I admire Janelle Monáe and her unabashed, Black girl, feminist beliefs. I happily take the time to fully understand and read her positions with care. There are an overwhelming amount of talking heads right now, most aren't worth paying attention to.
In a recent interview she endorsed a sex strike, as quoted below:
“People have to start respecting the vagina,” she told Marie Claire. “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.” - Janelle Monae Endorses a Sex Strike
I get what she's trying to do here and I'm following her... but, how does a sex strike help us accomplish gender equality in a deeply bias society?
Is a Sex Strike an Effective Tool to Champion a Feminist Movement?
The short answer is no, it is nowhere near the depth of change we need to make as a result this revolution.
This is the same bullshit advice society feeds heterosexual women about landing (Read: trapping) a man… Don’t fuck him until the 3rd date if you want him to respect you… Wait until he gets xyz right before you fuck him… Make sure you get crazy on his birthday … Make sure you sexually please him on the regular or he will cheat on you
News Flash: Fucking a man won’t make him respect you. Neither will waiting to fuck him. Getting crazy sexually for a man won’t make him stay and it certainly doesn’t guarantee he won’t cheat. This example applies far beyond male/female relationships, these rules cover all flavors of sexual relationships.
A sex strike is more of the same bullshit that society feeds women about everything:
Our bodies are inherently sexual and designed for sex
Our bodies are war zones where power is won or lost
Our bodies are used for good or evil
And, you know what? It is a fallacy.
You have a body and sometimes you have sex with your body. That’s it.
Don’t get me wrong, the female body is beautiful and powerful. I never miss an opportunity to cheer at mentions of the power that the vagina holds; that women hold by simply existing. But, this idea that just by walking down the street we can either start WWIII or save all of humanity is fucking insane. I was just trying to get a venti, sugar-free, vanilla, latte with soy milk and now saving all of humanity is up to me and my nipples? Come on!
The Exchange of Energy That is Sex
Sex isn’t a commodity unless you make it one.
Sex, especially for humans with vaginas, is an exchange of more than pleasure and bodily fluids. You are allowing another person into your body, into your being. You are taking in the energy that person brings with them, the energy they’ve picked up from other partners.
In my not-so-humble opinion, sex is an experience we share with another person because we want to enjoy that experience, not because we want something in return. Unless you're selling sex, in that case name your price, add tax, and be unapologetic about what your work is worth.
Sex isn't a prize we give for good behavior. It isn't a commodity in the context of a relationship and if you are using it as a tool to control or punish another person that relationship is going to suffer because of it.
Fuck a Sex Strike
A sex strike? No, I want much more from you and for you.
I want you to change your entire mindset around sex and relationships; all relationships, not just those that include sexual interaction.
I want you to require every single person that gets to enjoy you be on your level, have your back, and earn your trust.
Stahp giving yourself to people who don't care about you. If he/she/they aren't willing to stand up, speak, act, and all out fight for your rights they aren't worth it.
You should be outright disgusted and sexually uninterested in any human who doesn’t share your core values.
I know that's a hardcore stance & harder to stick to than said. I know because that is the line I've drawn in my own life - If you won’t march for me - I won't fuck with you. If you don’t fully support gender equality - I won’t fuck with you. If you shame, limit or belittle my beliefs - I won’t fuck with you.
I don’t even consider friends or partners who aren’t feminists. Why would I?
The thing I've learned is that if you draw your line, there are days where you'll feel lonely in your pursuits, but life has a way of elevating the people and situations around you to match your requirements.