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Lysistrata, Aubrey Beardsley


Aubrey Beardsley book illustration[I]

Why is Rush Hudson Limbaugh III entering “the bedrooms of the nation” (Pierre Trudeau) [ii] and using foul language to vilify a young woman on the air?  Obviously, Mr Limbaugh, should be returned to a kindergarten in order to receive an appropriate education.  And why should  President Obama be required to phone a young woman to reassure her on behalf of the nation?

With all due respect, Mr Limbaugh should by now know the difference between plain human decency and a lack thereof.


Well, I also feel a great deal of sympathy for the young woman Mr Limbaugh attacked publicly, because it must have been a crushing experience to be so treated. Mr Limbaugh called Miss Fluke a “slut” and a “prostitute.” Had I been in President Obama’s place, I would also have phoned Miss Fluke. A State apology was in order.

Moreover, were I a prominent member of the Republican Party, I would remove you from whatever role you have given yourself within the party. You have defamed yourself. In fact, I would also have you permanently taken off the air. Let’s have a little decorum. Why should the children of America be exposed to inappropriate behaviour and foul language?

The Children

Yes, the children. What will become of the children of the United States if we allow you and people like you to be seen and heard? They need good examples, examples of persons who belong in elegant living-rooms and dining-rooms, whether rich or poor and whatever their race.

The World is Watching

I hope you know that the whole world is watching. At the moment, the US has a good name abroad because President Obama’s administration is made up of people who are capable of governing a country that was drowning when Obama was elected into office.


Given that you have stated Miss Fluke should put “an aspirin between her knees” to avoid an unwanted pregnancy, I would suggest you do the same and that, in your kind of United States, neither men nor women should seek sexual intimacy unless they want a baby. You see Mr Limbaugh, men make women pregnant. So, let us have a new form of Prohibition: abstinence for all unless a couple wants a child.


Mr Limbaugh, by your own standards, you can never again approach a woman who is not prepared to carry your child, give birth to your child and raise your child. If you have a wife, you cannot even approach her unless she wants to get pregnant. If you force yourself on her, you could and should be charged with rape.

So my suggestion is that all men and women now keep their legs crossed. If abstinence is the only way a woman can earn respect and avoid an unwanted pregnancy, abstinence it will be and it will be for all, as in Aristophanes‘s Lysistrata (411 BC). The play is online.


To the right of the screen there is a picture of Aristophanes “as imagined by a nineteenth-century illustrator. It may be inferred from jests in the plays […] that the real Aristophanes was prematurely bald.”[iii]

Josquin des Prez Ave Maria
performed by Tallis Scholars
pictures by Hieronymus Bosch
[i]  “Lysistrata.” < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Lysistrata
[ii] “Pierre Elliott Trudeau.” <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Pierre_Trudeau>
[iii] “Aristophanes.”  <http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Aristophanes>
Canada’s omnibus bill
As Minister of Justice, Pierre Trudeau* was responsible for introducing the landmark Criminal Law Amendment Act, 1968-69, an omnibus bill whose provisions included, among other things, the decriminalization of homosexual acts between consenting adults, the legalization of contraception, abortion and lotteries, new gun ownership restrictions as well as the authorization of breathalyzer tests on suspected drunk drivers. Trudeau famously defended the decriminalization of homosexual acts segment of the bill by telling reporters that “there’s no place for the state in the bedrooms of the nation”, adding that “what’s done in private between adults doesn’t concern the Criminal Code.” 
*Prime Minister of Canada (1970-1979; 1980-1984)