Life in Chicago's violence-plagued South Side is far from normal. So when April Lawson recently spotted a whole bunch of guys hanging out, casually waiting for a new shoe store to open, she lost it. "You're watching these guys just ... buying gym shoes and carrying on like life is normal," she tells WLS. So the mom and activist decided to get all the neighborhood women to go on a sex strike to put a halt to gun violence. In her Change.org petition, Lawson alerts Chicago men that she's "done marching. I'm fed up with chanting catchy slogans like, 'Black lives matter.' My silent protest to fight this battle is by keeping my panties up and my skirt down, one day at a time. My legs are closed to you. IT'S GAME TIME." She implores the city's men to start taking better care of their women and children and vows to remain celibate "until all children on the [South Side] are safe to play outside their doors."
If this scenario sounds somewhat familiar, it's because the "Lysistrata strategy" was the basis of an ancient Greek fable. And it's been most recently employed in Spike Lee's new musical comedy, Chi-Raq, which bears striking similarities to Lawson's mission: In the movie, Chicago women organize and withhold sex to make their mates put an end to South Side violence. Lawson says she was, in fact, inspired by Lee's movie, in which a character declares, "We're going to make sure these fools put down these guns." "If you decide to silently protest, it might get them to think," Lawson tells WLS, adding to Fox 32: "You have to hit people where it hurts." (Women in Colombia got their village's road paved this way, so ...)