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Marie Wilson Headshot

Withholding What's Needed Most

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Yesterday I was interviewed for a documentary film project that evokes Lysistrata, the centuries-old play about the women of Greece who, fed up with the Peloponnesian war, banded together and withheld sex until the men relented and decided to live in peace.

When I woke up today to the anachronistic decision of our out of tune and touch Supreme Court, who with yesterday's decision are withholding the right to 20 years worth of equal compensation for a female manager at the Goodyear Tire Factory in Alabama (thereby revoking a practice that supported women's equal pay since the1964 Civil Rights Act), I thought of good old Lysistrata.

The last Supremely unwise decision about women's reproductive freedom that ignored women's health was based, as Justice Ginsberg said in her dissent yesterday on, "ancient notions about women's place in the family and under the Constitution -- ideas that have long since been discredited."

If these guys are turning back the clock to decrepit and out-of-date ideas as they have done in their recent decisions, maybe it is time women resort to the tactics of centuries ago as well.

Okay, so maybe it's unrealistic to propose women hold a sex strike... but maybe every woman who plays a part in the earnings of her family should take a day off work, and withhold our paid and unpaid labor. Let's see how the men of the 21st century do without us.

The women of Iceland did it. It got men's attention and eventually a woman president was elected. Vigdís Finnbogadóttir who was a good leader for women, men and the country, led Iceland for 16 years. Little boys in Iceland, who'd only ever known a woman president, longingly asked their mothers if there would ever be a man president after a couple of her terms. See how quickly reality can shift?

What do you say American women? Those of us who can could send a message to the Supremes, and to the Goodyears of the U.S. that they could have a very bad day... year... century without the labor of women. What a very powerful message that would be.

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