Skip to comments.War and Sex: The Power of Women in the Ancient Greek play Lysistrata
Posted on 01/22/2018 11:36:01 AM PST by GoldenState_Rose
For years men have waged war and, of course, sex is not a novel concept or construct. Lysistrata portrays women in a powerful role, namely in control of their sex and sex in general. They have authority over the men. When the absurdities of war have taken their men away, the women use sex as a weapon in order to obtain peace. By withholding sex, women come to essentially control their men. The men eventually succumb to the women and yield in their determination to carry out a war. This is interesting because in Ancient Greek tradition, the women are placed in a domestic role where they yield to their husbands. But Lysistrata turns the table and leaves the men at the mercy of the women.
In wartime, life is taken away. Not only are men (and women) killed, but if the men are away at war such as in this case, no new babies will be born and society overall will suffer. But in peacetime, life flourishes and society is perpetuated and renewed. Toward the close of the play, the women, specifically Lysistrata, determine the manner in which the women will return to their husbands. The women decide details and dictate how everything will be conducted: you will exchange oaths and pledges; then each man will go home with his wife (45). The men want to reunite with their wives as quickly as possible, but the women will not have it until the men carry out their wishes according to their instruction.
Women, through their sex, are portrayed as a driving force within society. Sex essentially controls everything in this case. It can end wars. Women can end war and are sources of power within Lysistrata.
(Excerpt) Read more at worldsofreading.blogspot.com ...
Lysistrata: "The salvation of all Greece lies in the women's hands. - Aristophanes
It might have brought the men home, and it may have kept them home. But, then perhaps the ancient Greeks would have survived a bit longer if instead of lying in bed all day, they were defending their borders, and especially their coasts from which they were conquered.
Interesting. I was thinking about the play’s themes in terms of the #MeToo era of our culture today. For too long, sexual indiscretion has been a defining pillar of the modern feminist cause, and that’s been disempowering and counterproductive for the cause of women at large.
there are some such men who will give in to such treatment, indeed there are
but they are uncommon so that the story is credible but not something that could really describe an entire nation or society
It’s an unrealistic comedy. The men could just have sex with one another, camels, various household products, children ...
The men marched off to war and didn’t have consensual or forced sex with the conquered woman? They waited like good gentlemen to come home to their wives?
What a fairy tale.
And they did indeed. But even the ancient Greeks never dreamed of making homosexual marriage into a social construct.
After this ‘me too’ crap, it’s going to be the men withholding sex and the women screaming for it...a bit different than in that play.
SPARTAN HERALD I’m a herald, by the twin gods. And my good man, I come from Sparta with a proposal, arrangements for a truce.
CINESIAS If that’s the case, why do you have a spear concealed in there?
[the ancient version of the old “or are you just happy to see me?” joke]
Thanks GoldenState_Rose. Lysistrata was a rip-roaring comedy, and the antiwar message had no impact on the society (same as now).
The anti-Nukes/anti-War COMMIES used this ancient play, for propaganda, from the '50s through the '70s. It didn't catch on, since the same hippies/Yippies were championing the FREE LOVE/IF IT FEELS GOOD DO IT movement at the same time.
And time was, when most people learned about this play, in high school, so nobody had to explain it.
The Roman’s were very good at violating the border security of others. What killed Rome was taking the land away from the husbandmen and allowing absentee landlords to control it. Many rural people moved to cities where they were kept tame with bread(welfare) and circuses(TV, Media, etc.). We are all upset about laborers crossing the border to take little jobs, but who is raising a fuss about foreigners and our own mega-corporations buying out farmland and corporatizing production? He who fails to care for the land starves the nation.
Interesting take on it.
Not sure I disagree.
In reality, the men would just have raided nearby (neutral) villages and raped women there.And destitute women who lived nearby would have moved to Athens to make money. No problem.
Aristophanes also has a satire about when women take over the forum and make the laws.
One of the laws was that, if a man wanted to sleep with a good looking prostitute, he first had to sleep with an ugly old lady, because....equality.
Something today's feminists don't want to discuss...
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