Monday 24 Oct 2016

Aristophanes Redux
AJ Robinson

The Greek playwright and poet, Aristophanes, wrote the play, “Lysistrata.” It was first performed 411 BC. If you’re not familiar with Aristophanes, yet you love a good comedy, he’s your man: the father of comedy. Of course, you have to figure, anyone who lived that long ago and wrote on any subject, could be the father or mother of that subject.

Aristophanes tells the story of a group of women determined to end the Peloponnesian War, which raged between the city-states, of Athens and Sparta, for many years. I think the war lasted so long simply because they couldn’t agree on how to spell Peloponnesian on the peace treaty.

The women come up with a simple plan. They’d withhold sex until the men stop fighting. Simple, and quite affective; the war ends in lightning speed.

I bring this up because recent events, regarding the rights of women and their ability to control their own bodies. Pundits have ranted about women being, I’ll paraphrase here, as I find their words offensive, promiscuous because they dare to want birth control. Politicians have rammed through laws, which are downright insulting and demeaning to women, and that stick the nose of government into places it frankly shouldn’t go. All of these things are about women controlling their bodies, their sexuality, and their reproductive rights.

Yet, I don’t see any calls to hold men to the same standards. Now, granted, a man can’t get an invasive and unnecessary ultrasound before getting an abortion, but maybe they should get a series of incredibly invasive medical tests prior to getting a prescription for Viagra. Rumours are rife that psychiatric counseling may become a prerequisite for a prescription for Viagra.  Turnabout is fair play!

Some of these same politicians say that birth control itself should be outlawed, as sex should only be between a husband and wife, and, then, only for the purpose of procreation. Again, you have to wonder, how many of those politicians could hold to that standard?

Here’s a suggestion for the women of America: go with it. Get together, using a social network, set up a group like the “Occupy” movement and select a date sometime in the near future. As of that date, withhold sex from your man, whether he’s a boyfriend or husband, except for the purpose of having a child. Tell him that’s how it is from now on and why. Oh, and tell him you’re not changing your mind until the politicians climb down off their high horse, and the backs of women, and change the laws.

Just as the women of Athens and Sparta got men to stop fighting, I think the women of America will get the politicians to change their tune in about thirty seconds flat.

Yeah, okay, this article is mostly said in jest, tongue in cheek; yet, there is a kernel of truth within it. Think about it. If the women did band together on an issue important to them, any issue, do you think the men could hold out for long?

Combining the gimlet-eye, of Philip Roth, with the precisive mind of Lionel Trilling, AJ Robinson writes about what goes bump in the mind, of 21st century adults. Raised in Boston, with summers on Martha's Vineyard, AJ now lives in Florida. Most of the time he writes, but sometimes he works at Disney World to renew his fantasies and get a few dollars more. AJ writes, with insight and passion, about his family and his dog. His liberal, note the small "l," sensibilities often lead to bouts of righteous indignation, well focused and true.

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