Let’s face it, full-time wives and mothers can often be the most odious of women. Having given up dreams of career, money, and promotions, they spend their days cultivating the practice of serving others without gain. When three or more of these women get together, kings, presidents, decorated military men, and husbands quake. These women demand odious things like crosswalks at schools for their children, strict punishments for drunk drivers, and that grand word – peace.

Neapolitan women have also flexed their muscle in the recent past. Bringing their history as part of Magna Graecia to the forefront, they have used Lysistrata by Aristophanes as a guide to protest their men folk. (In the ancient Greek play, women refuse to have intimate relations with their husbands until they agree to stop the war with Sparta.) On December 31, 2008, the BBC reported that hundreds of Neapolitan women went on a sex strike, refusing to have intercourse with their husbands unless they refrained from lighting firecrackers on New Year’s Eve.

Every year, boys and men light firecrackers or bombe throughout the city during the New Year’s festivities. Bombe explode with much of the force of conventional armaments and yet, they are thrown off balconies, down narrow streets, and into the middle of traffic. Injuries as a result of firecrackers have occurred all too frequently and have led to lost eyes or paralysis or worse.

Now, the local authorities have backed the women and the women have urged their male-folk to “make love, not explosions.”