Chastity enlisted in anti-war drive
THE chief of Colombia's armed forces, General Jose Manuel Bonnet, has urged women in his fractious country to follow in the footsteps of the Greek heroine, Lysistrata, by refusing men sexual relations until they cease fighting.
General Bonnet broadcast on national television and radio yesterday with a copy of Aristophanes' Lysistrata to hand, and urged women across Colombia to deny left-wing guerrillas, drug traffickers and paramilitaries sex until they lay down their arms.
``I propose a sexual strike until December to demand an end to violence and call on women to follow Lysistrata's example,'' he said. ``I see it as the only way and a last-resort attempt to being peace to our war-ravaged country.'' Colombian women's groups welcomed General Bonnet's call. `We have to find any way towards peace and it may be that women's initiatives could be the only hope,' said Clara Riascos, a member of a women's human rights group.
`It has long been women, mothers and wives who have urged their men to stop fighting, and depriving men of sex has been a tactic used in previous wars such as the Spanish Civil War,' she added.
Violence by political rivals, guerrillas and paramilitary death squads, and gangs contesting control of the cocaine trade, have claimed more than 230,000 lives in Colombia in the past decade.
Lysistrata, a comedy by Aristophanes, treated sexual blackmail as a feminist issue 24 centuries ago, during the crisis of the Peloponnesian War that destroyed the Athenian democracy. Lysistrata (``the disbander of armies'') takes over the Acropolis with her army of women and forces the men to make peace by refusing sex.(The Times london)