A Sex Ban in Belgium? Have We Transported to 985 BC?

Megan Van Schaick

sex banIn a move that could easily set women back thousands of years, one Belgian legislator is making an outrageous proposal in an attempt to break the government deadlock: she wants women to stop having sex with their partners. She thinks that if lawmakers are denied sex, they will be more motivated to come to terms.

I don’t know what’s worse, that a woman proposed this or just the proposal itself.

Marleen Temmerman is basing her proposal on a move made in Kenya back in 2009. Women there swore off sex with their husbands in an attempt to help defuse tensions between the president and prime minister. Oh, and prostitutes were also paid not to have sex with the lawmakers.

I feel confused, I feel conflicted, I feel … betrayed.

How could a woman, one of our own, even think of such a proposal? In doing so, she has instantly reduced women to one thing: sex. Why didn’t she call on women to reason with their stubborn husbands?

We aren’t stupid, and we know what goes on with our husband’s jobs. We are their closest advisors, the ones best qualified to sit them down and have a very real, candid conversation with them. Sex may be powerful, but our brains wield considerably more power.

We’ve worked so hard to be taken seriously, to make society realize that we are more than pretty faces. We’ve fought for equality – to be treated with the same respect as men, to be held to the same standards.

Now Ms. Temmerman wants to take us back to the Dark Ages, when our only weapon was our sexuality. It was the only way to gain the ear of the men around us, the only way we could assert any sort of power.

Her proposal is demeaning, at best. At worst, it has the potential to really take us right back to the days when women were to be seen and not heard.

Is this proposal demeaning to women or a practical solution to a political problem?


Image via davidswayze/Flickr

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