men use to legislate! No thanks.” Meanwhile, user @emrazz replies to Milano in her own now-viral tweet, “Please stop feeding the narrative that women are providers and men are consumers of sex. Bribing men for equal rights with access to our bodies is not how feminism works.”

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And more women have also contributed more to the conversation online, talking about how suggesting that women are the “gatekeepers of sex” promotes rape culture. Women denying themselves of sex also assumes that unwanted pregnancies are all from consensual sex, when in fact many are caused by rape.

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The idea of a #SexStrike – where sex is something men seek and women withhold – is the same regressive model of sexuality that Republican men use to legislate! No thanks.

— Jessica Valenti (@JessicaValenti) May 11, 2019

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Please stop feeding the narrative that women are providers and men are consumers of sex. Bribing men for equal rights with access to our bodies is not how feminism works.

— feminist next door (@emrazz) May 11, 2019

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Calling for a #SexStrike to protest for reproductive rights is ludicrous when the reason we’re facing a draconian attack on abortion is because of conservatives trying to control female bodies & sexuality. This reinforces women as gatekeepers to sex! It’s the opposite of helpful! pic.twitter.com/9S3FSDe9LN

— Ella Dawson (@brosandprose) May 11, 2019

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Rape has nothing to do with sex – it’s about hatred and power, the same causes of women being stripped of their rights. A #SexStrike won’t bring back our rights – voting, supporting women candidates, running for office, and fighting like hell will.

— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 11, 2019

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The real solution, which will probably yield more practical results, is to fight by organizing and/or providing support to abortion funds. And instead on going on a sex strike to prove a point to your male partner/ partners maybe also, you know, don’t have sex with anti-choice men.

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Alyssa Milano is back being ridiculous again I see.

What is a sex strike going to do besides reinforce patriarchal notions that women have sex only to please men?

Lysistrata is not an effective organizing tool. Instead, fuck whomever and support abortion funds. #SexStrike



— Imani Gandy (@AngryBlackLady) May 11, 2019

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Not sure I get the hostility because I disagree on the #SexStrike. I personally don’t believe it will do anything to solve this issue and only serves to reinforce sexist stereotypes. The unglamorous, heavy lifting of grassroots activism is the answer. Just like with gun safety.

— Shannon Watts (@shannonrwatts) May 11, 2019

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#sexstrike stuff is very 🙄. why are you having sex with anti choice men in the first place? stop doing that. and not just for a “sex strike.” forever.

— Erika W. Smith (@erikawynn) May 11, 2019

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A more sustainable model than #sexstrike is this: don’t fuck anyone who is anti-choice. Ever.

Judging by my mentions and how they speak to women, this should be easy. They are tempting no one.

— Geraldine (@everywhereist) May 11, 2019

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Image via Getty

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