The Not-So Ancient Battle of the Sexes

The Not-So Ancient Battle of the Sexes

Living in Greece with a Greek wife has truly opened my eyes. Greece, after all, is the home of philosophy, and I can’t help it if I absorb a little of it. I’m talking about the not-so ancient battle of the sexes.

Greek battle of the sexes

Men have always believed themselves dominant in all societies. That’s what they want you to believe. But let me tell you a secret. Women rule!

Being married to a Greek and writing about Greece, is a perfect combination. There is so much about living here that makes me smile every day. It’s a journey of slow realisation of how things work. I am only just beginning to understand that I am married into a culture secretly controlled by wives, mothers, and Yia-Yia’s who have, over countless generations, moulded the minds of man and created a better world despite our efforts to balls everything up.


Statue of an ancient Greek warrior wearing a helmet an holding a sword. Greek battle of the sexes
Themistocles was a Athenian naval general. But where did he rate in the battle of the sexes?


Battle of the sexes in ancient theatre

This is beautifully illustrated in a play about the great sex strike of Athens. This was first performed 411 BCE. It’s a comic story about a woman named Lysistrata who goes on a mission to end the war. They make a deal with the women of Sparta to declare a ban on sexual contact until their partners end the Peloponnesian War, which had lasted more than 20 years.

Her plan is to deny all the men in the Greek city states any sexual activity. She believes that by doing this, the men will be forced to negotiate for peace.

This play satirises the state of Greece during a time when Athens’ wealth was being drained by a disastrous and frustrating war–one fought over trivial matters. The women, realising that their men couldn’t even provide a valid reason for the fighting, decide to take matters into their own hands. They’ve had enough and decide to take over.

The war ended soon after the play was produced. The play had an unexpected impact on the people of Athens. It made many wonder if sex, or the lack of it, can truly change history.


Alex_Battle of the sexes. Image of a woman with long blond hair wearing an ancient Greek warrior helmet
Uh-oh. Is Alex planning her own adaptation ‘Lysistrata’? Or is this just a subtle reminder?



Battle of the sexes at home

Picture this: I sit at my desk writing my new book. My wife, in the next room, quietly plans my day. I write a chapter about how we came to buy land on a Greek island. Suddenly, the world makes sense.

Right from the start, mothers and wives program us. We are assured that our word is law, and we are the master of our home and family. Once we believe that, their job is done.

We men think we make all the decisions. They lead us to believe that we are in control. But it’s their clever secret handed down from mother to daughter. They have developed an incredible and unfathomable way of planting the right idea into our heads and making us think we thought of it while praising us for being so clever. I used to watch my Greek mother-in-law sweetly tie my father-in-law in knots with every important aspect of their lives while showering him with praise for his intelligence in making the right decisions.

I have only just realised my wife has the same genes.


Image of a blond haired woman wearing jeans and a blue shirt kneeling in front of bookshelves.
Alex always finds a way.


Battle of the sexes in practice

“I know you have always wanted a house on an island,” she sweetly whispered in my ear one day.

A few days later, she sowed the seed.

“Oh look, that piece of land is for sale and it’s really cheap. What a coincidence. We were only talking about that a few days ago”.

So, on my own and with no influence from anyone, I decided to buy some land and struggle with mind-bending bureaucracy for two years while almost putting myself into the poorhouse trying to build a house. I was determined to finish it, though. After all, it was my decision.

I think I will stop writing now. Suddenly I need to mow the lawn, dig over the garden, and take my wife shopping for a new dress. I have no idea how I thought of that….


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Read more tales of Greek life & love:

The Beauty of an Anglo-Greek Marriage

Wildlife on a Greek Beach


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