FARGO —Actress and activist Alyssa Milano recently called for a “sex strike,” challenging women to refuse all sexual intimacy until we’ve fully reclaimed our bodily autonomy.
Without thinking it through completely — Milano admitted this the following day when stating, “I sent a tweet last night I haven’t really thought much past that this morning” — she exposed some weaknesses in worldly “logic.”
Her battle cry came in response to Georgia’s move to make abortion illegal once a fetal heartbeat has been detected. But even some usual comrades caught on to how weaponizing our bodies contradicts the very aims of the #MeToo movement Milano helped promote.
On Twitter, Kristi Coulter complained that she’s already been denied so much as a woman. “Now I’m supposed to…play into the fiction that (sexual intimacy) is just a bargaining chip/transaction for women? Love you, but nope.”
Whether intended, both reveal something about the delicate interplay between male and female, and more specifically, husband and wife.
While we can understand this naturally and by reason, seeing sexual intimacy through the faith lens further illuminates the issues Milano inadvertently exposed, including that this depth of intimacy was meant for the safest situations; those in which a total, fruitful self-giving of both woman and man is possible.
Further, that the sexual act, which has as a primary end the creation of a brand-new human being, was meant to happen within the confines of a relationship between husband and wife formed within a protective bond to shield each other and any child born from that union.
Outside of this guarded scenario, evils like abortion become thinkable and something to fight for against all reasonable, merciful and moral sense, just as Milano is doing.
Sexual intimacy within the marriage of a man and woman springs from a divine vision of right-ordered relationship, and since God first fashioned this sublime plan, nothing has changed in how relationships work best. Sadly, though, we’ve increasingly ignored this wisdom, allowing rampant objectification of both women and men, to our detriment.
Rather than gifts to one another, we’ve become things for each other to use and manipulate, and any children resulting are likewise not gifts but objects to have by “right,” or, worse yet, callously discarded.
At the tossing aside of this stunning, divine blueprint, disturbing experiments we once knew about only through science fiction emerge, like the manufacturing of children and selling of our semen or wombs to create new humans.
I believe in humanity’s inherent goodness and that few purposefully choose divergence from God’s perfect plan with evil intent. But without a fitting moral compass, we fall into the trap Scripture rightly warns us about in Isaiah 5:20: “Woe unto them that call evil good and good evil.”
God isn’t a mean tyrant trying to destroy our fun, but a loving father who understands the consequences of sin and wants to protect us from them.
All of us, including Alyssa Milano, whom God deeply loves.
Salonen, a wife and mother of five, works as a freelance writer and speaker in Fargo. Email her at firstname.lastname@example.org, and find more of her work at Peace Garden Passage, http://roxanesalonen.com/