Last updated: September 04. 2014 10:11AM - 252 Views
Thomas Hunkele Contributing columnist

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She was very attractive, obviously brought into life by the “right” family, never to know poverty, never to experience racism, starvation or abandonment by one parent or another. However, she certainly understood the limitations both life and society placed on her simply because she was a woman - an attitude which remains and continues to be embraced by illiterate and archaic religions and societies. But given her talents and intelligence, she would find a way to overcome that which held women back - and continues to this very moment. Indeed her “attitude” would determine her “altitude”.

Times then were most certainly different from now. Few sciences existed; myth and illiteracy ruled most of civilization. The concept of life, which was ruled by many “gods, kings and queens, crushed the vast majority with religious constraints and all too often war. The few ruled the many, Power was tied to wealth, family, and political/religious position. The main concern of the privileged was to insure the underprivileged provided them with wealth and comfort.

This tale takes us to Egypt during the 15th Century B.C. - within the reign of Tuthmose II. Tuthmose II had a large “pool” of women, fathered many children and had selected a “favorite” wife - her name was Hatshepsut (hat-shep-soot). Hatshepsut was the half-sister and wife of Tuthmose II who died after only a few years on the throne. Hatshepsut’s nephew and stepson, Tuthmose III, was in line for the throne of Egypt, but he was still far too young, and so Hatshepsut took over.

Hatshepsut was Regent, yet she desired much, much, more. Hatshepsut wanted to be Pharaoh. But the questioned remained, how could she be Pharaoh if she was a woman. Being a woman was an obstacle, although a Middle Kingdom female pharaoh, Sobekneferu/Neferusobek, had ruled before her, in the 12th dynasty, so Hatshepsut had precedent - if she could convince the many who hesitated.

Late that night her thirst for power and prestige led her into a deep sleep - in that state her mind danced around reason, avoided logic, and searched for justification for her to assume the position of Pharaoh. Not long into her search she found this “godly” solution: Amun, the highest God of Egypt - took on the human image of her father and had intercourse with her mother, her mother conceived and therefore Hatshepsut is indeed the “Daughter of God” and justifiably entitled to being Pharaoh. Due partly to her current political position, but mainly to her determination - the people accepted as “fact” that she was the “Daughter of God” and should be Pharaoh.

Hatshepsut, one of the rare women pharaohs of Egypt, had a long and successful reign marked by remarkable building projects and lucrative trading expeditions. She campaigned in Nubia (perhaps not in person), sent a fleet of ships to the land of Punt, and had an impressive temple and mortuary complex built in the Valley of the Kings. It is believed Hatshepsut was pharaoh or king of Egypt for about 15-22 years.

There were an estimated seven women Pharaohs who ruled Egypt - I’ve never met one, however, I have come to know this: patience, persistence, forgiveness, acceptance, and a deep understanding of life’s greatest virtues (faith, hope, and love) are found most often in those we call women.

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