Once upon a time it could be assumed that we all learned the plot of Aristophanes' Lysistrata in college. These days many of us probably have to resort of the Wikipedia entry:
The title character devises a plan to end the war Athens is embroiled in by convincing all the women of Greece to refrain from sex with their husbands until they come to a peace agreement.
On March 3, 2003 there was a "Lysistrata Project" involving thousands of readings of this play around the world in protest against the situation in Iraq; but literature never seems to be a good match against politics (particular when facing politicians with little appreciation, let alone recognition, of literature). However, BBC NEWS has reported that the women of Naples may have more success with this strategy applied to a more modest cause:
Hundreds of Neapolitan women have pledged to go without sex unless their men promise to refrain from setting off dangerous illegal fireworks.
Local authorities are backing the women and have sent out text messages urging the men to "make love, not explosions".
The women say it is the only way to persuade their partners that they are serious about their concerns.
"Setting off illegal fireworks isn't celebrating, it's dangerous," Carolina Staiano, a founder of the campaign, told La Stampa newspaper.
She told women that if their man did not understand the dangers they should "take action and make him sleep on the sofa".
''If a sex strike is what it takes in order to get the attention of our men, husbands, partners and sons, then we're ready for it," Mrs Staiano, 44, told Italy's Ansa news agency.
Staiano appears to have amassed a fair number of followers, so I wish them all the best on their coming New Year's Eve!