Recently I had the opportunity to attend to a Greek comedy called the lysistrata at Whatcom Community College. The show really connected to similar themes in our curicculum of IDS 161. In the opening scene of Lysistrata, it enacts the stereotypical and traditional characterization of women in Greece and also distances Lysistrata from this clichéd, housewife character. Lysistrata is not only angered because the women won't prioritize war and the peace of their country, but she is ashamed that the women won't stand up to the stereotypes and names that their husband's give them. Lysistrata tells Kleonike, "I'm positively ashamed to be a woman", and Kleonike proudly admits, "That's us!" As the play procedes and lysistrata puts her mind to work, she requests that the women use their attractiveness to make the males want them sexually, Lysistrata encourages the women to play to their stereotype and exploit the sexual, idealized female. Like a man, with her plan for a sex strike in mind, Lysistrata examines women for their sexual potential.Therefore, women not only begin to see each other with male desire, but they exploit their stereotypical, female identity as a source of power.
In doing so, the women of Lysistrata not only play upon the male stereotype "that males cannot control their lust for women", but also simultaneously become more masculine themselves. Kleonike and Lysistrata look at the other women as sex objects. The women look to see how difficult it will be for a man to resist each woman. Lysistrata is ultimately the most masculine woman in the play. She, unlike the other females who attempt to escape the treasury to find their husbands, is able to fully ignore and reject her own attraction to males. In this way, Lysistrata stands outside of the action of the other females of the play and works hardest to reject the fragility and frivolity that characterizes the other women. Lysistrata's dual ability to reject her own sexuality while exploiting others...
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