Monday, October 12, 2009

The Lysistrata Sisters

The Mid-Week Odious Women: Let's face it, full-time wives and mothers can often be the most odious of women. Having given up dreams of career, money, and promotions, they spend their days cultivating the practice of serving others without gain. When three or more of these women get together, kings, presidents, decorated military men, and husbands quake. These women demand odious things like crosswalks at schools for their children, strict punishments for drunk drivers, and that grand word -- peace.

Neapolitan women have also flexed their muscle in the recent past. Bringing their history as part of Magna Graecia to the forefront, they have used Aristophanes' play Lysistrata as a guide to protest their men folk. (In the ancient Greek play, women refuse to have intimate relations with their husbands until they agree to stop the war with Sparta.) In December 2008, hundreds Neapolitan women went on a sex strike, refusing to have intercourse with their husbands unless they refrained from lighting firecrackers on New Year's.

Every year, boys and men light firecrackers throughout the city. They throw them off balconies, down narrow streets, and in the middle of traffic. Injuries as a result of firecrackers have occurred constantly from cases of lost eyes to paralysis and more.

The local authorities have backed the women, urging men to 'make love, not explosions.'

Here is the BBC article.


KC said...

I hadn't heard about that. An interesting solution to a serious problem, but certainly not as effective as education and better law enforcement would be. Then again, we are talking about Neapolitan men...;)

Barbara Zaragoza said...

Ha! You crack me up KC. I was just driving down the autostrada one afternoon this week and firecrackers were booming up from somewhere below as I drove by... so unfortunately, I don't think the women were all that successful in the end. (Though I hate to admit that.)