On May 10, actress and activist Alyssa Milano tweeted that she was launching a sex strike — and encouraged women to do the same — in response to new abortion restrictions. The boycott against sex came just days after Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed a radical new abortion law on May 7 that would restrict women from having an abortion after six weeks.
“Our reproductive rights are being erased,” Milano tweeted on May 10. “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.”
People on social media not only rolled their eyes at her sex strike but let her have it as well. Women were upset that Milano was making the abortion conversation only about heterosexual women and by also saying that sex was only about procreation and not pleasure.
“Please stop feeding the narrative that women are providers and men are consumers of sex,” one woman tweeted, “Bribing men for equal rights with access to our bodies is not how feminism works.”
“Alyssa Milano is back being ridiculous again I see,” another said. “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.
me explaining to my boyfriend why we’re going on a sex strike: pic.twitter.com/AU6PYVv30C
— Eva Victor (@evaandheriud) May 12, 2019
In response to the backlash, Milano says that the sex strike was never actually about boycotting sex, but rather to fuel conversation about abortion laws.
“We need to understand how dire the situation is across the country,” Milano said in an interview with The Associated Press. “It’s reminding people that we have control over our own bodies and how we use them.”
Milano said her point in tweeting that was to get “people to talk about the war on women.”
“Anyone who is not completely and totally outraged by this and doesn’t see where this is leading, I think is not taking this threat seriously,” she said.
Even though Milano claims she wasn’t actually encouraging heterosexual women to boycott having sex, her strike was incredibly misguided. There are definitely better ways to get women to seriously talk about reproductive rights that don’t involve tweeting that they should go on a sex strike. She was clearly trying to post something that was attention-grabbing enough to start a conversation but it distracted from the bigger message that she was trying to get across.
Less than two months ago, Milano warned Kemp against signing the “Heartbeat Bill” by stating in a letter that the Hollywood industry would boycott the state if he went ahead and approved H.B. 481. According to CNN, Georgia generates $2.7 billion through hundreds of productions in the state and provides even more jobs, now all of that is in jeopardy as film and TV makers are pulling their projects out of Georgia.
The Republican politician joins other Republican-led states who have also approved the “Heartbeat Bill.” While none of the bills have gone into effect just yet — in Ohio, the restrictions begin in July, in Georgia it is January — the American Civil Liberties is suing the states. The real factor is if and when these bills go up to the Supreme Court, the majority of judges ruling the nations highest court are conservative.