WOMEN IN CHICAGO: End senseless violence, go on a SEX STRIKE
A 9-year-old boy and a 20-year-old woman were gunned down two hours apart in separate homicides in Chicago recently. The 4th grader was shot execution style and the woman was an aspiring model visiting from nearby Evanston.
This spasm of violence on Chicago’s South Side plays out as the latest tragic day in a year that has seen murders on the rise. Tyshawn Lee dreamed of playing pro basketball and Kaylyn Pryor had just started her promising career as a fashion model, friends and family said the day after their deaths.
Still the men in the neighborhoods of Auburn Gresham and Englewood remain apathetic. All men in this city need to come out of the shadows of impotence and start protecting their women and babies. It's time for a sex strike, girls.
I want to preface this by saying I’m not usually in favor of using sex as a weapon in relationships. Communication to me is paramount and I’d sooner opt for talking it over. But drastic times call for drastic measures.
In a patriarchal society, a problem will not be addressed until it directly affects men. Abstinence has been used as a means of nonviolent protesting throughout history. Sex strikes are forms of resistance often used to meet political, social or economic goals. Even Spike Lee’s new film Chi-Raq is nothing more than a modern day adaptation of the ancient Greek play “Lysistrata” by Aristophanes. After the murder of a child by a stray bullet, a group of women led by Lysistrata organize against the on-going violence. So I got to thinking, why shouldn’t life imitate art? Maybe these ladies are on to something.
We share this planet equally. I’m interested in making the world a safer place for all little girls and boys. I want to nurture and guide them to become thought leaders who accumulate great wealth and build legacies that endure. But I can’t do any of that when the life expectancy on the south side ends by the fourth grade.
In the meantime, I’m taking some extreme punitive social measures. There should be severe consequences for your apathy. How long will you turn your backs on us? Where’s your accountability?
OPEN LETTER TO CHICAGO SOUTH SIDE MEN
The day after Tyshawn Lee and Kaylyn Pryor were shot dead on the south side within blocks of each other I watched you file into stores on State Street to buy gym shoes despite the fact that your neighborhoods are being torn apart. I watched in dismay as you carried on with your lives at work and at home as if this were of no consequence. I watched when you shook your heads and uttered, “That’s a damn shame,” on the CTA Red line with the newspaper in your large brown hands. I listened when you gave benign excuses about how there’s not much you can do about it and that somehow through it all, “God’s got it.”
You simply ran on Dunkin in the morning. And you supersized your fries at lunch time. As Londoner’s say, KEEP CALM AND CARRY ON. Seriously, you kept a little too fucking calm, in my opinion.
Step into your greatness and out of the shadows of impotence. I need you to be leaders, not consumers. I need you to cherish your woman and protect your babies using every ounce of fortitude and creativity you can muster. I need you to insist the adage “justice for all” includes you too.
No, Chicago men. I’m 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. I’m bringing on some real life Lysistrata in Chicago, and I’m hoping to enroll thousands of other single and married women in this city before the end of this bloody week.
My headshot could be plastered just as easily on the front page of tomorrow’s headlines. How dare you shake your heads and just walk away. God gave man more muscle mass than woman because it’s his job to protect and defend. Isn’t it time ya’ll got on your job?
Just like Lysistrata entreated the mighty women of her city I implore the strong ladies of Chicago to take this oath. If you are a woman who is sick and tired of the senseless violence then please, please take this pledge.
THE PLEDGE FOR PEACE IN THE STREETS
Until an official treaty is signed and an actionable plan is in place by all black men who live in this city, I take a vow of celibacy. I vow to refuse sex to any man I’m dating, engaged to or married to until the perpetrators of these heinous crimes are brought to justice. I vow to keep my affections for men vocal, spirit filled and non-sexual until all children on the south side are safe to play outside their doors. I vow to stay celibate until black men organize and create a strategy to keep the peace in our neighborhoods. All men must take responsibility to take back their communities and behave as global citizens who patrol their own streets until every block in every neighborhood can all breathe again in ease.
Until ALL men in every neighborhood take a solemn oath that they will stay proactive instead of passive I will remain vigilant to the cause.
GENTLEMEN, THE CANDY STORE IS OFFICIALLY CLOSED. WE ARE ON STRIKE. PANTIES UP. SKIRTS DOWN. Let the lockdown begin...
Sign here. Stay Strong. Stay Posted.
-April D. Lawson
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