We're Done Fucking Around: It's Time for a Sex Strike

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We're Done Fucking Around: It's Time for a Sex Strike

The classical Greek play Lysistrata is a comedy about the women of Greece who unite together in a sex strike to end the misery of the Peloponnesian War. This ancient work of art may be however many millennia old, but it’s still fundamentally brilliant, and widely influential to this day. The author, Aristophanes, a super ancient Greek man, recognized an absolute power women held in a patriarchal society—and the truth behind how easily that power could be asserted. Not just sex, but consensual, enthusiastic sex. Assuming that good ol’ fashioned raping was still on the table, the REAL power came from withholding CONSENT. While acknowledging that this is an insanely old play, and a work of fiction, I sincerely ask you, my fellow American sisters: Are you ready to do this shit?! If the American government wants to wage a war on women and our basic human rights, then these men better think about stocking up on Lubriderm and Kleenex.

Possibly one of the greatest writers in the world, of all time, and a man, at that, had the courage and insight to plainly state the fact that women ultimately have #allthepower. The women in Lysistrata went on strike to end a war. They needed to end the war to bring their men home to get married and have children before they passed the ripe age of 17, and would be deemed forever useless spinsters, or prostitutes, or whatever. My point being;

Those women used sexual consent to end a war that prevented them from exercising their natural sexual rights.

Then why the hell shouldn’t we use sex to defend ourselves from a war on our sexual rights??

We want the rights over our bodies? Maybe we have to use our bodies to get those rights.

Before you start rolling your eyes—if you haven’t already—I’m ready to address the long list of reasons why you might think this “won’t work.”

I realize that a strike of this magnitude would take serious organization. But, in this age of social media live feeds, it’s very do-able. Approximately 2.6 million women and women allies around the world turned out for the Women’s March on Jan. 21st. Imagine those 2 million women bonded together by a pact to abstain from any and all sex with men, until our demands for equal human rights are met. My dick is getting hard just thinking about it.

I’ve got to acknowledge that women have had the tendency to split amongst ourselves, even when seeking a common goal. In a world obsessed with The Bachelor and Who Wore It Best? you may already be thinking of which of your girlfriends would bitch-out first. But that is exactly what they want! That is how the Patriarchy has kept us down and keeps us down—by pitting us against each other. It’s an oppression technique that tricks freaking CARTOONS and we have to stop falling for it. Have faith in one another, and show up for each other—we will win.

More importantly I must address intersectionality in this women’s rights movement. Lack of access to quality healthcare, personal safety and the wage gap are burdens that fall disproportionately on women of color. How does this idea apply to sisters dealing with multiple waves of adversity and oppression? The answer to that is this sex strike is all-inclusive. Just as I marched in D.C. in January for human rights and in the BLM protests in 2016, this strike is a demand for human rights. Equal rights for every gender, race, religion and class—every human.

Otherwise, how much more are we going to tolerate? How many more attacks on our rights and our bodies are we going to take? It’s the year 2017. And the sexual rights for women in the United States is antiquated at best. I, for one, am sick and tired of taking hits on my gender and walking around like there’s nothing I can do, when I hold the most powerful weapon in the world between my legs. The rights and power of our bodies are ours—they were given to us.

Have you ever held out sex on your guy for a day—to prove a point, or get your way? Imagine if you held out for a week. A month? A year? The power of sex is like jazz, ladies. It’s about the sex you don’t have.

Why should we continue to kill ourselves trying to fight and play by the rules of system that is built to oppress us? It’s time to fully realize the reason the Patriarchy is designed to keep us as a second class. Why they are afraid to allow us to control our own bodies and sexuality; Our vaginas are the most powerful force on the planet, and we have it, they need it, and they know it. They’re terrified of the day that we take this power back. And ladies, I’d say that day is about fucking here.

Our sexual consent that men overlook, abuse, ignore and take for granted is the very thing we will take away. And they will yield.

Some other fun reasons why you’re thinking it won’t work:

“I’m horny.”

A: Work it out, babe—be grateful we have way more porn and sex toys than the ancient Greeks. Join a club. Keep yourself busy. Abstinence has been known as a road to enlightenment.

“I’m married, I can’t do that to my husband.”

A: “For better or worse” is a vow you both took. Also, if you’re married the chances are he already knows who has all the power anyway. He’ll be fine.

