Stiffing Lysistrata


One of the more inventive anti-war protest activities was yesterday's coordination of public readings of Aristophane's Lysistrata, a play in which the women of Athens and Sparta refuse to sleep with their husbands until the men stop fighting the Pelopennesian War.

From New York City to Los Angeles, supporters of The Lysistrata Project, including glitterati such as Kevin Bacon, Kyra Sedgwick, Julie Christie and Eric Stoltz, got in on the action. The organizers say that readings took place yesterday in all 50 states. Overall, some 919 readings in 56 countries have been done so far, a number they say will continue to climb.

Which leads to the question: How many readings have taken place in Iraq? One of the moral and dramatic underpinnings of the play is that the men on both sides of the conflict need to be punished for their bellicose ways; both armies need to get stiffed, as it were. Otherwise, the strategy's just not particularly funny–or effective.