Bette Midler is calling for women to refuse to have sex as a method to protest the newly enacted abortion law in Texas. The proposed sex boycott by the Hollywood actress sparked a whirlwind of reactions on the internet, some of which tore apart her argument.
The new law, which prohibits abortions after a fetal heartbeat is detected or as early as six weeks into pregnancy, went into effect on Wednesday. The new law, which was signed by Texas Gov. Greg Abbott in May, allows private citizens to sue abortion providers and those seeking abortions after the deadline. The Supreme Court voted 5-4 not to take any action on the new law.
The "Hocus Pocus" star first lashed out at Republicans for passing S.B. 8.
"The cruelty of the #GOP is endless," Midler wrote on Thursday. "We are suffering COVID-19, hurricanes, apocalyptic flooding, wildfires from hell, joblessness, homelessness, evictions, racial strife, and they pick this hideous time to pile on yet another shock to women, by taking away their right to choose."
Then Midler advised women to engage in a sex strike to protest the pro-life law in Texas.
"I suggest that all women refuse to have sex with men until they are guaranteed the right to choose by Congress," Midler tweeted.
Several of Midler's celebrity friends supported her idea of a sex strike, including actress Jane Lynch, who said, "Lysistrata for modern times," a reference to the Greek comedy produced by Aristophanes in 411 BCE, where the women of Athens and Sparta made a pact not to have sex with their partners until they ended the Peloponnesian War.
Nancy Sinatra, daughter of Frank Sinatra, replied, "My dad actually suggested that decades ago."
Rosanna Arquette, who was lampooned on Twitter for claiming that she quit a movie because it was being filmed in Texas, told Midler, "But then again men with angry Guns and rape not being a much of a crime in Texas. Watch this space."
However, others poked holes in Midler's proposed sex strike.
Conservative commentator Liz Wheeler said, "If all women who would abort their babies refused to have sex if they weren't willing to take the responsibility of a baby… That's literally how it's supposed to work."
Libertarian podcast host Eric July asked, "Serious question, Bette… Does the 'right to choose' include vaccinations?"
Conservative writer Matt Walsh quipped, "Pro-abortion women are repulsive so this really isn't the threat you think it is."
Radio host Jesse Kelly jeered, "Oh no. Please, anything but that. I'm not sure I can live in a world where....Bette Midler won't put out for me."
A Twitter user replied, "I can't believe women like Bette really think abstinence is a threat to anyone pro-life. lol Oh no! You won't have sex! Whatever will we do?!"
British rapper Zuby retorted with a lengthy response, "Liberal women in the West are so enthusiastic about having the option to kill their unborn children... It freaks me out. They speak as if there are NO other options and then talk about 'autonomy'. Men, control your willies. Women, control your fannies. It's not that hard. Sex is a two way street and we all know how babies are made. Men and women both need to take responsibility for their actions. We are adults. Can't simultaneously play the 'empowered' card and the 'helpless victim' card. These conversations are so tiring and disingenuous all the time. I wish people could just be honest, logical, and take some personal responsibility. It's always word games, emotional manipulation, false equivalences, and mental gymnastics. It's exhausting."
Midler was attacked by women on the left who were incensed that the singer only saw women as sex objects.
Imani Gandy angrily replied, "What is a sex strike going to do besides reinforce patriarchal notions that women have sex only to please men?"
Andi Zeisler said, "Do we really have to explain for the millionth time why this is absolutely, profoundly, exhaustingly not it."
Another commenter wrote, "I love Bette Middler's work but I'm tired of this dusty 2nd wave 'feminist' take. It implies women's only power is our value as sex objects to men."