She Was More Than A Woman, She Was A King

Sculpture of a female pharaoh
Shonda Buchanan
July 29, 2020

Mourning her father’s death, Hatshepsut nodded to her barber: he shaved off her hair. She was fitted with her father’s crown and a metal beard was strapped to her chin. How could she honor her father and her ancestors while fighting stereotypes about her abilities to rule as a woman?

She decided to rule as a man! 

Refusing to be pigeon-holed, “King” Hatshepsut fought bloody wars alongside her soldiers to establish her rule, ignoring jealous, greedy politicians who wanted her to fail. Would they bring her down?

No! For 21 years, Hatshepsut wielded more power than her male predecessors, dedicating her reign to education, equality, and honoring the Gods by both restoring old and building new temples, including her majestic tomb in the Valley of the Kings

One key strategy ensured Egypt’s return to its former glory under her reign. What was it?

Hatshepsut knew reaching back to the past for lessons was the key to empowering her people, enriching Egyptian culture, and advancing society in the present. 

Yet her own husband was accumulating support from her generals - would she be betrayed?

Yes - he poisoned her! Hatshepsut’s stepson even defaced her statues to try and erase her from history. But he couldn’t erase her impact.

Hatshepsut, the longest-reigning woman Pharaoh, left a legacy that honored her ancestors as well as women worldwide. Her foresight, dedication and progressive leadership should never be forgotten!

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