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the strike of crossed legs?

September 15th, 2006     by Thea Lim     Comments

Here’s an unusual story: according to the BBC, the wives and girlfriends of gang members in Pereira, Colombia have told their partners that they will not have sex with them until they give up their guns. They are calling it “the strike of crossed legs.”

It’s not the first time women have tried this sort of anti-violence campaign. If you go back to Ancient Greece (clearly, a hotspot for non-violence) in Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata, the women of warring states withhold sex from their mates in an attempt to end the Peloponnesian War. According to Wikipedia, one of Aristophanes’ intentions in writing Lysistrata was not quite to suggest a creative way of ending violence, but to critique the fact that the women of his time had no way to make their voice heard except through their, uh, vulvas. It’s discouraging (to say the least), that 2,417 years later women are still finding that their hoo-hoos speak louder than their mouths.

At the same time, the Colombian story offers some good insight into how gender roles oppress both men and women. The article suggests that men are drawn to gang violence because of a “desire for status, power, and sexual attractiveness.” So if men get into gang violence because gender roles have taught them over the years that powerful, fearsome men attract hot women, the intention of the strike is, in the words of one of the participants, to show that “violence is not sexy.” Whoohoo deconstruction of gender roles!

(thanks to accusehistory for this tip!)

Tags: news flash

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