Thursday, January 24, 2008

Where Is Lysistrata Now That We Need Her?

Lysistrata brought an end to the Peloponnesian War by persuading Greek women to withhold sex until the men signed a peace treaty. (The women also seized the Athenian treasury-no money for the war.) Lysistrata, of course, was a fictional heroine in a comedy written by a man and performed by an all-male cast for an all-male audience. Nevertheless, her story has inspired women to work for peace throughout the centuries and twelve women peacemakers have been awarded the Nobel Peace Prize. Their true stories are also inspiring and tell us that even if we aren't prepared to give up sex, and even though each of us has different resources, skills, responsibilities, and personalities, each of us can champion peace. After all, not one of the women winners of the Peace Prize could have been expected to become a heroine. Who are the twelve? What did they do? What can we do?

Another take on the war.

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