Commonly called Lysistrata the Greek actually translates to “Army Disbander”. The Comedy (in a Classical sense, they’re often not what we would consider humorous) by Aristophanes was first performed in Athens in 411 BCE.
The concept was (and there is almost no evidence for it as historical fact) that the women of Greece would have a Sex Strike with No Man getting No Nookie Nohow until they ended the Peloponnesian War.
Athens lost this War to Sparta and probably deserved to, much though we venerate Athens and disparage Sparta today. Athens had a very expansionist Imperial policy and defeated several City-States closely allied with Sparta. After a series of successful coastal raids and forcing a humiliating treaty (Peace of Nicias, 421 BCE) on Sparta, Athens started encroaching on the territories of Sparta again culminating with a disastrous expedition to Syracuse (Sicily, not New York) which was totally defeated in 413 BCE, just 2 years before the production of Lysistrata.
It was so bad that it completely shifted the balance of power. Sparta allied itself with Persia which was still a great Empire despite Thermopylae (not as important as Movies make it seem) and Salamis. After the sack of Athens (the Greeks lost at Thermopylae you know) the Athenian Fleet was able to destroy the bulk of the Persian Fleet at Salamis and Xerxes I was forced to withdraw the majority of his Army in 479 BCE because he could no longer support them from the sea. The Greeks quickly defeated the rest.
So the Athenians, who had started the War with the Persians by carving up great portions of Asia Minor (mostly Turkey today), went right back into business with a vengeance. I know this is not the version you get in your textbooks because “Democracy!”, but it’s true enough- you could look it up.
While the expedition to Syracuse was preparing its attack Alcibiades, who was supposed to lead the force, was falsely (well, probably) accused of defiling religious property before departure and promptly took up with the Spartans who were happy to have him. Alcibiades told the Spartans that Syracuse was merely a prelude to a scheme to take over the World. Well, Italy and Carthage at least and what else mattered?
A group of Oligarchs siezed power in Athens and started negotiating with the Spartans which might have worked except that the Athenian Reserve Fleet was released after the pasting the Expeditionary Force took and they and the remains of the Regular Navy weren’t too happy with the prospect and attacked and under the re-defected Alcibiades (loyalty was a flexible thing in Classical times) defeated the Spartans at Syme. This happened the same year, 411 BCE, Lysistrata was produced.
With that prelude I introduce-
Why It’s Hard for Conservatives to Date in DC Right Now
by Mimi Montgomery, Washingtonian
March 5, 2018
Washington has the most singles actively dating and using dating apps, according to a recent Time Out ranking, so it’s not surprising that political standoffs would take place in packed bars and Bumble conversations. The League, a selective dating app, says its DC users are 15 times more likely to mention politics in their bios since the 2016 presidential election, and one-third say they wouldn’t date someone with contrasting political beliefs.
“A lot of times you’ll connect with someone [on an app] and they’ll Google you, find out you worked for Trump’s campaign, and then it’s pretty much all downhill from there,” says a Trump Administration official.
People who work in right-wing media say they don’t have it any better.
“The political divide has gotten so wide that a lot of younger liberals don’t have any interest in meeting conservatives,” says a reporter at a conservative media company. Working for a right-wing publication is such an obstacle to dating in DC, he doesn’t put his employer on any dating apps and avoids talking about it until meeting someone face-to-face, he says.
“The policies and these things that are attached to the right whether or not you’re a supporter of Trump have been pre-supposed on you, and it’s like a black mark,” says another reporter at the same outlet, who describes himself as a moderate conservative.
He once brought a woman back to his place, and while checking out his bookshelf, she noticed some books by conservative thinkers, he says. “She was like, ‘Oh no. First question: Did you vote for Trump?’,” the reporter says. He told her no, but that he was conservative. “She was like ‘I have to get out of here. I can’t see you,’ and left.”
While Republicans say the line between textbook conservatism and Trumpism is blurred frequently, most Democrats I spoke with say they can distinguish a difference between those in favor of the administration and Never Trump-ers.
