Stroup (2004:67) succinctly summarises the function of the Diallage passage: '[S]eemingly insoluble land disputes are peacefully resolved from the comic perspective of the porne, 'dividable' precisely because she lacks both voice and sexual or social autonomy'.
Nell is necessarily passive; Diallage is nearly passive, her only action being to grab the Negotiators by the penis (Lys.
Thus Nell is implicitly, and Diallage explicitly, subjected to the gaze, and especially to the male gaze, of the spectator.
Would Diallage somehow have had less of a sexist disadvantage if she was played by a padded male actor?
If Olson's katastasis hypothesis is correct, it means that Zweig, Taaffe and others can relax: there was no reason to be concerned for Diallage or Nell or any other persona, whether male-dressed-as-female or male-dressed-as-female-dressed-as-male, (39) either in 411 BC or in AD 1592.
How seriously should one take the Diallage passage in Lysistrata?
Now in the Diallage passage (as in the Nell passage), the tone is clearly that of comic fantasy, of illusion in both senses, rather than of reality.
There is a further consideration for not taking the Diallage scene seriously.