Women as an aggressive peace-party

On Tuesday night (January 31), I finally finished Ann Shearer’s Athene, which ends with a discussion of women’s role in opposing war. The following is from pages 261 and 263.

Women’s understanding of ‘the feminine’ as the party of peace is long and honourable. [. . .] the yearning for that distant imaginal age of peaceful governance has been expressed at a time when the excoriation by women of men has reached an unparalleled crescendo of violence. The champions of ‘the feminine’ as the party of peace have waged war on the ‘masculine’ enemy as never before . . .

Shearer then goes on to summarize and discuss Aristophanes’s comedy Lysistrata, in which the women  of Athens end a war with Sparta by going on a sex-strike.

The next day, on the night of Wednesday, February 1, I picked up George MacDonald’s novel St. George and St. Michael and read the following on page 245.

But Waller and Essex were almost without any army between them, and were at bitter strife with each other, while the peace-party seemed likely to carry everything before them, women themselves presenting a petition for peace, and some of them using threats to support it.

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