Colombian women launch "strike of crossed legs"

Wives to gang members: no sex 'til you quit killing each other.

Published September 13, 2006 9:35PM (EDT)

This just in over the Lysistrata wire: Dozens of women in Pereira, Colombia, have launched "una huelga de piernas cruzadas" -- a strike of crossed legs -- in order to get their gang-member boyfriends/husbands to quit killing each other. The message: no sex until you renounce violence. The women figured this would be a good way to raise the stakes of a thus-far-ineffective disarmament scheme. (So, I suppose, would leaving these fellows entirely, but a) these can be complicated choices, and b) it's still a good story.)

To be economically fair: Is gang life the only means of breadwinning in Pereira? Apparently not. According to the BBC, Colombian radio reported that "studies found that local gang members were drawn to criminality by the desire for status, power, and sexual attractiveness, not economic necessity."

"This is our way of telling our husbands that we don't want to wind up widows and that our children don't deserve to grow up without a father at their side," one mother of two told El Nuevo Diario (translation by Broadsheet). "Until now they haven't wanted to listen, but we're sure that this way, they'll get it."

By Lynn Harris

Award-winning journalist Lynn Harris is author of the comic novel "Death by Chick Lit" and co-creator of She also writes for the New York Times, Glamour, and many others.

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