Classics 430: Greek and Roman Mythology

Reading on Why Women Weave

from Aristophanes, Lysistrata (trans. Henderson)

lines 593 and following

                      You can stop these wartime hardships,
                      I'm to gather?
                      And how?
                      Open up your sewing basket:
                      see the skein of tangled wool?
                      Put it to the spindle this way,
                      wind it here, now wind it there.
                      Thus the war can be unravelled,
                      making truces here, and there.
                      Skeins and spindles? I don't get it.
                      Sense and skill is all you need.
                      Show me.
                      Gladly. First you wash the
                      city as we wash the wool,
                      cleaning out the bullshit. Then we
                      pluck away the parasites;
                      break up strands that clump together,
                      forming special interest groups;
                      Here's a bozo: squeeze his head off.
                      Now you're set to card the wool:
                      use your basket for the carding,
                      the basket of solidarity.
                      There we put our migrant workers,
                      foreign friends, minorities,
                      immigrants and wage-slaves, every
                      person useful to the state.
                      Don't forget our allies, either,
                      languishing like separate strands.
                      Bring it all together now, and
                      make one giant ball of yarn.
                      Now you're ready: weave a brand new
                      suit for all the citizens.
                      War is not the same as wool-balls!
                      What do women know of war?
                      Even more than you do, asshole.
                      First of all we make the children,
                      Then we send them off to war, then--
                      That's enough! I take your point.