Lysistrata by Aristophanes

Where are the women?

Where are the ladies
Where are my fair maidens
and damsels?

“Hi, Lysistrata
what are you so distressed about?”

“Well, as you know
the women are supposed to be here.
We have very important business to discuss
amongst ourselves.”

“Oh, well I’m sure they’re on their way.”
Ch. 1 – There They Are

There they are, finally.

“Ladies, I’m so glad you could finally
make it here to meet me
for we
have some very important things
to discuss
about our life here in Athens
and in Sparta.”

“Yes, Lysistrata we are here.
Please tell us, what is so dear.”

“Well, as you all know
our men have been fighting each other
the Spartans
and the Athenians
over and over for years
now
more than a decade we have
watched as they toiled
slaughtering each other
leaving us at home
to dry our eyes
and wonder whether they will ever
come home alive.”

“Why yes, Lysistrata you are correct.
It is so trying on our hearts
that our men seek to play
with themselves so rampatiously
while we wait
at home
speaking to ourselves
loquaciously.”

“That is correct. They have neglected
us our house and home
to go over the countryside
to roam and find
each other to wrestle
at the point of knife and spear
to use their shields
and armor
for the sake of protection
from penetration
of other men.”

“Yes, it seems our supposed lovers
our husbands
dream of getting in-between
the flesh of the opposing enemy
rather than
lying with ourselves
in our bedding and sheets.”

“And how do we feel about this
betrayal this treachery this infidelity
our boys running around
aimlessly
while we women wait for them to
return home?”

“I say, no more!
Let us bring our boys home
and remind them that they are men
who must
above all else
satisfy their women
or else.”
Ch. 2 – Shrieks and Screams

“But how do you suggest
that we do this Lysistrata?
What can we do as mere
women when they are so adamant
about fooling around and wrestling
with other men
playing the field
stroking each other’s lances
and spears
and fingering their beards?”

“Ahh, do not forget
that we are women. We are Women!
We are what men desire to possess
We are what men desire to caress.
For all their
running around and amusement
their quests for power
and money and riches and fame
at the end of the day
it is our voices
that they desire
to hear
calling their name.”

“It is our shrieks and screams
in delight they seek
not other men writhing
in pain
menstruating on the fields of grain.”

“It is our throats they desire to clutch
it is our breasts they desire to ravage
it is our legs they seek
to encourage
in trembling
with their tongues and hands
and manly doings.”
Ch. 3 – The Boycott

“Here is what we will do, my ladies.
This will be our plan.
From this day forward no longer
will we touch our men.
No longer will we provide them the warmth
and comfort of our homes
of our special places
they so love.”

“No longer will we keep them out of the
rain with our wetness
no longer will we quench their fire
with our voluptuousness
No longer will we entertain their
membership in our country clubs.”

“We will instead boycott our men
from our beds
forcing them out into the cold wilderness
and then we will show them
what really matters in life
is not war and strife
but Love
and Wife.”
Ch. 4 – Stone Cold

“But Lysistrata, do you think
this will really work.”

“Of course it will, but we must be strong
we must not give in.”

“But what if they seek to take us
by force
to over-come us in siege
to burst through our gates
with their ramparts
battering?”

“Then we will lie there stone cold
and they will have no such
joy and soon grow
angry
and frustrated
with our ploy.”

“They will be so pent-up
with aggression
so backed-up
with semen
they will be at their wits end.”
Ch. 5 – Lingerie

“and we will push them
and push them all we can.
We will dress up in our fairest lingerie
and strut around and caress them
beckoning them
suggesting to them
tickling their ears
and eyes
with our skin
their young wives,
we
will make them see
that only when they put down their
weapons
will they be our Trojan knights.”

“Why, yes, Lysistrata I think I see
what you mean
but for how long would we have to withhold
from ourselves such pleasuring.
For we too as women desire to engage
in such activities.”

“We must be strong. We must show courage
on this our domestic battlefield
For as long as is necessary
we will not yield.”
Ch. 6 – A Bitter Pill

“I can’t, Lysistrata.
It’s just too hard.
It’s too bitter a pill to swallow
to not be able to seize hold of my man
to not be able to see the stars in heaven
when he
roams my land.

I am no virgin, my screws need turning,
I will surely rust
without my weekly oiling.”

“We can and we will resist
We can and we will persist
for this our
sacred duty in this moment.
To boycott the Penis.”

“O, but how I long for it
to keep me warm at night
my teddy bear.”

“For heavens sake girl,
we will manage together
just remember
that time in college
and at summer camp
how we did without
their rod and staff.
How we watered our own gardens
How our tongues made us
laugh.”

“Oh, why yes I forgot about that.
You are right, we can do this.
We are with you!”
Ch. 7 – Head-strong

“Here, then, let us celebrate with this bottle of wine
come on Girls grasp it in your hands
let it pop open
let it flow out
let us guzzle it together
fill our cups
warm our cheeks

this bottle will be all the Man we need!”

and let us say

“I will not let him take me.”
“I will not let him have his way.”
“He will not convince or persuade me
I will not open up or give way.”

