Hatshepsut: the original feminist
I think its very possible that queen Hatshepsut was the original feminist. Hatshepsut was born in 1508 BC and was the longest reigning female pharaoh in Egypt. She ruled for 20 years and is considered one of the most successful pharaohs.
Her swift move into power came about as a result of the death of her husband Thutmose the third. First of all, during the fifteenth century BC it was unheard of to have a women claim the throne as pharaoh. What was meant to happen was for Hatshepsut to serve as her step nephew's regent until he was of age and ready to rule. Although this is how it all began for her, she soon came into power and ruled as pharaoh in her own right……
Hatshepsut was badass as hell. She would dress as a king; wearing a traditional king’s kilt including a fake beard. In order to assert her authority she would have herself depicted in statues wearing a traditional king’s kilt, a fake beard and with a male body. She even went as far as changing her name by dropping the 't’ at the end, to Hatshepsu (the male version of her original name).
Her understanding of being a powerful woman in a man’s world led her to make some diplomatic choices to claim her stake to power. It is believed that her successful transition from queen to pharaoh was aided by her ability to recruit influential supporters and officials, one of whom was Senenmunt who it was later rumoured she had an affair with. The affair has never been proven & was purely speculative.
Once you get over the idea of a female pharaoh in the 15th century, you get even more inspired when you consider her success in the role. She had a strong focus on economic prosperity across Egypt and Nubia. She built two obelisks and had a significant role in building Karnak Temple in Luxor…. among other things, the main worship place for the god Amun Ra. She also built the mortuary temple Djeser-Djeseru, the holiest of holy places, which was dedicated to Hathor (the goddess of joy, feminine love and motherhood), Anubis (the god of mummification and the afterlife) and Amun Ra (King of the Gods).
In line with her name Hatshepsut Ma’at-ka-Ra, she ruled Egypt with truth, order and balance. I am inspired by this strong, wise and resilient ruler who defied expectations and became one of the greatest rulers. She was definitely ahead of her time and will always be a representation of the original feminist to me. Hashtag lifegoals.