In Kenya, thousands of women are sounding the familiar battle cry "all is fair in love and war," only they're playing that infamous odd couple against itself. In desperate hopes of pacifying the government's furious infighting, they've resorted to a nuclear threat: No peace? No sex. ("Dick and cover" joke redacted upon sober review.)
On Wednesday, local women's groups announced a week-long sex strike in protest of the bitter rivalry between President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odingawhich, which is once again at a boiling point. Based on past experience -- a disputed election between the two led to unrest that killed 1,000 -- they fear things could turn deadly. So, they have called on all of the country's women, including the wives of the bureaucratic enemies, to strap on their chastity belts as political armor. The imaginative peacekeepers have even offered prostitutes money just to play hooky for seven days.
The idea refreshingly goes against stereotypes of sex as a necessary outlet for men's aggression. Still, one might be tempted to ask: How, exactly, will depriving the country's men of sexual relations produce a peaceful congress? The reasoning is quite simple: The women want the more politically influential sex to pressure the government into peace, and they seem to believe that sex is the best bargaining chip available to them.
In my judgmental, everyday life, I like to call this the nookie jar strategy (modeled after the cookie jar approach to parental control). Unfortunately, for some women, it really is the best option available.