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Thursday, April 30, 2009

Lysistrategy

Some believe that history repeats itself. Their opponents contend that it is nothing more than a nice sounding bit of rhetoric. But one woman's legendary effort to stop the Peloponnesian War has become part of historical theatre. Translated into several languages, Lysistrata is one of the most staged plays. An Urdu version has even been performed in Pakistan by Sheema Kermani and her Tehrik-e-Niswan group. Now, at least that part of of history seems to be repeating itself, as this BBC news item shows:

Kenyan women hit men with sex ban Women's activist groups in Kenya have slapped their partners with a week-long sex ban in protest over the infighting plaguing the national unity government. The Women's Development Organisation coalition said they would also pay prostitutes to join their strike. The campaigners are asking the wives of the Kenyan president and the prime minister to join in the embargo. They say they want to avoid a repeat of the violence which convulsed the country after the late-2007 elections. Relations between Kenya's coalition partners, led by President Mwai Kibaki and Prime Minister Raila Odinga, have become increasingly acrimonious. Now the dispute has moved to the nation's bedrooms. Lead from the front Patricia Nyaundi, executive director of the Federation of Women Lawyers (Fida), one of the organisations in the campaign, said they hoped the seven-day sex ban would force the squabbling rivals to make up. She said the campaign would start from her bedroom and that emissaries had been sent to the two leaders' wives, Ida Odinga and Lucy Kibaki, urging them to join in and lead from the front. "Even commercial sex workers should join in the campaign which is so vital to the country," Mrs Nyaundi told the BBC's Focus on Africa programme. "Great decisions are made during pillow talk, so we are asking the two ladies at that intimate moment to ask their husbands: 'Darling can you do something for Kenya?'"
Army wives in India and Pakistan: Here's your chance to make a REAL contribution!

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3 Comments:

Blogger BS said...

This won't work in Pakistan or in Afghanistan where it is now legal to rape your wife.

30 April, 2009 19:33

 
Anonymous rahmat masih said...

Would you care to elaborate? Or is that just BS?

02 May, 2009 14:42

 
Blogger Maleeha said...

I'm undecided between whether things like this empower women or belittle them. One hears of incidents like women in an indian village forbidding their husbands from having alcohol, or blocking the path of bulldozers about to cut down trees...and one thinks, hey, you know, there is something elemental inside the woman that makes her strong, makes her lift a car if her child is trapped underneath it...there's an amazon in every woman.

While all these incidents are inspiring (although i often find that weirdness translates too often into inspiration; one needs to tell the difference between the two) i feel that they belittle women, because it is so unexpected of them to show any form of strength or resolve.

In this case, withholding conjugal rights might seem like it is empowering women - and it certainly seems to elevate them above their husbands who are treated as little children to be punished by hiding away their candy until they relent - but it really just reiterates their position in society as sexual objects. How about women denying their husbands AND channeling their energy towards positive political activities, instead of trying to coax their husbands into doing the same on their behalf?

02 May, 2009 15:57

 

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