Introduction: Lysistrata: Female Power and Democracy (02:00)
This PBS documentary about ancient archetypes is themed around Aristophanes’ timeless comic masterpiece about a sex strike and a power grab. The program explores how ancient forces still impact current political thought. Interviews include Jane Fonda, Katrina vanden Heuvel, Carol Jenkins, Senator Liz Krueger, Katha Pollitt, Norma Kamali, the Dean of Hofstra Drama James Kalb, Yale Greek drama scholar Victor Bers, and more. This opening segment discusses how modern stereotypes about women descend from Ancient Greece. Jane Fonda reflects on male violence. "Lysistrata" suggests that women in power would do things differently. (Credits)
Women in Government (03:54)
Women are being elected to top leadership positions, but stereotypes remain. Experts discuss the premise of "Lysistrata": it is a cautionary tale. Athenian dramas often attest to male anxieties about women.
Humor and Power (04:25)
"Lysistrata" has an increased value today. Experts reflect on the humor of women in power, the era in which "Lysistrata" was performed, and the implications of Dionysus.
The god represents the forces of nature that we instinctively identify as female. Dionysian is one of two forces that drives human endeavor.
Ancient Greek Theater (07:31)
Theater is a way of exploring new ideas; its development coincides with the development of democracy. Experts discuss theater settings, comic costuming, creative freedom, and comic language.
Power of Comedy (03:28)
Jokes are an essential part of politics. Mardi Gras is the closest representation of the Ancient Greek practice of Komos. Comedy allows people to say almost anything. Experts discuss Hilary Clinton's presidential bid.
Female Power (08:09)
The internet allows individuals to vent their fears. Experts discuss the fear of women becoming like men and stereotypes; making women ridiculous reduces fear. Women who are not subservient to men are often viewed as "non-women."
Demonization of Women (05:46)
Experts discuss stereotypical responses to women in power and media influence. Hilary Clinton is a cultural touchstone on which we project anxieties about women and power. The U.S. ranks 70th in the world in terms of female political leadership.
Female Representation and War (06:18)
Jane Fonda leads the Women's Media Center. The inclusion of women is necessary to democracy. Violence is pervasive in society; women have been less prone to go to war, as seen in "Lysistrata."
Gender Roles (05:53)
People have used "Lysistrata" to make a political statement. Experts discuss a scene where the magistrate speaks with Lysistrata inside the Acropolis and gender identification.
Sexual Desire and Female Power (07:19)
Experts discuss the scene in "Lysistrata" where Myrinne teases her husband to get him to vote for peace; the play provides an epiphany. To see the benefits of equality, more women need to be in Congress, the Senate, and the Supreme Court.
Credits: Lysistrata: Female Power and Democracy (00:29)
Credits: Lysistrata: Female Power and Democracy
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