Justice Anthony Kennedy’s announcement that he’ll retire from the Supreme Court this summer has sparked new concerns that a second Trump appointee on the bench could help overturn rulings that conflict with conservative views — including Roe v. Wade.
While politicians consider whether or not they’d support a nominee who opposes the 1973 decision that legalized abortion, some women have a strategy to drum up support for a woman’s right to choose: the #Lysistrata2018 movement.
Named after Aristophanes’s ancient Greek comedy Lysistrata, in which women refuse to sleep with their warring husbands until they agree to a truce, the movement is the brainchild of author and political journalist Jennifer Wright.
In a tweet posted on Monday, Wright suggested that single women stop dating and having sex with men expressing anti-abortion views. Women could indicate their stance by adding the female judge emoji to their dating profiles.
Wright’s tweet soon went viral, with several women expressing support for a sex strike.
Of course, not everyone was on board with Wright’s suggestion. She shared complaints she’d received from men, one of whom called a ban on sex over abortion rights “blackmail.”
Her response: “It sure does suck when people restrict your choices.”
Wright told Yahoo Lifestyle that she’s heard from both women and men who have added the symbol.
“People on the right have been screaming for years that if women don’t want to get pregnant they should just keep their legs closed,” she said. “If men truly feel that way, it seems pretty sensible to take their advice and close our legs to them.”
Will Tinder and Bumble be flooded with the female judge emoji — and could it make a difference in protecting Roe v. Wade? It’s too soon to tell — and Trump won’t be naming his SCOTUS nominee until July 9 — but as Wright has noted, sex strikes aren’t merely a plot device used by ancient Greek playwrights. Quartz has a rundown of the most successful strikes in history, including the 2003 sex ban that helped end the Liberian civil war.
Last year, singer Janelle Monáe also suggested that a sex strike could be an effective statement for women’s rights.
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