After the 25-man Alabama Senate passed America’s most restrictive anti-abortion bill on May 14, actress Alyssa Milano suggested that women should withhold sexual privileges from men.
She echoed Greek comic playwright Aristophanes, who composed "Lysistrata" in 411 B.C. Lysistrata, an exceptional woman with mercy and humanity on her side, sought to force men to end the calamitous Peloponnesian War (431-404 B.C.).
Fast forward to saber-rattling Republicans, currently hinting at a war with Iran, and the ongoing “war” to dismantle Roe v. Wade.
Perhaps our obsession with wars might prompt some women to reconsider Lysistrata’s “war.” I suspect that Alabama women may not take up arms against their menfolk, withholding sexual privileges.
But whenever men make stupid decisions about women’s private parts and a woman’s right to have control over her own body, it becomes necessary to cut through the media clutter to raise awareness.
In 2003, Liberian peace activist Leymah Gbowee earned a Nobel Peace prize for her protests that included a sex strike to end her country’s civil war. She acknowledged that it had little or no effect, but did attract significant media attention.
Actress Milano’s proposal probably won’t be taken seriously, but she did attract my attention. I recall that Milano was featured in a 1980s ABC hit sitcom called “Who’s the Boss?” Intriguing title.
And I recall that, in the ancient Greek theater, all the actors were male. Women were not allowed onstage because that was considered “dangerous.” Fascinating.
Ocean Park, Washington