Ancient Greece is comin’ back to life, y’all. Aristophanes’ famous play Lysistrata follows a group of women who are fed up with the way that men are ruining their government. To effect the change they want to see, securing peace for the Athenian state, these cunning women decide to withhold sex until their goals are met. Long (and very funny) story short, the men cave to the women’s desires because of the irresistible wiles of the feminine form. Lysistrata and her ladies rejoice because, hey, peace is always a good thing, and because it has been a hot second since they’ve gotten laid. Let the celebratory lovemaking commence!
Thousands of years later, and in real life no less, these same tactics are being utilized. The Huffington Post reports that in Spain, high-class escorts have vowed to withhold their services from all banking employees until Spanish banks provide credit to families and small businesses. Spain has been facing an economic crisis for years, and many Spanish citizens are blaming the banks for fueling a housing bubble and profiting from its inevitable burst (sound familiar, U.S.A.?). To let the Spanish banking system know that their priority should be the average Spanish citizen, rather than the CEOs who profit from other peoples’ poverty, sex workers are rallying behind their trade association and declaring a sexual embargo against the economic elite.
In a North American context, this is wildly fascinating. A trade association for escorts, you say? One that probably advocates for rights, higher wages, healthcare, and safety for sex workers? Well, I’ll be. While I acknowledge that sex work is a contentious subject for many feminists, I would argue that whenever women organize around a cause and effectively protest the patriarchy in its many, many forms, that something good is going on.
As Lysistrata says, “Never underestimate the Power of a Woman.”
Image source bossip.com