About 2000 years ago in Egypt, women reigned supreme. This statement might make the patriarchs sit up in alarm but yes. You have probably heard of, well, let’s presume you definitely did, Cleopatra and Nefertiti. On our perusal of Cara Cooney’s book When Women Ruled The World: Six Queens of Egypt, we were in complete awe to find out that women were competitors for Pharaoh’s throne without having to face sexism.
Cleopatra was a brilliant statesman with a productive womb which she used to rule, as per the studies about Ptolemaic dynasty. The dynasty had a liberal approach towards women where every son and daughter had their own entourage, their treasuries, heir own sources of power besides shared power within a predetermined system of siblings. Of course, it goes without saying that the siblings killed each other with impunity for the greed of throne. In fact, Cleopatra II was married to her brother. After having a massive verbal spat with the brother, he was found dead eventually. The, Cleopatra II went on to marry her next brother with whom she had her daughter, Cleopatra III. Cleopatra III overthrew her mother with the help of her uncle and Cleopatra II’s brother by banishing her out of the community. Even gruesome, the uncle sent Cleopatra II the body of her son packed in a parcel, cut into bits. However, they came together as one for political reasons later.
Where the power lied:
Cleopatra II was a clever woman and she used her reproductive abilities to create a legacy, nothing short of a man she was. The other women, in the meanwhile were either ruling in behalf of a younger child or they were ruling because they could not produce any male offspring and stepping into the years when their reproductive abilities went into a sparse. However, Cleopatra used her reproductive organs and went on to make babies with two Roman warlords. She then meticulously placed each child in charge of a different part of her booming Eastern Empire which was in loggerheads with the Western Roman Empire.
Sadly, now we only remember Cleopatra as a great beauty but we should not forget that she was also a product of great incest. Definitely from the ancient findings it is proved that Cleopatra was witty, conversationalist and intelligent.
Nefertiti was another legendary queen of Egypt who represented true and successful female power. She has also saved Egypt from a critical political phase which is commendable. Nefertiti was the leader of her people and a great visionary. Upon becoming a political leader, she changed her identity, she had renamed herself which didn’t comply with the feminine ways. In fact, she was smart enough to use her feminine wiles to rule the men that were her competitors in power. She became the co-king first then, imperceptibly, the sole king. Later on, she erased all her feminine beauty to become more fierce as a ruler.
So, definitely you can understand till what gamut these women used their intelligence to rule the ancient Egyptian society. They had no-holds-barred unlike us now.