The play Assemblywomen by the Athenian playwright Aristophanes (446 – 386 BC) is a fascinating - and surprisingly vulgar - comedy that recounts what happens when women take over the reins of power. It’s also an unexpected commentary on the perils of Socialism.
The play was written by Aristophanes to criticise what he saw as the evolution of the state towards empowering effeminate men while displacing traditionally strong and masculine leadership.

Giving women power was a commentary on the effeminacy of the men in charge of Athens.
The play begins with a focus on the main character Praxagora (which means something like “female speaker in parliament”).

Praxagora is the wife of ageing Athenian citizen Blepyrus whom we shall meet later. Why is she in the streets of Athens at night dressed in men’s clothes?
Praxagora is soon joined by other women dressed as men and wearing fake beards. Their aim is to enter the men-only citizen’s assembly and propose a new law that can be supported and carried through by the throngs of disguised women. What will the new law be?
The plan of Praxagora is nothing short of regime change. She proposes that Athens has entered terminal decline; a decline caused by its ineffectual rulers. Power instead should be handed over to those who already run the households of Athens: her women.
Her argument is based upon the reasoning that women are the ones who have never strayed from the Ancient Greek customs needed to reinvigorate the Athenians. While the men tinkered with politics, the women stayed true to the traditional lore. This will later be shown to be false.
She argues that as mothers, women will better protect soldiers and feed them extra rations. As canny negotiators, they will secure more gold for the city.

All will have “wonderful lives”!

With the support of her fellow women, the law is passed and power is handed to the women.
The scene changes and we meet Blepyrus. He has been awakened in the night by a chronic bout of diarrhoea. His clothes are missing (taken by Praxagora) so he must don his wife’s clothes to venture out onto the street to take a dump.

Told you the play was quite scatalogical!
Blepyrus is the kind of decadent citizen/ruler that Aristophanes resented. Aged, dressed in female garb, and shitting on the street while his wife takes political control, he represents the effeminate and decrepit elite that characterise late-stage societies before collapse.
While outside, Blepyrus is informed by his friend Chremes that the women have taken over Athens. They both receive this news easily. With women busy over day-to-day governmental concerns and influencing the children the men will be free to “fart all day”!
Praxagora meets with her husband and plans out her newly envisioned utopia. In the new female-led Athens “there’ll be no more purse snatchers, no more envy, no more nudity, no more poverty, no more disputes, no more repossessing...”

“What a blessed future this city will have!”
The female society will be Communism, pure and simple.

Common ownership of property, wealth and food will be put to the land. Rich and poor will no longer exist. There will be only one way of life. Athens will becomes one big happy family sharing its resources amongst all.
Praxagora continues that nobody will commit crime or withhold their resources from the collective pot because there will be no incentive to do so under Communism.

Here, we also get the first mention of the new regime’s radical approach to sex.
Marriage will be dissolved so that everyone will have the right to sleep with anybody they like. Yet there will be restrictions. To preserve equality, men must sleep with the old and ugly before they are allowed to pursue the young and pretty.
Thus it is revealed that the real aim of the regime is the same as Steve Sailer’s ( @Steve_Sailer) Law of Female Journalism: the issue that will most passionately engage women is that society should be turned upside down so that she, personally, will be considered better-looking.
(The old men will be free to chase after the frustrated young cute women though while the young hot men are busy fulfilling their duty to the dried-up old clams of Athens’ gynocratic elite.)
These rules enforce “egalitarian sex”. Intra-female-generational competition for the prime males is eliminated. Ugly women with bad genes are given preference over women blessed with superior beauty by man-made law - the only means capable of fighting nature (Gnon).
To prevent young men from seeking an outlet from their new menopausal mistresses, prostitution will be outlawed and “slave girls won’t be allowed to adorn themselves in any way so as to steal the fervour of the young, free men.” No Colombian internet brides for the Athenian men.
The sexual egalitarianism will naturally result in a difficulty to identify correct paternity, so the solution is that all children will be viewed as part of one common holding which will inevitably be the state.
The ultimate aim of the new regime is finally revealed: the abolition of personal property and privacy.
“The same lifestyle for everyone. I’ll turn the whole city into one huge, happy household by smashing down all the walls which now separate them & turn them into one building.”
The play then moves on to the reactions of the Athenian citizens. Some already start devising plans on how to cheat the new communal system.

“You think we all should just take from the city and give nothing back?”

Strange how this was unforeseen!
Though the propaganda of the new system sounds sweet - lavish banquets served in the new communal dining halls - the reality is people partaking from the common pot while withholding their private property as much as possible.
A young man named Epigenes then finds himself witness to the inevitable result of the new egalitarian sexual laws. First, fighting breaks out between the young and the old women on who gets to claim his manhood...
...then, once the young women are pushed aside, fighting continues between the old and the ugliest over who is the oldest/ugliest amongst them and thus most deserving of the prize.

The coalition of the fringes isn’t quite as united after all.

(These scenes are also very funny)
Who has profited from the new rules? Misery hasn’t been abolished; it’s just been reassigned. The ugly old hag gets the boy, not the young maiden. It’s the losers, the undeserving, the unproductive who now triumph under this parody of Communism.
The play ends with the aged Blepyrus making his way to the rich communal feast in Athens with several young women by his side. He’s happy, but how long can this go on? How can a society where young sleep with old without fertility and indulgence in endless feasts continue?
There is certainly happiness for some at the play’s end, but not everyone as Socialism promised.

Only the old women and the ineffectual win at the expense of everyone else. This is not a society in accordance with nature, nor will it live to see another golden age.
Have a read of the play yourself; it’s not long and often genuinely funny in a coarse kind of way. Most importantly you’ll see that certain ideas have been around for centuries... and that they have never succeeded in bringing the Utopia they promise.
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