Bedroom politics

Perhaps a spurious link between 2 news stories reflecting a perennial British occupation – not sex but commenting on sex. But here goes.

Lysistrata Firstly the ladies of Kenya have decided to force the pace of political change by going on strike (though a go slow might win massive support..). African politics is such a basket case arguably because of the importation of western political structures which don't travel well. A sex strike is either plain barking mad or maybe an entirely culturally relevant idea. The good ladies of Kenya seem to have thought of everything – they have even raised funding so prostitutes can also join the strike because their lost earnings will be covered by public subscription. Well good luck to them I say. Aristophanes play the Lysistrata is all about just such a sex strike – so who is to say it shouldn't be tried as a form of political engagement (by disengagement)?

And turning to our second story what can the UK offer by comparison? Well the prurient story of a woman who is in the dock for breaking her Asbo. Just to remind you that antisocial behaviour orders were introduced in the UK to restrict people from being in certain geographical areas to protect the community. This woman's crime? Making too much noise during sex – too much groaning and banging of bedheads against the wall said the charge sheet (too much information).  Now she has broken the court order she must face the consequences and is being held in custody pending sentencing.  The UK already has the largest prison population in Europe. The law is an ass – because of the way it is constructed it can frequently be twisted into bizarre shapes. When the government brought in this legislation did they realise that they would eventually imprison a woman for having sex in her own home? Is this really an appropriate way to deal with anti-social behaviour – to turn someone's own bedroom into an exclusion zone?

The great thing about sex in UK culture is that we find it an endless source of amusement as of course these 2 stories are. But one seems to me a story with a positive outcome. And the second just seems a sad inditement of poorly framed inappropriate laws of which we have had so many in the last 10 years. Sex doesn't have to be reasonable – in face the opposite but pehaps it can help to make politics more reasonable. Doing us all a favour.



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