LYSISTRATA: “There are a lot of things about us women That sadden me, considering how men See us as rascals.” CALONICE: “As indeed we are!”
Thus begins a play written by Aristophanes, deemed the greatest comic Greek poet of fifth-century B.C.E. Athens. He wrote about the futility of war, and Athens (therefore all of Greece) had been at war since the beginning of time. When Lysistrata was written (411 B.C.E.), the empire was in the midst of the Peloponnesian Wars (Athens against the rest of Greece), the men had been away at war for almost 30 years, and the women were sick and tired of it. They were frustrated that in a time of war, men made stupid decisions that affected everyone and did not listen to their wives’ opinions (sound familiar).
The old women of Greece barricaded themselves in the Acropolis (where all the money was kept), and the entire young female population in the major opposing city-states, Sparta and Athens, united behind Lysistrata in a boycott that changed the history of ancient Greece and, therefore, Western civilization: they locked up what men sometimes want more than money – good lovin’.
And the best part of the story is THAT IT WORKED. The men couldn’t stand it, a treaty was reached, and the play ended with everybody having a good ol’ time, dancing and singing in the streets of ancient Athens.
So, wouldn’t it be just peachy if we could pull the same thing off here in Georgia, and everywhere else for that matter? Wouldn’t it be amazing if the women who were sick and tired of what’s going on, could unite and pull the plug on the happy times until men stop fighting about our bodies and the decisions we make about our bodies? How long do you think it would take the phone lines, tweet chats, and blog rolls to light up if the boys were locked out? Not long, I would wager.
Aristophanes had a brilliant ability to blend politics with fantasy, which is not difficult for us to understand: today the two are almost indistinguishable.
There is one fact, however, that can be asserted, given the litany of yammering that emanates from mostly our male politicians: The boys are meddling where they should not be meddling – something they have been doing since our bodies became political fodder when Eve offered up the apple.
Either way, we will gain control of what is ours – our bodies.