Rep. Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez (D-N.Y.) criticized a video by The Economist that connected a reduction in sexual activity among millennials with the advancement of a “female empowerment” movement.
The video was tweeted out by the Economist account Sunday, suggesting several reasons for an increase in celibacy among both men and women in recent years.
“The #MeToo movement has also empowered women while deepening male fears of harassment allegations,” the text overlaying the video read.
Ocasio-Cortez rejected the way the video framed the issue.
“If you think your ‘celibacy’ is due to “female empowerment,” maybe it’s because far too many people relied on the disempowerment + silence of women to not be ‘celibate’ in the first place,” Ocasio-Cortez wrote Sunday afternoon.
The video referenced a study that revealed that celibacy among men under 30 has tripled since 2008. Female celibacy for the same age group has increased by eight percent.
Other factors the video cited included financial anxiety caused by memories of the financial crisis, which could be causing millennials to choose work over relationships, and an increase in technology and pornography, which could be hindering male interpersonal skills.
According to the video, the “sex recession” won’t last forever, as young people will adjust to new “sexual politics.”
The issue is timely. Actress Alyssa Milano has spearheaded a “sex strike,” calling on women to withhold sex from men until the right to an abortion is no longer under attack.
“A #SexStrike is a way to target straight, cisgender men so they may feel the physical consequences of our reproductive rights being systematically eliminated,” Milano wrote for CNN. “This form of protest has the potential to raise the issue far beyond the usual groups engaged in debates about reproductive health. It’s a way to ignite conversation and help everyone understand the gravity of the situation and the immediate need for swift action.”