Those of you out there with a classical education will be familiar with Aristophanes’ play Lysistrata and its unique plot-device: the Lysistrata character is a sort of FEMEN warrior 2,300-years-before-the-fact, who persuades the woman of Greece to withold sex from their husbands until they agree to end the Peloponnesian War.
It’s good for a lot of laughs, and casts interesting light on the state of Athenian society in Aristophanes’ time. But surely you’d think such a trick is irrelevant in this modern age?
Time to think again, for it is quite current, and from an unlikely source.
Yes, it’s the women of Tokyo who are hot and bothered, but mostly in the political sense, and who are reaching back to Ancient Greek literature to try to push through a political objective. It’s a simple one, really: there’s a guy running in the elections for Tokyo governor tomorrow (9 February 2014) that they really don’t want to see win. He is Yoichi Masuzoe, a prominent politician in Japan since 2001 – in fact, a former government minister – and a scientist before that. Among his “scientific” observations was this one from back in 1989:
Females are not normal when they are having a period. One really cannot [when that is the case] let them make crucial decisions for the country, like for example whether to declare war or not.