The play “Lysistrata” is definitely ahead of its time with regards to women empowerment and rights. Interestingly, Arsistophanes wrote this play I believe intentionally making fun of women, however he made characters like Lysistrata driven and determined, and not sex crazed like the men. This play did not make women seem like the bad guys tricking men into doing deceitful actions but instead it sheds light on how women, although having little to no power with war affairs and disputes, do have power over men (whether the men admit it or not). Women may not be the rulers or the soldiers, but they do have power over men in some areas in life, and that area is in the bedroom.
Usually women are depicted as being vicious and evil in Greek plays or young maidens in need of a male savior. Yet, in this play women have the upper hand. They use their sexuality and female bodies to end war. Women are still tricking men, but they are doing it to end war and bring peace. At times comedic, particularly during scene 5 when Myrrhine leads her husband on, but refuses to give it up for the purpose of a peace treaty. The fact that the women (both Athenians and Spartan women) came together and all withheld sex from their husbands in order to save Greece was in a way an example of a feminist movement. It’s an example of many different women coming together for a common purpose, similar to the feminist movement today.
It took courage for a lot of this women to remain faithful to their oath and to not go back to their sex-crazed men, but they managed to do it despite many temptations to quit. Aristophanes could have made women weak and powerless, but he made them more powerful than men. He imagined a world where women were not passive and had a voice. A world where a woman like Lysistrata led a sort of revolution and ended war. The only weapon used was sex and it was more effective than resorting to physical violence and destruction of monuments and cities.
Although there is a lot of vulgar language the play does show women leadership and power. A lot of times Greek plays are extremely misogynistic and women are not given a proper voice. The only problem with this play is that because of the comedic elements and innappropiate sexual innuendos it can be hard to take seriously by some readers. Sadly, women represented in this play may not receive the praise they deserve because people simply do not take the plot seriously.Despite the comedic downfall, the play still has strong women leaders, like Lysistrata herself, who refuses to back down. She is an example of the ultimate fierce woman, she’s sexy but refuses to let men have power over her. It’s inspiring for women who read the play especially. These women took matters into their own hands and that is not easy