Alyssa Milano's Newest Boycott: Sex

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp, pro-life advocates, and everyone who lives in the state of Georgia who has benefited from the $9.5 billion economic impact the state saw in 2017 thanks to Georgia surpassing Hollywood as the place to make a film, better be on the lookout because Alyssa Milano is coming for you.


And how? She’s going to not have sex to spite you.

Feel the pain.

That’s right, the erstwhile actress is calling for a #SexStrike as her newest protest against Georgia’s Living Infants Fairness and Equality Act — better known as the heartbeat bill — which prohibits abortions as soon as a heartbeat is detected, which can sometimes be as early as six weeks.

This is just too damn much for Ms. Milano, who spearheaded a letter from other not-quite-A-list actors a month ago who threatened a boycott by demanding production companies pull out of the state. Some have obliged (sadly, they were making interesting things), but the major players, thus far, have no designs on leaving.

So, I guess, get thee to a nunnery Milano (with apologies to Shakespeare).

Now the obvious question is this: if she truly believes her (and other women’s) reproductive rights are being erased, how on earth is she managing to withhold sex and how does she think others will be able to? Sounds like she has complete autonomy over her body and the choices she makes that affect it. Furthermore, she recognizes others do as well. They can choose abstinence if they damn well please, thank you very much. In this case, abstaining from sex is to further the cause of “Alyssa Milano: Activist”. But an argument could be made it’s a choice ladies might make to avoid, say, unwanted pregnancies. But I digress…


Others have pointed out both the irony and hilarity of a sex strike to protest abortion (Warning: some mild language below).


And that’s just a smattering of the takes on this one. I’m not sure Ms. Milano thought this one through that well. But she’s standing by it.

The article she’s linking above references several sex strikes that worked to varying degrees, and was written after singer Janelle Monae called for a sex strike in 2017. So Milano has hopped aboard a train a woman of color — with deep ties to the city of Atlanta, by the way — started driving two years ago. More to the point, Monae’s was a dud.

This intimate form of protest has drawn criticism—namely, that women shouldn’t have to resort to sex in exchange for power. But there’s no denying that it produces results. (And yes, women shouldhave access to other avenues of power, but systemic and institutional sexism often precludes this from becoming a reality.)

History tells us exactly why Monáe’s plan won’t work: The sex strikes in Liberia, Colombia, Kenya, and the Philippines had very specific demands. Conversely, Monáe’s proposed strike is for women’s rights broadly—which could mean anything from reproductive rights to equal pay to paid maternity leave to ending sexual violence. Without a concrete goal, sex strikes are unlikely to get results.

What’s more, it’s not clear how a sex strike would apply to queer women who don’t have sex with men—or, for that matter, how it would effect gay men who don’t have sex with women, or what “respecting the vagina” means for trans women. It’s true that the organizers of the aforementioned sex strikes likewise focused on heterosexual, cisgender women—but these were localized efforts among community members who already had relationships with one another, as opposed to a broad national strike.


Arguably, another reason sex strikes might not work is you need to have almost all women striking. And there are a great number of women who oppose abortion in this country. And yes, the implication there is if some ladies intentionally go frigid, there are others who will remain warm, so to speak. And they’ll be a lot more responsible in their choices regarding safe sex, which means they’ll likely be better communicators with the men they choose to be intimate with.

But I get what Milano is trying to say to men, that the women who aren’t so uptight about their sexuality that they need worry about precaution to avoid unwanted pregnancy — because abortion is always there for them — aren’t putting out any more unless you bend the knee.

It’s always so fascinating to me that the women who yell loudest that they are more than just their sex are the first and most shameless to use sex — or, in this case, a lack of it — to get what they want.


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