Even in Classical Athens, women knew that withholding sex wouldn’t prevent rape.
Lysistrata, the 411 BCE play that director Spike Lee uses as a framework for his new film Chi-Raq, about the growing violence in South Chicago, is recognized as satire. But now Lee is offering Aristophanes’ dramatic advice as tested fact that women can somehow prevent rape, and that’s a dangerous red herring.
During a recent appearance on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert to promote his film, Lee said: “I think a sex strike could reallyWORK
Lee’s statement elucidates a collective propensity to preemptively blame victims instead of doing the heavy work of dealing with the entrenched attitudes thatACCOUNT
With campus protest posters reading “Sexual Assault Should Not Be a Part of My College Experience” and major institutions like the University of Michigan reporting that 22.5 percent of their female students have been sexually assaulted, it’s not a secret that rape is a firmly established element of our college atmosphere. Lee’s comment is more than just an inappropriate marketing of Chi-raq— it’s another example of celebrity pushing the problematic notion that victims can somehow prevent rape.
Instead of using his platform to encourage an international commitment to consent education, Spike Lee is putting the responsibility of reigning in rape stats on the people being attacked. Lee joins the chorus of prominent voices seeking toPOLICE
When Spike LeeSUGGESTS
Like other attempts to reduce rape by limiting the expressions of women, inSUGGESTING