alyssa milano proposes a sex strike against georgia abortion laws.

Alyssa Milano’s Proposed #SexStrike Is a Bad Idea, and Here’s Why

There are several great ways to protest Georgia's regressive new abortion laws. This ain't it.

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In the wake of Georgia passing one of the most oppressive and extreme abortion bills in the country, activists are speaking out. The “heartbeat” bill, HB481, criminalizes abortions after six weeks, when most women don’t even realize they are pregnant. According to Dr. Lena Wen, the President of Planned Parenthood, “it criminalizes doctors who provide lifesaving care, and it even allows the state to investigate women for having miscarriages.”

The Gilead-adjacent bill has also faced outcry from the film industry, with celebrities condemning the law and several filmmakers planning to boycott productions in the state. With the state earning an estimate $2.7 billion each year from the industry, a massive boycott could potentially influence lawmakers. Money talks, after all.

One of the celebrities speaking out against the bill is actress Alyssa Milano. The former Charmed star has grown more politically active in the past few years, between championing women’s rights, protesting Brett Kavnaugh, and helping to popularize Tarana Burke’s Me Too movement. Milano may not get it right all the time (her rhetoric displays some classic white feminism traits), but she seems to have honest intentions. Most people in her position would be chilling on an island while collecting those Charmed residuals, so good for her for being politically active.

But her most recent proposal is, shall we say, not so good. Milano called for a sex strike on social media with the following tweet:

Now Milano did not invent the concept of a sex strike. That dates back to Lysistrata, an ancient Greek comedy by Aristophanes, that follows a community of women who boycott sex with men to end the Peloponnesian War. The story has been retold countless times ever since, in theater and film.

But it’s 2019, and the idea of a sex strike feeds into regressive ideas about sex and sexuality that simply do not fly today. First, it presumes that a woman’s only value is in her sexuality, which is insulting. Secondly, it is wholly unrealistic and ineffective to expect women to hold up their sexual freedom and desire in an attempt to sway men.

But most importantly, the women who would participate in said sex strike are likely not sleeping with the men devising cruel abortion laws. Those men are married to/sleeping with anti-choice women who clearly share their opinions and beliefs. The idea that any of these Serena Joys are suddenly going to start giving a crap about reproductive justice is a pipe dream. They are just as culpable as the men.

Of the six state reps who sponsored HB481, three of them were women, Jodi Lott, Ginny Ehrhart, and Darlene Taylor. The bill was also sponsored in the state by another woman, Renee Unterman. To the surpise of no one, all these women are white.

Many feminist activists took to social media to call out the ill-advised strike:

What do you think of Alyssa Milano’s sex strike?

(via Twitter, image: Alex Wong/Getty Images)

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Chelsea Steiner
Chelsea was born and raised in New Orleans, which explains her affinity for cheesy grits and Britney Spears. An pop culture journalist since 2012, her work has appeared on Autostraddle, AfterEllen, and more. Her beats include queer popular culture, film, television, republican clownery, and the unwavering belief that 'The Long Kiss Goodnight' is the greatest movie ever made. She currently resides in sunny Los Angeles, with her husband, 2 sons, and one poorly behaved rescue dog. She is a former roller derby girl and a black belt in Judo, so she is not to be trifled with. She loves the word “Jewess” and wishes more people used it to describe her.