Hatshepsut: The Opportunity Taker

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My Inspiration of the week: Hatshepsut

Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Ancient Egypt and she ruled longer than any other woman in Egyptian history. When her half-brother/husband, Thutmose II, died, Hatshepsut began acting as regent, handling affairs until her stepson, Thutmose III, came of age. However, Hatshepsut seized the throne for herself and did not relinquish it to Thutmose III even after he came of age. She insisted on being referred to as the king, and had her daughter, Neferure, given the title of God’s Wife and portrayed in art as her queen.

Hatshepsut legitimized her reign by adopting a male persona. She was depicted in male dress, having a false beard and wearing the various crowns of Egypt not because she wanted to trick anyone but to assert her authority. Once Hatshepsut became generally accepted as King, she returned to wearing female clothing.

She was known as being a successful ruler and one of the most prolific ancient Egyptian builders. Hatshepsut continued to rule until her death in 1458 BC. After her death, Thutmose III tried to erase her from history by destroying monuments and statues with her name on them. Luckily, not everything was destroyed and some records have been found of her reign.

Reading about Hatshepsut inspires me to be more ambitious. Just because the rule book says you can’t do something, doesn’t mean you have to listen. Some people might view Hatshepsut’s actions as a power hungry move but why can’t a woman want power that men have been working for and expecting since the beginning of time? Maybe as someone who was ruling for years, she knew she would be a better ruler than her stepson who had the right gender but no experience. I say more power to her!

If you know what you want and that you are good at it, you don’t give that thing up because you’re told to do so.