In response to "'Lysistrata' revisited" (The Astorian, May 23): Read the history of the play "Lysistrata," and you'll see that Aristophanes is no champion of women, but instead a classic misogynist.
As a literary method, he uses the Athenian/Spartan war to show how mediocre men kill off their gender/kin/sons in continued wars, while juxtaposed with women stopping it by holding off the act of sex as a peace weapon.
Aristophanes hated the "war machine," and used this play to speak his political sentiments loudly. He used women as a foil for the weakness/brutality of men. Although a classic for over 2,000 years, this play continues to be misinterpreted wildly.
In "Lysistrata," he portrays Spartans and Athenian women as enemies, uniting to become political allies. They do this by holding a successful sex strike, sequestering themselves off in a tower. (Remember, no women held any political power during this time.)
Unfortunately, though seemingly contemporary, this was not a feminist stratagem; instead, it was seen by Aristophanes as a way to diminish the current political powers of men by showing that even lowly forces (albeit women), could hold dominance, sway politics and humiliate them.
This 2,700-year-old literature doesn't give credence to women as equals. During that era, women were unable to hold any political office, let alone simple leadership. Today, we still do not have equal rights.
Misinterpretation shows ongoing injustice to women's intelligence. It is a comical fiction showing women successfully stopping the killing in wars, and men feeling slighted by not being as able.