“If you’re dating someone and they say ‘I think we should have lower marginal tax rates,’ that’s different than dating someone who doesn’t think a woman should have a right to terminate an unwanted pregnancy,” says a single woman at a progressive nonprofit. “There’s a spectrum there.”
Most of the self-identifying progressives I talked with said they could tell how far right a man or woman leaned based on their dating-app photos—”Make America Great Again” hats are an obvious tell, but some also listed photos of US flag paraphernalia, hunting gear, or fratty beach parties as turn-offs.
Conversely, a young White House staffer says she typically looks for someone from the South when swiping through profiles, as she thinks they’ll be more receptive to her support of the President. She swipes left on anyone who went to a small, liberal-arts college or has a photo “wearing one of those pink hats on their heads” at the Women’s March, she says, as she thinks they wouldn’t be compatible.
When she first moved to DC, a former Obama White House staffer who now works at the Aspen Institute was set up on a date with a Republican who worked on Capitol Hill. “We had a really nice time, but at the end of the date, he told me he didn’t believe in global warming,” she says. “I started laughing, because I’m from Colorado and didn’t realize people actually didn’t believe in global warming. But he was serious.”
They didn’t go out again.
Republicans say it’s liberals who are more likely to turn down someone across the aisle. “Democrats are usually more vocal” about their opposition, the Trump staffer says, and therefore quicker to demonize all conservatives.
“I feel like they look at me and are like, here’s a tall white dude with brown hair wearing loafers, and he probably has a picture of Reagan and the NRA in his bedroom or something,” says one of the reporters from the conservative media company. “I just think they have a very hyperbolic view of what a conservative is.”
No, that’s actually a very realistic view of what a Conservative is. Oh, and I’m now convinced that there’s something in the water that triggers D.C. Bipartisan Madness among the Political and Media Elites. Strangely it doesn’t seem to effect the oppressed.
When I was in Flint I couldn’t get a drink that wasn’t made with their lead contaminated water. No bottled Pop- Iced Tea, Coffee, and Fountain Drinks only. I finally settled for an Amstel Light and I checked the label 3 times to make sure it was bottled in Amsterdam. I’m going to play it safe during my upcoming visit to the March For Our Lives and stop at Costco and pick up a case of Seltzer.
Now, you may want to know how the Peloponnesian War and Lysistrata came out.
After a further victory against the Spartan Fleet at Cyzicus (a really big one) in 410 BCE, Alcibiades was able to use his popularity to remove the Oligarchical regime and Athens was, over the course of the next 4 years, able to restore much of its original position. Then he suffered a minor defeat in a Naval battle at Notium in 406 BCE and was promptly cashiered again, this time permanently. The Persian King Cyrus was finally able to assemble a Fleet large enough to defeat the Athenians and at Aegospotami in 405 BCE reduced them to a mere 12 remaining ships. Facing stavation they surrendered in 404 BCE. Funny huh?
The surrender stripped Athens of its walls, its fleet, and all of its overseas possessions. Corinth and Thebes demanded that Athens should be destroyed and all its citizens should be enslaved. However, the Spartans announced their refusal to destroy a city that had done a good service at a time of greatest danger to Greece, and took Athens into their own system.
The overall effect of the war in Greece proper was to substitute a Spartan empire for an Athenian one. After the battle of Aegospotami, Sparta took over the Athenian empire and kept all of its tribute revenues for itself; Sparta’s allies, who had made greater sacrifices for the war effort than had Sparta, got nothing.
Sparta was later humbled by Thebes at the Battle of Leuctra in 371 BC(E), but the rivalry between Athens and Sparta was brought to an end a few decades later when Philip II of Macedon conquered all of Greece except Sparta.
Lysistrata’s Second Act is about the struggle to maintain the Strike in the face of the fact that the Ladies were… ah… inconstant in their resolve. Older Ladies can take some solace in the fact that they were the only ones talking any sense at all while everyone else was as randy as rabbits including the Older Guys who couldn’t deliver even a grunt and a mumble. ‘Night dzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz.
But in the Third Act everyone reconciled and there was a righteous orgy with wine and singing and dancing and other stuff. All performed by males in masks mind you because that’s the way it was.
It was a Comedy! Ha. Ha. Ha.