It wasn’t the hippies who first passed down the adage ‘make love not war’; it was the ancient Greeks, all the way back in 411 BCE. That’s when Aristophanes’ drama Lysistrata was first performed in Athens, one of the earliest battles of the sexes played out on a Western stage.
Power struggles between men from Mars and women from Venus are as old as the record itself. This particular clash begins with a unanimous decree from Peloponnesian War-weary Grecian ladies. Good times will cease to roll until the troops come home. For a slightly more anatomically correct summary, have a gander at the Open University’s cheeky animation below.
Some truths have certainly stayed fresh over the millennia. Carnal desires still have sway over personal matters and far-reaching consequences in other spheres. And flesh is still certainly not the most sophisticated of weapons. Yet though their victory is written within a rather narrowly erogenous, male-crafted narrative, the women of the Lysistrata did indeed succeed.
Shallow means, as I suspect the women of Greece knew, to a staggeringly positive end. At least the story line lacks the typical archetypes of vindictive sorceresses, she-wolf fig poisoners and evil stepmothers.
Tessa Sinclair

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Post comment