Journal of Lysistrata of Athens

May 6

Oh, Athena help us all. I am becoming desperate. I'm tired of staying quiet about the dire situation we're in. The males have gotten themselves into a colossal mire, and are now wondering why. We females know exactly what to do to fix it, but we can give no advice to them, since we are merely their decorations. We are not meant to speak, but only be vessels for their heirs. Yet their heirs have been sent off to die because of their decisions to go to war. Am I to keep quiet about this? I will not see my little boys off to die on their father's orders.

I must confess that I do not miss my husband. I haven't heard from him for almost a year, since he left for Thrace with Kleonike's husband. I feel more sorry for my sons and daughters than I do for him. They are lonely for him, flawed as he is - he usually shows a little more affection to them than to me. A responsible male around would be useful, as I'm getting lonely too. Not for my husband the way he is, but for my husband had he been kind, compassionate, and understanding - like my parents promised me when they gave me away. I know such men must exist somewhere.

Before my husband left, he would not tell me anything about the peace negotiations. To him, I had no capacity for wisdom. I was his decoration, to sit on a pedestal and be a physical sanctuary for him at night. I bore him his heirs, and that was all he needed me for. After that, I was only something in the background; someone to make sure his brood was being raised in the way he chose. Though I adore my children, I feel a great emptiness where love should be for my significant other. I dare not tell anyone this, but sometimes I dream that he is killed in war, and I am free to marry someone of my choosing. This is somewhat cruel, I know, but the jerk will never know. He never tells me anything important, so I can do nothing else but return the favor.

My faith in the males has been lessening day by day as I hear in the marketplace how the war is getting worse and worse at their hands. They lack so much common sense—they must insist on solving things their way; a way that will benefit them at that moment, with no thought for future circumstances. Incompetent bastards! It's not that hard to look into the future and at least predict what might happen. There are no males left now in Athens because of their ineptitude.

I, however, have a plan. Tomorrow I am calling together the women of Athens through word of mouth: my dear friends Kleonike and Myrrhine are two of the biggest gossips in Greece, so I've set them to inform everyone they know to gather here for a meeting. When the women of Athens hear that I have a plan that depends on THEM, that WE can save the war, guaranteed, they won't be able to resist hearing what I have to propose. I am also sending word to Sparta (our "enemies"), and Salamis, Acharnai, Thebes, Peloponnesia, Boiotia, Korinthia… basically as much of Greece as can hear me. When we gather all together, I will tell them my plan, which is… total and complete abstinence from sex! We will take the Acropolis, hold their war money hostage, and refuse any and all pleads for pleasure. Once the males are so desperate for relief, they will have no choice but to listen to our advice. They will have no choice but to accept that our wit is not negligible as they have thought. We are educated and intelligent. Once I have them, I intend to give them hell. I will not be an ornament any longer.

However, being an ornament is one of the ways we have to trap them. Kleonike has told me numerous times: all we do is sit there and look pretty for our men. My plan is to overdo it: to do ourselves up so much like goddesses, the men will be absolutely begging for us to come to bed with them. We will be so supremely seductive they won't be able to articulate their desires, but we will not give in! It will be difficult (we are a race of sluts, after all), but the thought of Peace in Greece is a much more noble goal than five minutes of bliss.

Once they decide to listen, we shall show them that we are not just beautiful and able to give them babies. We are intelligent, self-reliant, defiant, and have much more common sense than most men could dare to grasp. And we have a tremendous love of Athens, and we will not see her fall at the hands of the men supposed to be her protectors! We shall not send any more of our sons and husbands to kill and be killed by our neighbors for her. The women of Greece shall be her new protectors. Up the sluts!