Spike Lee happy to hear of real-life 'Chi-Raq' sex strike
Spike Lee just helped one Chicago woman do the right thing.
In this case, that means a sex strike.
The filmmaker told the Daily News he is delighted to hear about a Windy City woman who’s petitioning to withhold sex to stop men from killing each other — a tactic inspired by the upcoming Spike Lee joint “Chi-Raq.”
“‘Chi-Raq’ is satire, but Sister Leymah, she won the Nobel Peace Prize using that tactic,” Lee said, referencing Leymah Gbowee, the Liberian peace activist who started a sex strike as a peace protest in 2002.
“I’ve read somewhere it’s been used in the Philippines and some other places. It can work.”
The upcoming Spike Lee joint “Chi-Raq” is a satire about Chicago women who withhold sex to stop gang violence.
Chicago resident April Lawson went viral this week by calling for a sex ban to help cool the pistols of hotheaded gangbangers. Lawson told ABC Chicago she got the idea after seeing the trailer for “Chi-Raq,” which opens in theaters Dec. 4.
The film is a satirical look at gang violence in a city that has seen more than 2,600 shootings victims this year, according to Chicago Tribune stats. “Chi-Raq” shows women taking vows of celibacy until the gun violence stops, much to the dismay of their raging partners.
The film was controversial even before it started with filmmaking, with many Chicago politicians horrified at its title, which equates the Second City to Iraq.
But Lawson said she found it inspirational. She started a Change.org petition calling for women to imitate Lee’s art.
Spike Lee told The Daily News he was delighted to hear about the Chicago woman inspired by his new film.
“In a patriarchal society, a problem will not be addressed until it directly affects men,” the petition says.
“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.”
The “Chi-Raq” sex scheme dates way before Lee’s film — the plot comes from Aristophanes’ greek play “Lysistrata,” a comedy first performed in 411 BCE. That premise has been used for a number of contemporary stories, like the 2011 Lebanese film “Where Do We Go Now?” about a sex ban to help Muslims and Christians get along.
Lee thinks the booty boycott could help a number of other causes today. Sexual assault at colleges is one he mentioned.
Chicago resident April Lawson started a petition calling for a sex strike protest after seeing the trailer for “Chi-Raq.”
“I think that would definitely work on campus of universities that have been plagued by date rape and sexual harassment,” he said.
Does he have hope for Lawson’s real-life “Chi-Raq” plan?
“Chicago, I don’t know,” he said.
“But more power to her.”