Lysistrata is one of the most popular of the existing Greek comedies and therefore has been of tremendous influence. The play provides insights into politics, sexual values, and family values of the time it was written. The play is not feminist but displays the sexual hypocrisy of the times and has given feminists some encouragement. One has to realize that a lot will depend upon how the production is staged. Using women, some of them naked, will get the play condemned as pornographic. Clothed women will give it a pallid look. Men dressed as women will be hilarious with nothing accepted. Dressing a man as a naked woman will be especially humorous. I believe going the route of having women dressed in regular clothing (as well as men) would be the correct route to go if you want to express the advancement of women’s equality.
There is also stinging criticism of the politics of the day. Lysistrata was focusing on a key weakness of the society. She was a social critic at a time when criticism was vital. She has inspired other women to take action. Many points in this play suggest that Lysistrata herself tries to represent women the best way she can. Other characters, at first do not agree with the sex strike, and would rather the men go to war than to have a sex strike. Lysistrata has to persuade them, stating if “they sit at home all roughed and powdered, dressed in there sheerest gowns, and neatly depilated, there men will get excited and want to take them, (lines 189-193)” if they do not do this, then the men will make truths and not go to war. The women then began to believe Lysistrata and the plot begins. The Leader of Women seems to be the representative for all the women (and possibly all women everywhere).
Aristophanes' play "Qesmoforiazogsai" ("The Poet and the Women") is an excellent comedy. Standing the test of time and the often diminishing process of translation into English it remains amusing today just as it doubtlessly was to its original Athenian audience. It is a well-controlled comedy with a fluent plot, striking dialogue and intelligent characterisation. But above all it passes the ...
Lysistrata herself also discusses how women also have purposes in what they do, stating that the men have forgotten that the women are “filled with passion” (line 591-592) about certain issues.
Lysistrata also tries to help the men settle the war problems at one point, showing that women can also run “states”. She explains to Magistrate how to possibly settle the war on lines 773-786, stating that they should take care of the city and turn it into a democracy. The Magistrate tries to say Lysistrata has not idea about war and Lysistrata says that they know more than war having to bear sons and send them off to war. I believe this statement fortifies the argument that Lysistrata advances women’s equality.
Later on, in other instances, Lysistrata and the other girls begin to tease the men. This is the point where men seem to be “downgraded”. The women even taunt the men saying, sarcastically, “No; you don’t want me” (line 1149) and having the men even begging for them.
In the end, everything is settled. Lysistrata seems to reconcile everything. The women return to there husbands and everyone seems to be happy. The women seem to have overcome the men. I do not see how ANY women would think that this play does not advance the equality of women. Such a play should be praised and studied by all feminists.