Art Becomes Reality: A Real-Life ‘Lysistrata’ in the Philippines


In Aristophanes’ comic play Lysistrata (originally performed in Greece about 411 BC, but still shown regularly to this day), a group of women famously withhold sex from their husbands in an effort to end the Peloponnesian War. It’s a great idea (and makes for an incredibly bawdy theatre experience), but, as we remember thinking when we saw it for the first time, probably not an effective strategy in real life. Turns out we were wrong. The Daily What drew our attention to a real-life version of Lysistrata playing out in Dado, a village in the Philippines. When a separatist rebellion that’s been raging since the 1970s cut off the village’s access to two Mindanao villages needed for trading, a women’s sewing cooperative organized a ‘sex strike,’ telling their husbands that they were welcome to keep fighting, but if they did, they would ‘not be accepted at home.’ Within a week, the fighting had ceased. Who said those Greek plays didn’t relate to modern life? Click through to check out the actually incredibly sweet video from the UNHCR.