In the ancient Greek play ‘Lysistrata’ women stop having sex with men to end a bloody war
Most recently, it was retold by filmmaker Spike Lee in the film Chi-Raq. In his version, black women in Chicago withhold sex in order to pressure their men to put down their guns. The play is often summoned as an example of a political tract. But while the suggestion it proffers is certainly serious, Lysistrata itself is a bawdy comedy — one that feels shockingly contemporary, and proves that some themes really are timeless. The original Lysistrata begins with the title character calling a diverse meeting of women to discuss the bloody Peloponnesian War, and how they might stop it. Once the women are gathered, Lysistrata tells them they should withhold sex from their men, and in time, the men will lay down arms. She goes further, lamenting that even the men who are able to come and go from battle are of little use to their women, especially sexually. The women, however, are not convinced.
This meant that prostitutes tended either en route for be slaves, whether female or manly, or metics, who, not being instinctive of Athenian parents could not themselves be citizens but who did allow certain rights as resident aliens. All the rage a society in which men tended to marry late, in which marriages usually were not for love, after that in which the women of city-dweller families often were secluded, to be least talked about by men, all the rage the words of Pericles, whether they are praising you or criticizing you, the role of the hetaira conceivably is inevitable. And it was all the rage the social institution of the symposiumor drinking party, that it was enacted. Exclusively the province of a advantaged male elite, the symposium was characterized by its homosexual or bisexual ethos; its philosophical and political discourse after that creative competitions, in which elegies were sung to the accompaniment of a flute and lyric songs by the lyre; and, as the symposiasts began to feel the effects of constant watered wine, the less intellectual after that not always welcomed embrace of slave boys and flute girls, and, of course, hetairai. The symposium usually took place in the andron men's roomthe most well-appointed room in the abode. Around this dining area, participants all reclined on a couch, resting arrange the left elbow and keeping the other hand free. The symposium followed the evening meal and began along with libations and a paean sung en route for Dionysusthe god of wine. Its activities were dictated by a symposiarch, who decided upon the entertainment for the occasion and even how much dampen would be mixed with the amethyst. The symposium might end with the comus, a boisterous procession of revelers, accompanied by music and singing all the rage honor of the god, to but another drinking party.