Warning: Feminism ahead
Many students are forced to read things against their will in class. Many of these books are either considered 'Classics' and no longer apply to the modern teen, or they are important to the class and, again, no longer apply to the modern teen. But sometimes there are glimmers of hope tucked away in the mound of dusty books.
Lysistrata was placed in front of me by one of my professors while we were learning about the ancient Greeks and Romans. I looked at the cover, immediately bored by the woman it portrayed, I read over the first few pages and found they were no better. But something told me to come back to it.
The book opens with Lysistrata speaking to the women of the town she is in. It shows her as a leader of the common woman, though intelligent, she uses words the other women understand. She tells the women that the only way to end the war is for all women to no longer have sex with their husbands.
Lysistrata is able to get the women to agree to hold off on sleeping with their husbands, she first talks to all the women and asks them their opinions of the war, and asks them how much they miss their husbands. Lysistrata gets all the women to admit that they are sick of the war and that they would do anything, even cut themselves in two to see peace instead of war.
Lysistrata is able to get a horde of women to follow through with this. Throughout the book many women are faced with their horny husbands, begging for sex, but the women do not give in. They hold all the power. Lysistrata even convinces the women in the rival warring country from, using language from Lysistrata herself, "boinking" with their husbands.
By the end of the book, the men have negotiated peace.
These women in 400 BCE were proving their power through sex even in a male-dominated society. They used communication, understanding, and pleasure to create peace. Lysistrata showed me that there is power in women. These women found something that they didn't like and, regardless of the time period, they changed it. If these women could end a war, I realized, I can do anything.
And nothing is going to stand in my way.
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