Feminism In Lysistrata And In Eve

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Lysistrata and Eve both play pivotal roles in greek history as well as in the Hebrew Bible. They showcase the power that women have while defying gender roles and protecting those they love the most. In the bible Eve is one of the most well-known characters for her story in Genesis. Whereas Lystrata is known for her story where she empowers the women of Greece to withhold sex in order to bing peace to an entire city-state. Both women demonstrate wilful and obstinate determination in order to change the culture of their society. Where Lystrata is a bit more forward with her plans Eve takes more of a back seat to get what she needs in order to be successful.

Lysistrata planned a gathering between all of the women of Greece to discuss a plan to end the Peloponnesian War. Lysistrata asks the women to refuse sex with their husbands until a treaty peace has been signed. I mean come on, this is one of the most badass and powerful things we have read all year. In the text the women call it “Lysistrata May gentle Love and the sweet Cyprian Queen shower seductive charms on our bosoms and all our personnel. If only we may stir so amorous feeling among the men that they stand firm as sticks, we shall indeed deserve the name of peace-makers among the Greeks.” (― Aristophanes, Lysistrata) Lysistrata literary uses her sexual appeal to take down an entire army, and does not blink twice about doing it. Lysistrata enforces her plans and doesn’t stray away for a second. Even when the commissioner threatens to have all the women arrested and tries to burn them out of the building Lysistrata stands strong with the women. Lysistrata explains to the Commissioner that war is a concern of women because women have sacrificed so much for it, including their husbands and sons. “What matters that I was born a woman, if I can cure your misfortunes? I pay my share of tolls and taxes, by giving men to the State. But you, you miserable greybeards, you contribute nothing to the public charges; on the contrary, you have wasted the treasure of our forefathers, as it was called, the treasure amassed in the days of the Persian Wars. You pay nothing at all in return, and into the bargain you endanger our lives and liberties by your mistakes. Have you one word to say for yourselves?… Ah! don’t irritate me, you there, or I’ll lay my slipper across your jaws; and it’s pretty heavy.” (― Aristophanes, Lysistrata) Demonstrating how far Lysistrata and the women will go in order to protect the ones the ones they love. It makes the reader really appreciate the women and what they did.

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Eve is probably the best-known character in the entire bible. Her story had a large impact of the gender specific roles of women in that century. According to the bible Eve represents all women and is “the mother of mankind”. However, due to her act in the garden the repercussions are much greater. Demonstrated In 1 Timothy 2: 11-12 “Let the woman learn in silence with all submission. And I do not permit a woman to teach or to have authority over a man, but to be in silence.” forwards an interpretation that women should not be seen speaking, teaching, or speaking for themselves in church. Unfortunately, the impact led other men to follow suit with this. This is extremely unfair because all Ever did was try to protect her family and husband Adam. Eve was supposed to be depicted as a powerful counterpart even equal to adam but instead is portrayed as someone who is lesser than. It is also very evident that eve was clearly swayed by something she couldn’t control. “I am afraid that as the serpent deceived Eve by its cunning, your thoughts will be led astray from a sincere and pure devotion to Christ” (2Cor 11:3) She was “swayed” by a source that no one could’ve controlled, so why does she inherit all of these consequences? She shouldn’t have too.

Both female characters were tested and both characters and both clearly had different outcomes. Lysistrata achieved what her goal was without any major consequences, whereas Eve had major consequences. Eve was resented by many and because of this she started to pave the way for women to be seen as less than equal than men. That is where these characters start to differ. Lysistrata is depicted as a powerful and intimidating female lead, and Eve as a submissive and frail character. This caused me, as a reader to be angered by eves description in the bible, especially in 2 Timothy. She should not be portrayed as some criminal, she should be appreciated for being the mother of all of mankind, without her the human race would cease to exist. Even with that when god made the pain of bearing children so bad I felt terrible for Eve. Imagine knowing you had that impact on the world, if you made the honor of bearing children an extremely horrible and painful process. Lysistrata on the other hand is seen as a hero, as she should be. She brought peace to an entire war by withholding sex from men. I personally cannot get over how cool that is. Lysistrata is the feminist of the century, she should be admired for what she did.

Lysistrata and Eve are some of my favorite characters that we have read about thus far. They demonstrate strong and independent females that stand firm in what they believe in to achieve their goals. I admire both of what these ladies did in order to protect their families, beliefs, and the way they maintain their relationships. Lysistrata and Eve are two of the most powerful women In their perspective stories and pave the way for initial feminism and lead the way for others to stand against societal gender norms.  


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