Women in Politics: Onward Lissies! #1


The New York Times on Tuesday, April 10, featured an article entitled   “Left, Right, and Center, Women of Arizona are reshaping the debate.”  The piece begins by quoting Melinda Merkel Tyler, a newly ‘reborn’ political fighter who was goaded into action by recent school shooting s and the ascent to power of Donald Trump.  Ms. Merkel-Tyler says:  “We are not going to sit back any more and let policies go through in the middle of the night.”

The article continues:  “The state embodies dynamics seen across the country.  Shocked and despairing at Mr. Trump’s election, women on the left concluded they had been complacent and are now diving into politics, many for the first time.”


Except what these women are doing did not begin in Arizona.  It may in fact have begun much much earlier, in 4th century Athens, when the women of Athens and Sparta  joined  forces to bring  to a halt the ruinous Pelopnnesian War which was destroying the lives of hundreds of thousands of young men and fatally weakening all of the Greek City States.  The movement was led by a woman named  Lysistrata  (see the Aristophanes play by the same name), who urged all wives and mistresses to go on a sex strike until the men ended the carnage and returned to their senses.

The Lysistrata  movement is rekindled by Nina Bannister in Sex Change, the seventh Nina Bannister mystery.  Chosen in a special election to replace a congressman killed in a tragic plane crash, Nina becomes frustrated by a Washington that she finds completely male dominated.  In despair she resigns her seat, pouring forth her reasons to her assembled staff.

Many of whom, of course, record the words on their smart phones.

The speech goes viral.

And a modern ‘Lissie’ (from Lysistrata) movement is born.

What does Nina say that sets off a national movement?

You can read her speech in the blog that follows!

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