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Alyssa Milano’s Call For A Sex Strike Delights Conservatives And Angers Liberals

Last week, Georgia’s Republican governor Brian Kemp signed one of the most stringent anti-abortion bills into law. The so-called “heartbeat bill” bans all abortions after six weeks (when a fetal heartbeat can be detected), which is before many women even know they’re pregnant. The law also prevents women from crossing state lines to access an abortion and comes with stiff penalties for violations, including life in prison and the death penalty.

While the bill is facing legal challenges, many fear the new conservative majority on the Supreme Court will use it to finally achieve the conservative dream of overturning Roe v. Wade. Liberal activists are fighting back against the heartbeat law, encouraging boycotts of Georgia and organizing protests. Some high-profile activists, like Alyssa Milano, have the hearts in the right place, even if their tactics are lacking.

To protest Georgia’s drastic abortion ban, Alyssa Milano is calling for a sex strike and encouraging other women to join her.

“If our choices are denied so are yours,” reads the photo she shared on Twitter and Instagram. The thinking behind the sex strike (as far as I can tell) is that once men are denied sex they’ll come to their senses and join women in the fight for reproductive freedom. (After all, it worked in the Ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, where women deny men sex until they end the Peloponnesian War.)

Milano’s call for a sex strike landed with a dull thud on Twitter, where the tactic drew the ire of both seasoned liberal activists and feminists.

And they have good reason to be angry. For one, a stunt like a sex strike doesn’t seem likely to change minds or help in the legal or lobbying fights. For two, it reinforces sexist tropes that feminists have been chipping away at for decades. Women enjoy sex too, why should they deny themselves that pleasure because crusty old Republicans don’t view them as autonomous human beings?

There were some people who delighted at the idea of a liberal sex strike though—conservatives.

Activism is tough, and while attention-grabbing stunts have their place in the struggle for women’s rights, the real fight is on the ground organizing. Hopefully, Alyssa Milano will see the error of her ways and work more closely with the local groups on the front lines.

h/t: Vox