Gender In Lysistrata

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When asked which gender one belongs to, most people are certain of their answer. They know whether they are a man or a woman. Even though the recognition that one may not identify with being a ‘man’ or ‘woman’ despite having the sexual organs that define them as such now exists, gender tends to still be thought of in terms of two opposite categories. In addition, gender is still seen as an aspect of one’s ‘true’ identity—as an unchangeable part of who an individual is—by many mainstream channels. How immutable, however, is gender? Societal norms tend to enforce the ideas of a gender binary, but is it possible to confine an individual to one of these two categories? What criteria is the categorization based on? This essay seeks to respond to…show more content…
Therefore, all female characters in Lysistrata are men disguised as women. The distinction between the ‘men’ and ‘women’ on stage seems to depend on whether or not they have a penis. As a consequence, the actors playing men would have artificial phalluses attached while on stage to establish their masculinity—just in case the costumes and the masks weren’t enough. Thus, when the chorus of men asks, “…are we all castrated?” (Aristophanes 662), the real question is concerned with the fear of losing the status of a male. The confusion that necessitates these artificial appendages, however, is that the ‘women’ too have penises, as displayed by the following dialogue:…show more content…
There also seems to be a disjoint, at times, over the gender being performed and the gender that one’s genitals match with. It can, therefore, be said that gender cannot be categorized into two distinct and radically different label. As for how immutable one’s gender is, both of these texts seem to imply that one can either switch between genders at will or inhabit two genders simultaneously. In such a case, what is the ‘true’ gender or identity of the

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