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This past week, Georgia joined the ranks of several other states that have recently outlawed abortion at roughly six weeks with a “heartbeat” bill. The other states include Iowa, Kentucky, Mississippi, North Dakota, and Ohio.
“Our reproductive rights are being erased. Until women have legal control over our own bodies we just cannot risk pregnancy,” Milano wrote on Twitter. “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.— Alyssa Milano (@Alyssa_Milano) May 11, 2019
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
The hashtag quickly gained traction, with women and allies throwing their support behind and joining the movement.
Conservatives crying about the idea of a #SexStrike when most of them are supposed to be waiting to get married to each other for sex anyways.— Brandon Bradford (@BrandonLBradfor) May 11, 2019
There are an awful lot of triggered men on Twitter this morning complaining about women making their own choices about what to do with their bodies.— Ben Jackson (@DadoftheDecade) May 11, 2019
Which is the entire goddamn point.#SexStrike
Whew, the conservatives laughing while totally missing the point about the #SexStrike. We were never gonna fuck YOU. This is about motivating the decent men in the world to get out there and kick all the so-called "pro-life" laws and their creators out on their asses.— Lindsey Weedston (@LindseyWeedston) May 11, 2019
If women have total control over our bodies, we control reproduction. If you control reproduction, you control the work force. If you control the work force you control the economy. Get in the game ladies. #SexStrike— Amee Vanderpool (@girlsreallyrule) May 11, 2019
Since men want access to my body for their pleasure but I can't have access to it for my own damn health, I'm going on a #SexStrike— Avelyn (@GoldenNympha) May 9, 2019
My pussy, my choice. #SexStrike— Angela Belcamino (@AngelaBelcamino) May 11, 2019
Lysistrata, the comedic play written by the famed playwright Aristophanes, also began to trend. In the play, women successfully went on their own sex strike to put an end to the Peloponnesian War, 411 BC.
But not everyone was behind the idea–with many thinking the logistics surrounding the strike just don’t work out. Or that it also improperly punishes women, which defeats the purpose a bit.
The problem with the #SexStrike is that the old conservative racist white men who are more concerned with building walls and controlling women’s bodies are likely only getting it at brothels, Florida massage parlors, and when they pay porn stars six figures.— Bishop Talbert Swan (@TalbertSwan) May 11, 2019
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
Listen, I love Lysistrata as much as the next gal, but this #sexstrike idea only reinforces the belief that women's value is tied to their sexuality & reproductive capabilities. We need a #spendingstrike, because a blow to the economy gets attention.— Mrs Fringe (@MrsFringe) May 11, 2019
I fully support the fight for women to have autonomy over their own bodies—including the #SexStrike.— John Pavlovitz (@johnpavlovitz) May 11, 2019
(Though I also suspect that those men hateful enough to legislatively subjugate women—aren't having much sex to begin with, nor do they yield to consent).#RealMenAreProChoice
And of course, there were some who cracked self-deprecating jokes regarding the strike.
fucking casuals. ive been on a #SexStrike my whole life. get on my level— rockcock64 (@rockcock64) May 11, 2019
Looks like my wife is 10 years ahead of you on this #SexStrike— Jahzeel Gladstone (@JahzeelGladsto1) May 11, 2019
According to Quartz, in 1600, Iroquois women went on a sex strike to successfully end unregulated warfare. In 2003, women went on a sex strike and ended Liberia’s civil war. In 2006, women went on a sex strike and brought down the Colombian city of Pereira’s murder rate. In 2009, Kenyan women went on a sex strike and stabilized the government. In 2011, women in the Philippines went on a sex strike to successfully bring about peace in a Mindanao Island village.
So, who knows, maybe 2019 is the year American women go on a sex strike to successfully give women control over their own bodies and health.
Eilish O'Sullivan is an editorial intern for the Daily Dot studying journalism and government at the University of Texas at Austin. Her work has appeared in the Austin Chronicle and the Daily Texan.