On Friday, feminist activist actress Alyssa Milano called for a “sex strike” to protest the State of Georgia’s new “heartbeat bill,” which bans abortion after a heartbeat is detectable, which can be as early as six weeks. Despite widespread mockery for the ironically pro-chastity/anti-“women’s liberation” strike, Milano doubled down on Monday by co-authoring an op-ed explaining the rationale behind her latest ill-received protest movement and tweeting out warnings to women about getting “thrown in prison” because of Republicans.
Milano’s “sex strike” started on Friday, when she tweeted out her call for women to get their “bodily autonomy back” by turning sex into a political bargaining chip: “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.”
The blowback was instant and widespread, including from some on the left, who weren’t jumping on board Milano’s #Lysistrata train.
Clearly undeterred by the derision, Milano co-wrote an op-ed with Waleisah Wilson for CNN published Monday defending her call for women to use their bodies as a pressure tactic to promote a political agenda. Milano promoted the piece on Twitter just after telling women they could “f*** on” if they want, but warning that they might be “thrown in prison” if they choose to abort their unborn children afterward.
“So f*** on! Yes! We’ve earned our right to sexual pleasure,” she tweeted in the last of a seven-part thread. “But remember, they’re also trying to take away our access to birth control. If you get pregnant & exercise your right to choose your own destiny & healthcare, you may be thrown in prison.”
“Calling for a sex strike as a way to protest restrictions on abortion has sparked a powerful response,” Milano and Wilson write. “Sure, it’s been a mixed reaction, but it got the country talking about the GOP’s undeniable war on women. And let’s face it, with so much going on every day in the news, sometimes we need an extreme response to get national attention.”
The piece goes on to lay out in dire terms Georgia’s attempt to protect unborn babies after a heartbeat is detectable. Milano portrays this as treating women as “second-class citizens.”
“The attempts to treat women as second-class citizens have become increasingly brazen, and just last week Georgia Gov. Brian Kemp signed the ‘heartbeat bill,’ which bans most abortions as early as six weeks into pregnancy,” reads the op-ed. “The bill also allows a fetus to be counted in the census, and can be claimed as a dependent minor on income taxes.”
The two writers put a lot of effort into defending their call for weaponizing sex, in part by tracing it back to the Classical Greek play “Lysistrata,” a work of comic fiction, then citing a few more recent examples of sex strikes in other cultures. In the end, they argue, this is all about “power.”
“Laws restricting abortion rights and access are a targeted attempt to erase decades of hard-fought gains for women’s autonomy. A #SexStrike is another way for people who have the potential to get pregnant to call attention to this systematic onslaught and assert the power to change our own destinies,” write Milano and Wilson. “… At its heart, these attempts to wield control over sex come from a desire to reassert total control over our bodies and our reproductive rights. But really, it’s about power. Whoever controls reproduction has power.”
The responses to her op-ed post have been mostly negative. First, a few examples of some positive replies:
But far more expressed sentiments like these: