women are organizing a mass sex strike to protect reproductive rights
#Lysistrata2018 is a rallying point for women to signal total opposition to anti-choice laws.
Once in a while, Feminist Twitter delivers a hashtag so booming, it’s impossible not to stand up and yell “YOU GO, GIRL” as your timeline fills with well-turned, hilarious ragetweets. It’s even better when these young women from all races and social classes take a leaf from a set-text classical Greek play best known as the first ‘battle of the sexes’ comedy and use its famous plot as a strategic tactic.
In the face of the dodgy-looking and ill-timed retirement of Supreme Court justice Anthony Kennedy, women on social media are rallying to mitigate what could be the worst possible news for women’s reproductive rights in the 46 years since Roe vs. Wade made abortion legal and safe. They’re taking an object lesson from Lysistrata, a comedic play written nearly 2500 years ago by Aristophanes, where the women of Greece organize a protest against the Peloponnesian War by withholding all sex from their menfolk — until the men stop fighting and make peace with the Peloponnese, nobody’s getting any.
The titular character, Lysistrata, appeals to her fellow women to stand together in an epic solidarity until the men buckle, and hilarity ensues: male leaders and high officials come to negotiate, carrying the burden of massive boners (it’s safe to say priapism is a massive thing in every aspect of the Classical Greek comedic arts) and whining about how unfair it is having to go without their assumed conjugal rights. Because Lysistrata is a comedy, there’s a happy ending: the men are pressured into drawing up a treaty to end the war, and the sex strike ends.
Just before the Independence Day break, a young NYC-based editor, Jen Ashley Wright, took a leaf from Aristophanes’ book, proposing #Lysistrata2018 as a rallying point for women to signal total opposition to anti-choice laws and the men who enable them; committed pro-choice men, as ever, have nothing to fear here and can continue having sex with any partner who’ll accommodate them.
However, it wasn’t long before a glorious collection of doofus alt-right bros and Republican chauvinists hit back, accusing the #Lysistrata2018 women of abject stupidity, egging one another on to lie to potential partners and otherwise yukking it up at these crazy bitches they never wanted to sleep with anyway.
As ever, it doesn’t take long for creeps to assert their God-given right to be creepy, as if it were some secret aspect of their Constitutional entitlements. Then came the idiots who confused the Lysistratification of feminists with a complete ban on reproduction, comprised mainly of the dudes we all remember from high school, who barely scraped C grades in core subjects and got all butthurt whenever another student used a big word within earshot of them in class (as adults, they can be found wrapping their flags around their guns and complaining about ‘illegals’ on the Facebook posts of your more enlightened ex-classmates). Talk about missing the point, guys:
No, women who refuse the advances of men who don’t care about our reproductive rights are not removing themselves from the American gene pool — as we keep saying, there are plenty of good men on our side happy to treat us as worthy of respect, especially when it comes to reproductive choices. Good men don’t force women to have sex, and they certainly don’t force women to endure dangerous or unwanted pregnancies. It should be noted that America’s current president, through his opposition to equal rights for women who are not called Ivanka and his own admission that he feels entitled to help himself to sex via the time-honored practice of "grabbing them by the pussy," is already a prime candidate for the #Lysistrata2018 treatment. And that’s before he has a go at stuffing the Supreme Court with a few more justices that might as well be shipped in from the Federal Circuit Court of Gilead. Are you paying attention, Melania?