Those of you who
wasted your time and money at attended a liberal arts university are no doubt familiar with Aristophanes’ play
Lysistrata, in which the women of Greece withhold sex in an effort to pressure men into ending the Peloponnesian War. (Full disclosure: I don’t recall if I actually ever read the play, though I did take a course on classical literature in which it was assigned. Despite majoring in literature, I spent much of my collegiate career avoiding the coursework for my classes. Other stuff I didn’t read: Moby Dick, Ulysses, and all of the plays of Shakespeare. I, too, was amazed to find myself at the graduation ceremony after four years.)
In a case of art imitating life, something similar is going on right now in the world: the women of Togo are staging a sex strike in an effort to end the dictatorial rule of the Gnassingbe family, which has ruled the African nation since 1967. From an article over at the BBC’s website:
Activists say that the strike will motivate men who are not involved in the political movement to pursue its goals, which include an end to the system allowing unlimited presidential terms.
I’m not sure how this will end up for the people of Togo, but, based on personal experience, I’m thinking it’s not going to work. I’ve actually held several unsuccessful sex boycotts. In fact, they were so unsuccessful my husband wasn’t even aware they were going on. I blame my failure on the fact that I am weak willed and lack self-control. And the hormones. Let’s not forget about the hormones. Also, did I mention that my husband has these devastatingly blue eyes?
I’m usually really good at boycotting stuff. I haven’t been inside a Wal Mart in ten years. I stopped buying BP gas after the Deep Horizon oil spill. I boycotted sushi because the blue fin tuna became endangered. Ok, that one wasn’t very difficult, because I don’t like sushi. You know, it’s raw fish. Raw fish!
But I just can’t see myself joining a strike against sex. It just seems, I don’t know, extreme. Can’t we do something else? How about we give up dessert? I’d be on board with that. No Sweets Until Free Elections! (Ok, ok. I realize I need to work on that slogan.) Or we could hold a walk-a-thon. We could strike a blow against despotism and lower our blood pressure!
While I don’t see myself withholding sex, I do wish the good women of Togo well, and hope their efforts are rewarded with free and fair elections.
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