Generally speaking, most forms of protest are strictly symbolic. It is rare for protests to gain any leverage because they usually only last a short time due to peoples lives dictating a need to return to normality.
I was just flicking through the news and came across this news story from Togo, (I wasn't aware the nation even existed) a small nation near the Ivory Coast region of Africa.
In Togo however, women have been called to protest by a civil rights group in order to pressure their husbands into taking action against the new election rules which prevent fair democratic process.
But how do these women hope to gain a political message through their husbands? The answer is pretty primal: A sex strike.
Now, at first this doesn't seem like a bad idea. No man wants to be in the middle of a dry-spell after all, but then that's when the news story fails to remain relevant and begins to become hilarious.
For a start, the 'sex-strike' is only a week long. The vast majority of men in long-term relationships I know, myself included, know that a week is hardly the longest time to wait. In fact, Id be overjoyed with the prospect of sex once a week. This point alone did make me laugh, but the lols continue.
When asked about this protest one of the women says:
"It's a good thing for us women to observe this sex strike as long as our children are in jail now. I believe that by observing this, we will get them released," Abla Tamekloe said. "For me, it's like fasting, and unless you fast, you will not get what you want from God."
A noble cause indeed. Except she then goes on to state:
When asked if her husband would agree, Tamekloe said: "It is easy for me to observe it. I am used to it, but I am not sure my husband will accept, but I have to explain to him.”
What the fuck? Why would you need to gain acceptance of your husband if you are protesting. Surely if he agreed with why you were doing it, you wouldn't need to have a sex-strike in the first place?
Ah, but there is more!
Reporting, the NBC article continues with this chestnut:
"One week sex strike is too much," said Fabre of the National Alliance for Change, who suggested a shorter period, amid laughter from the crowd at the demonstration. "Let's go for only two days".
I know I shouldn't find this story funny, but the irony displayed in this story is just too much to pass up. Most of these women clearly live in abusive relationships, and in a way highlights to today's society just how far women's rights have advanced in the West.
The last paragraph wraps the article up nicely.
"It is easy for her to say because she is not married herself. She does not live with a man at home," said Ekoue Blame, a Togolese journalist. "Does she think women who live with their husband will be able to observe that? By the way, who controls what couples do behind closed doors?"
Who controls what goes on behind closed doors? Well, clearly very abusive men by the sounds of it.