Lysistrata response

Recently I had the opportunity to attend to a Greek comedy called the lysistrata at Whatcom Community College. The show really connected to similar themes in our curicculum of IDS 161. In the opening scene of Lysistrata, it enacts the stereotypical and traditional characterization of women in Greece and also distances Lysistrata from this clichéd, housewife character. Lysistrata is not only angered because the women won’t prioritize war and the peace of their country, but she is ashamed that the women won’t stand up to the stereotypes and names that their husband’s give them. Lysistrata tells Kleonike, ” I’m positively ashamed to be a woman”, and Kleonike proudly admits, ” That’s us!” As the play procedes and lysistrata puts her mind to work, she requests that the women use their attractiveness to make the males want them sexually, Lysistrata encourages the women to play to their stereotype and exploit the sexual, idealized female. Like a man, with her plan for a sex strike in mind, Lysistrata examines women for their sexual potential. Therefore, women not only begin to see each other with male desire, but they exploit their stereotypical, female identity as a source of power. In doing so, the women of Lysistrata not only play upon the male stereotype ” that males cannot control their lust for women”, but also simultaneously become more masculine themselves. Kleonike and Lysistrata look at the other women as sex objects. The women look to see how difficult it will be for a man to resist each woman. Lysistrata is ultimately the most masculine woman in the play. She, unlike the other females who attempt to escape the treasury to find their husbands, is able to fully ignore and reject her own attraction to males. In this way, Lysistrata stands outside of the action of the other females of the play and works hardest to reject the fragility and frivolity that characterizes the other women. Lysistrata’s dual ability to reject her own sexuality while exploiting others enables her to create peace in Greece by keeping the men home away from war and to end it. Another example of sympathy towards women is Lysistrata’s argument with the Commissioner. In the debate between Lysistrata and the Commissioner, Lysistrata seems the more sensible of the two and it seems reasonable for her to complain that the Athenian men do not listen to their wives when they obviously should. Lysistrata herself commands respect throughout the play from both females and males. Lysistrata is called upon by the males to forge a truce between the two sides, a show that she has gained great support and respect from the males of both camps. Unlike the other women, Lysistrata makes humorous remarks that do not make her seem stupid or frivolous like the other women. Also in the battles between the choruses, the women come out on top (so to speak). The Chorus of Women defeats the men in wit and in strength. Aristophanes seems to argue that, while the women should remain in the home, women do have a lot to say. Aristophanes communicates this explicitly as Lysistrata argues that Athens should be treated and handled as a woman would work with wool.