“I will be headstrong
in not giving him head
I will be bedstrong
in turning away in my bed.”

“He may seek me like a lion
but I will no show him my rear end.
He may desire me to ride him
like a stallion
but I will tell him, go find a friend.”

“I will perculate his tea cup
I will bring him to the point
of ecstatic desire
I will make his eyes bleed with passion
showing my inner thighs
and the nape of neck
but as the Gods as my witness
he will never
take my back.”
Ch. 8 – Disappointment

and so the Men came home
the Spartans the Athenians
from their warfare
and sought the comforts of their women
that night

but the women put their plan to action
denying them
any satisfaction

and the next day
the same
and the same again
each day the Women dressed up in sequenes
and panties and high heels
and danced around
with roses and tulips
and let their
hands wander

and the men stood
erect
at attention
filled with desire
ambition

but unable to achieve fruition
unable to
get into the inner chambers
of their bedrooms

turned away
turned
on

and cast out over and over
for a week
for a month
what seemed like forever
Ch. 9 – The Sacred City

and the men said to each other

“O, brother
how art thou
for I do suffer dearly
in pussy withdrawal”

“My home my sacred loved one
place of consumation
now is none
no more fun
all the entry-ways have been blocked off
I can’t even go around
the back
the mouth once such a warm welcoming
environment
now speaks tortuously
temptingly but
soon to be
gone cold.”

“I have not entered the Sacred City
I have not been able
to do my bidding
it’s like I’m a stranger in my own home.”
Ch. 10 – A Vegetarian Diet

but the stress and strain
was being felt on the girls too!

and Lysistrata watched as they
snuck here and there
to get a piece
of the forbidden fruit

for women have urges
and weakness
and passions too

there she goes

“Hey you, come back here!”

“O, Lysistrata I didn’t see you there.
I was just going home for a quick
moment to see
about some linens
I needed to spread out
to lie more comfortably.”

“Oh, I know what you mean.
You will do no such thing!”

“And you, don’t even think
about it.”

“Why, I was just going home
to tenderize some meat
to get my hands on it
just a little treat
to beat
to roll
to taste the savory sensation
I have known.”

“You will not have any such
thing
from now on you are purely vegetarian
stay away from your Man
in that way!

Remember, bring him to the pearly gates
but do not
let him dance
with your angel labia
clitora
and the goddess Athena!”
Ch. 11 – Passion and Politics

that night one of the poor Athenian husbands
came home to his wife’s
pussy lips

and said to here
“Dearest sweetie
I must have some of your honey
I can’t go on any longer.
I see you eating that banana
I see you with your fondling hands
I see you with your hip-dance
I see you with those lips
and Romance.”

“Let me be your Roman!
Let me don thee
as my crown
Let me wear thee
around
Let my roar resound
Let your hindquarters round
feel my thunderous
striking

I will be quick
like Lightning.”

“Dear husband, you know I look
up to you like a God
you are my Pluto
my Mercurial Man
but these walls
you will not
breach until this war has
come
to an end.”

“Let’s not talk politics
in this moment of passion
besides do not worry yourself
with such actions.”

“Oh, but dear husband
and lover
Our country Our city this land
and home can
no longer endure
the fighting
and squabbles of Greeks against Greeks
you will not find
what you’re looking for.”
Ch. 12 – Do It Already!

“OK, lie here down on the bed.”

“Oh, I will. Finally the time has come!
Yes come back to me!
Let us share in this romp
here
as nature intends.”

“But first, I must get my perfume.”

“Surely, what’s the harm in that?”

“Oh, and I must get another pillow
for my back.”

“Of course, be comfortable
my lovely sappling
my strapping wench
of a bride.
In you I do confide.”

“And I must get another blanket
and sheet.”

“Whatever you feel you need.”

“And I must dim these lights
more so”

“Whatever gets you ready to go.”

“And I must
go downstairs for a minute”

“If only a minute
then quick Do it!”

and she left him
there
alone again
not this time

go find a friend.
Ch. 13 – Curse that Woman!

“Curse curse that woman I say!”

“And mine too”
the men in dismay

“May she fall fall
down

on a giant rock!”

“Yes, may she plummet
to her death

if not on my Cock!”

“May her tongue have no use
if not for me.”

“May her body have no use
if not to be
a vessel
for my container
a glove
for my appenditure
a holding cell
for my

well, you get the picture.”

It certainly is hell.
Ch. 14 – A Time of Peace

and so the men of Sparta and Athens
quickly came to agree
that all this
fighting between
men in Greece

was really petty squabbling
and there was no need

come they said
let us have peace

and they signed their treaties
and put down their weapons

and went
home

to find happy wives
lying
there
waiting
for them

in their nice
warm beds

now that they had
found

their heads