Could denying bedroom privileges save the planet?

November 23, 2009

There will be a record number of side events at the United Nations-sponsored climate talks in Copenhagen next month, but one woman’s one-woman show could give the delegates, most of whom will be men, the incentive they really need to agree a new global warming treaty.

In “The Boycott“, Kathryn Blume plays Lyssa, First Lady of the United States and climate crusader.  Loosely borrowing from a play from ancient Greece, Lyssa launches a nationwide sex strike to fight global warming. As the play unfolds, Lyssa is forced to take on her indifferent husband, a hostile press and a romantic rival who’s not only in bed with the President, but with the oil industry as well.

Blume is co-founder of the Lysistrata Project, named after the Aristophanean comedy on which The Boycott is based.  Originally performed in ancient Athens in 411 BC, Lysistrata tells the tale of one woman’s attempt to end the Peloponnesian War by convincing all women to withhold bedroom privileges from their husbands.

“I’m an obscure solo performer from Vermont … And I’m in a chronic, weepy panic over the fact that serious climate change is happening now and while the whole point of this piece is to help save the world, I’m afraid it’s already too late,” Blume writes on her website.

Blume will perform her play in Copenhagen at 8pm on Thursday, Dec. 10 at Klimaforum09, a parallel “people’s” climate change summit featuring live debate, art, music and film.

More than 20,000 people will congregate in the Danish capital between Dec. 7-18 as government officials from nearly 200 countries try negotiate a successor treaty to the Kyoto Protocol, which is due to expire in 2012.


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Stuff like this would be bad for men if it were to happen in the real world. It would contribute to the breakdown of the family unit. If a partner isn’t receiving their needs from the other then the partner is going to look for it from somewhere else.Even if it’s to support a cause – don’t deny your partner their needs.

Posted by Living Green | Report as abusive

Who cares? Women always think what they have is so important, even when they are old and fat. Maybe in the heyday of ancient Greece before books, the internet, TV (with reservation), and other more interesting endeavors this strategy worked. Now? Give me a break. I also used to buy humankind’s self centered belief that they alone could cause the Earth to be destroyed from pollutants. It took an Ivy league prof explaining a climate “study” to convince me (with only an undergrad science education) the science is flawed and the methods are deceitful. Keep your “chronic weepy panic” to yourself Blume.

Posted by bob enderby | Report as abusive

How about trying the shoe on the other foot…The husband tells the wife that she either accepts his beliefs on climate change, or he begins a ‘husband strike’ in response (ie. he files for divorce and dumps her out on the front curb).Would women consider that as amusing as this play? Sexual equality would suggest so, but reality is never so perfect.

Posted by Haha | Report as abusive

Michael, thanks for the e-ink!LG – It’s a comedy, not a political campaign. Though sex strikes have happened in the real world many times, and you know what? They always work.Bob – I don’t know who your Ivy League prof was, but my Ivy League profs, the vast majority of the world’s climate scientists, the US Army, leading executives from companies such as Levi Strauss, Nike, Starbucks, Sun Microsystems, eBay, Gap, Timberland, & McDonalds, 181 countries who signed the Kyoto Treaty, Sir Richard Branson, NYC Mayor Mike Bloomberg, and the Pope (to name a few) all know the truth that climate change is happening, humans are causing it, it’s serious, and we need to get on board with implementing solutions right now.

Posted by Kathryn Blume | Report as abusive

I wonder how many men in this day and age would just trade in their non-preforming “clunker” for a newer model, with less miles. And whats with this captcha here, pathetic when they use stuff like that to advertise products.

Posted by Lost17 | Report as abusive

Great idea! It is the one thing that could wake up men who seem to live in a world of sports and sex. Only worse thing for these dodo birds is for sports teams to go on strike in favor of climate

Posted by Fjet2020 | Report as abusive

Ouch! Such hostility!@Living Green: If activists hadn’t sacrificed for causes (including missing valuable family time) the status of civil rights would be far worse off. It sounds like you’re saying someone shouldn’t have power over their own body.@bob enderby: You know art is often a metaphor, right? Do you think (if you were to see the performance)that the artist would be actually suggesting that a sex ban would work today or are we supposed to use our imaginations to interpret a message? If you think books and TV can replace intimate human contact I pity you.I hardly know where to start deconstructing your logic concerning the Earth. For starters, if ONE person and ONE conversation disabused you of ANY notion, then the belief must not have been that strongly grounded. If you’ve already decided humans and their pollutants have no effect on the environment, then no information may get through (I grant you that power). There are many climate changes that are cyclic (sea levels, sea temperatures, icebergs). This is not to say that they’re occuring normally but the Earth has ‘been there, done that.’ The carbon level in our atmosphere is not. Please ask that Ivy-League scientist why the p.p.m. has gone up so dramatically and what it will mean for our planet. Until you get a straight answer you may want to avoid smearing all environment science because some guy you agree with convinced you. Hell, this is an open marketplace of ideas. Convince US! What was the study? What were the flaws? It also a mistake to judge the viability of a theory based on

Posted by El Jefe | Report as abusive

… personal presentation, so I won’t hold your hostility against the criticism.

Posted by El Jefe | Report as abusive

if anybody here blogging majored in enviro studies of any sort, besides just bsing on a blog, you would know that climate change is and has been happening, and it is accelerating, it is not positive linearly correlated w/steadily increasing changes, it has more extremes, which is EXACTLY what is happening everywhere….none of this is even debatable…so, that being said, the right wing then changed the debate to focusing on the percent of human-induced climate change….when things are personalized, people want to lay blame, and then right wing focused only on “warming” part….you cannot fight a constantly moving target or brick wall….scientists claim now due to this intransigence of U.S. and the fact that China and India seeing U.S. won’t do anything, doubled carbon emissions in the last decade…no matter what happens, I am certain, though, the US will be the sole stumbling block again in copenhagen…my next question, when will all other countries in the world realize that the U.S. with all its’ obvious self-centeredness and backwardness, be FINALLY deemed irrelevant, so that real progress can be made??? why does anything HAVE to include U.S.when we obviously have no will power or backbone to do anything productive which does not ONLY benefit us????it is also a self-fulfilling prophecy, by putting head in sand and being a denialist, you create that which you, presumably, would seek to avoid…in this case, that would be inevitable climate change….it is occurring, it will affect everybody regardless of political/religious, etc. persuasion….I think another part of the problem is, ironically, we are all so disconnected from nature…it is like a totally separate entity…breathing exhaust/pollution is normal, I really think our quality of life is getting worse…and we just blithely accept it….

Posted by change happening | Report as abusive