Monday, September 21, 2009

Does Lysistrata Really Take a Stance for Females?

Aristophanes’ play, Lysistrata may seem to demonstrate a story about a bold, independent woman ready to transform society, but when examining the play a little closer it becomes clear, that Lysistrata’s argument only helps confirm that women fit a certain stereotype.

In the final scene of the play Lysistrata makes her point by bringing in Peace, a naked female. This is the one part of the play where she is able to present her case and make her point, instead she brings in a naked girl. Not only does this naked female distract the men from listening to Lysistrata’s main concerns, but Peace now serves as a bribe. The men are sexually frustrated and this gesture does not even the playing field, it only sets Lysistrata at a lower level of merit.

Also by bringing Peace, Lysistrata demonstrates that she is ok with the degradation and objectification of women. This can also be seen when Lysistrata welcomes Lampito “how well and handsome you look” (4) Lysistrata then proceeds to open Lampito’s robe baring her breasts. I found this very ironic because the females are putting each other on display as they objectify each other.

Even though Lysistrata takes place during a war, the battle between the men just hides in the background because there is much controversy involving Lysistrata. This play may seem to be a battle between the sexes, but the true controversy lies within the female sex as they battle the stereotypes given to them by each other and the males. Even though Lysistrata may “blush for our sex” (1) she also claims “men will have it we are tricky and sly” (1). Her personality may depict her as a leader, but it’s just a facade because Lysistrata is doing nothing to transform society; all she is doing is bringing attention to the sexually frustrated women.

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