Stargazing

Janelle Monáe suggests women go on a sex strike until men are ‘fighting for our rights’

Janelle Monáe thinks women should consider a sex strike until every man fights for women’s rights, she says in the May issue of Marie Claire.
Janelle Monáe thinks women should consider a sex strike until every man fights for women’s rights, she says in the May issue of Marie Claire. Associated Press

Janelle Monáe thinks women should consider a sex strike until every man fights for women’s rights, she says in the May issue of Marie Claire.

The Kansas City, Kan., native is featured with four other woman on the cover of the magazine’s “Fresh Faces” issue.

Monae, who spoke at the Women’s March on Washington in January, said it’s time more people “start respecting the vagina.

“Until every man is fighting for our rights, we should consider stopping having sex. I love men. But evil men? I will not tolerate that. You don’t deserve to be in my presence,” she said.

“If you’re going to own this world and this is how you’re going to rule this world, I am not going to contribute anymore until you change it. We have to realize our power and our magic. Because I am all about black-girl magic, even though I’m standing with all women. But this year? This year, I am so carefree black girl.”

The idea of a sex strike is a tale as old as time, dating back to ancient Greece. Known in activist circles as “Lysistratic non-action,” the tactic takes its name from “Lysistrata,” Aristophanes’ Greek comedy in which women refuse to have sex with their husbands until the men give up war.

“Lysistrata” inspired Lawrence filmmaker Kevin Willmott’s screenplay for “Chi-Raq,” the 2015 Spike Lee-directed movie about gun violence in Chicago.

The movie’s tagline was “No peace, no piece.”

Examples of this legs-crossed form of protest abound in real life, from partners of gang members in Colombia refusing to have sex to protest violence to Kenyan women holding a weeklong sex strike to force politicians to end their divisiveness.

Their effectiveness is spotty. But they do grab media attention, which happened to Monae, who issued a series of tweets on Monday to clarify her thoughts when headlines popped up saying the “Hidden Figures” star was calling for a sex strike.

In the same Marie Claire article, Monae also discusses gender stereotypes.

“It is important for women to be (in control), especially when gender norms and conformity are pushed upon us,” she said. “Women automatically are told that this is how you should look. This is how you should get a man. This is how you should get a woman. You need to fit into all these boxes to be accepted. I don’t subscribe to that way of thinking.

“I don’t think we all have to take the same coordinates to reach the same destination. I believe in embracing what makes you unique even if it makes others uncomfortable. I have learned there is power in saying no. I have agency. I get to decide.”

  Comments