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Thigs And Stuff Essay

1164 words - 5 pages

In the study of ancient history, it can be observed that the gender differences between men and women have always played a significant role in any society’s formation of political structure, cultural tradition, and even religion. Through these observations, it can be concluded that women often got the “shorter end of the stick” when it came to rights and privileges. This is not an opinion among scholars; it is accepted as a fact, since it is well-documented in the histories of most commonly studied civilizations. However, among the male-dominated cultures, some allowed women more freedom than others. Compared to different civilizations that existed at the time, like Ancient China and Ancient ...view middle of the document...

There is more than a suggestion that she was already meddling energetically in politics during the lifetime of her husband.”2 Whether this rumor of her previous involvement in politics is true or not, it is recorded as fact that her next step was political: to appoint to the Council “… compliant underlings… a carefully chosen inner circle of functionaries… men of outstanding intellectual and administrative ability.”3 From there, in a clever maneuver to increase her lineage-based royal power, Hatshepsut married one of her daughters to the young boy who was going to be Pharaoh (in the Egyptian tradition of marrying siblings for “more royal blood”) and, finally, took advantage of the boy’s too-young-to-rule status and proclaimed herself Queen in 1505. This remarkable rise to power- by a woman, no less- is a prime example of the first aspect of women’s rights that strengthened Egypt: women in politics. In many other ancient civilizations, this could never have happened; even making a woman Regent would be unthinkable. This can be seen in the views of a Greek historian about the simple difference in duties: “… neighbouring countries were clearly shocked by the relative freedom of Egyptian women and, describing how they 'attended market and took part in trading whereas men sat and home and did the weaving', the Greek historian Herodotus believed the Egyptians 'have reversed the ordinary practices of mankind'.”4 However, in Egypt, women getting involved in a country’s government was not unheard of, so Hatshepsut’s rule was not considered “common,” per se, but it was accepted.5 Because of the tradition of appointing young son’s mothers Regents, combined with the early ages many pharaohs died, “...women effectively ruled Egypt for almost half of the approximately seventy years preceeding Hatshepsut’s accession.”6 It has also been noted that females in Egypt sometimes held such positions as treasurers and officers in the government.7 “In fact, other than housewife and mother, the most common 'career' for women was the priesthood, serving male and female deities. The title, 'God's Wife', held by royal women, also brought with it tremendous political power second only to the king, for whom they could even deputise.”8 This quote implies that due to the influence religion had over Egyptians’ lives, women could attain positions of political power by serving as priestesses. Political power for women was beneficial to Egypt’s stability because, first of all, it offered different perspectives. It provided men involved in politics with a chance to ask their wives for...

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