“I’m trying to have a baby.”

A: Congratulations, that’s a beautiful thing! But think about what world you’re going to bring that child into. Do you want the first president that your child knows to be a man who openly brags about assaulting women? I think your little miracle can wait for a more humane society. Maybe one that has your medical and maternity needs justly covered? Also, considering all the women who will take the oath, that child won’t have many friends growing up. Being part of the “scab generation” or a “traitor baby” is a tough label to shake.

“Isn’t this dangerous? What about our safety?”

A: I hate to break it to you, but women aren’t safe now—and we haven’t been for a long time. What’s the point in “playing it safe” when our government protection will be the same either way? I have been raped. And I would rather risk being raped again while fighting for my rights as a woman, than to be raped just because I am a woman.

“They’ll just go to prostitutes, or porn…”

A: Sure. And they need to make a living. But, I suggest we enlist and employ our sex worker sisters for the cause. In fact, we should reach out to them anyway because the system that judges these women as “lesser” for the work they do is the same one that we struggle against now. These women already have the expertise and experience truly owning their sexuality, and they have everything to gain from this movement. But, if they cannot—we will not hold it against them. They are our sisters and we will stand for those who can’t.

“What about our feminist boyfriends and hot male allies?”

A: Look at me…

NO. Step away from the supportive D. We need them on our side now, more than ever. They will be our advocates and ambassadors to the opposition, and they have to be just as motivated as the rest of the Patriarchy—to hear our demands and to let go of what is ours. Trust me, they won’t die.

“I don’t care that much about my rights as a woman. Or I think I have all the equality I need, thanks.” (i.e. the 53% of white women who voted for our current President)
A: I ain’t mad at you, Boobie. The deeply ingrained internalized sexism that you aren’t even aware you’re afflicted with is a by-product of the Patriarchy, and that’s exactly what we’re working to end. Again, we will stand for those who cannot.

American culture has been successful in brainwashing us for generations with internalized misogyny— setting us women against each other (#BeckyWithTheGoodHair). Competition among women is notoriously fierce, and a game that men love and/or lust to watch us play. However, that age old conspiracy to force women to compete for a man to win safety and validation is outdated. It’s 2017 and we don’t need to marry a man to keep us from social exile. That game of woman on woman rivalry only works in a society where women have no choice but to measure their value based on their desirability to men. And now that we don’t have to rely on men for social security, sex becomes on our terms. Therefore, that game is over.

Let me be clear. Our value as women is absolutely not defined by our potential of sex. However, it may be the only power that men will yield to. It’s not our bodies that we are withholding—the abysmal court and police records on sexual assault are a clear reminder that men will take what they want regardless of law, decency or morality anyway. In defining our value in our CONSENT this becomes about our choices, our rights, our abilities, not our bodies.

After the Senate silenced Sen. Elizabeth Warren with Rule XIX last month, it became clearer than a condom that they are done listening to us. So, it’s time for action. And we need to do something big—like Trojan Horse big. Because this is not politics as usual. We aren’t fighting in a democracy. This administration is hell bent on condemning free speech, blatantly lying to American people, and going above and beyond to oppress the minority populace—especially women. This is not normal. Which is why our resistance has to be extraordinary.

Are you still thinking this idea is crazy? It’s unprecedented, maybe. But do you know what really is crazy? A reality TV star with the intelligence of a mud-flap is now our president. His despicable character and callous compromising of our country isn’t just insane—it’s unacceptable. And we won’t stand for it. Reminder: We won the popular vote. We have the numbers. The government or electoral college has no power over this movement.

We’re being taken for granted to the point of abuse. It’s embarrassing. And I’m fucking sick of it. We have the most rights and privileges in the World? Unless you count our most powerful and natural rights. We are fortunate enough to live in a nation with many freedoms (for now). Let’s exercise these freedoms for ourselves, our children, and for the women around the World who cannot.

Let’s get nasty, women. And show them what fools they are for bringing their dicks to a pussy fight.

Venessa Peruda is a comedy writer and performer based in NYC. She’s written for Reductress.com and her work has been accepted into The Chicago Comedy Film Festival, She Devil Comedy Festival, Brooklyn Comedy Festival, Red Hook Film Festival, Manhattan Int’l Film Fest, and Beverly Hills New Media Fest. She performs stand-up all over NYC and Tri-State area.

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