A writer for CNN’s opinion section suggested Saturday that women should consider withholding “service sex” from their partners in order to influence them to vote for “women’s equality” in Tuesday’s midterm elections.
Wednesday Martin, whom CNN bills as a “cultural critic,” writes on the news network’s “CNN opinion” site that women, now more than ever, need to reclaim the power they wield through sexual intercourse to force men to confront gender inequality. Somehow, Martin posits, this will eventually lead to a more equitable society (though, it seems, her premise seems to rely on women believing in lockstep that “voting for Democrats” is a path to “equality”).
“It’s time for a revolution. At the polls, and in the bedroom. And in our understanding of who women are, sexually and otherwise,” Martin writes. “Given the tight interweaving of economic and political power with sexual entitlement, female sexual autonomy has never been more urgent, and women’s sexual pleasure has never been more political. Let’s consider what it might mean to go on a sex strike of sorts — to get what we want, rather than give what we think we owe others.”
A “sex strike” is not a new concept. In fact, the Women’s March and other women’s rights organizations regularly suggest that women withhold sex from men, because clearly only men desire sex and women simply acquiesce to their needs out of either pity or, as Martin suggests, a sense of responsibility.
Martin’s take gives a little more to women. She claims, at least, that women want sex — they just want it less than their partners. After repeating a number of debunked statistics about women’s inequality in the marketplace (such as the “women earn only $.71 for every dollar men make”), she claims women are locked into subservience in modern America, as if the “Handmaid’s Tale” were already here.
“Those who can’t lead or even earn on par must serve. And in America, in restaurants, in businesses, and in bed, it is women who serve men,” Martin says.
There are, of course, only two days until the midterm elections, so a sex strike would be more of a “sex interruption” than anything (and for most normal American couples, it might just be “regular life”). But Martin is prepared for all exigencies; so long as it’s women controlling when sex is doled out, men will, at least, be forced to recognize that women can be in control of sex.
Don’t worry if you don’t agree. Martin has that covered, too. If you’re happy with the status quo, or planning on voting for Republicans, you’re either complicit or unknowingly suffering under the yoke of oppression and deserve to be left behind.
“Some women under the current administration may be fine with this paradigm, but they are fundamentally yoked to male desires and agendas, never to exist outside or without them,” she says. “This basic and deeply personal form of degradation, in which even women’s desires aren’t our own, both reinforces and reflects a hierarchy where men matter more.”
Twitter users pointed out a remaining hole in Martin’s theory, though: given who might agree with her, the only men suffering will likely be Democrats.
Withhold sex from whom exactly? Women who are willing to withhold sex are not women who are going to be partnered with someone who holds differing political views.
— Augusta (@AugustaSgrbn) November 3, 2018
There’s also the part where women are worth more than the sum total of their sex organs, but that’s not a popular opinion among modern feminists.