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- Meet Our Sisters from JAPAN!
- Sisters from Poland
- Double, double toil and trouble
- On your mark, get set...GO! Women in the Olympics.
- SAPPHO: The Poetess of Greece
- Goddess of the Month - SOL
- Tuareg: The Blue People
- The Life of Pocahontas
- Goddess of the Month - Dou-mu
- Be Your Own Goddess - Ganga
- Sisters Around The World - Egypt
- Be your own Goddess - Bast
- Struggle for Identity - being a young woman during the times of the Renaissance
- Be Your Own Goddess - Selene
- Life in Africa as a teen of the Masai Tribe
July 2007 Blogs
- Real Girl - Lauren
- Ophelia, by Lisa Klein
- ECO: Your Choices Count
- Quiz - What's your money style?
- Oh No...BFFs like the same guy!
- Beauty Tips and Tricks
- What Colours Mean - Green
- Quiz - What kind of party organizer are you?
- He Dumped Me and Now I'm So Stressed!!
- Sisters - same genes, just not the same 'jeans'
- Sisters Around The World - Egypt
- Ask A Guy - asking girls to dance, what girl like about guys, ask girls a question, about guys thatgirls don't get
- Want to have a toned body? It's not about eating less...
- Be Your Own Goddess - Ganga
- Girlfriends - What you say is what you are
- Career Watch - The Life of a Copy Writer
- Shhh... Money Makes the World Go Around
- SLEEP, why is it such a struggle for some people?
- Summer Makeup for Day and Night
- Inspirational Girls and Women - Lorene Hatelt
Sisters Around The World - Egypt
SISTERS AROUND THE WORLD, July 2007, by Rose
The life of Neferure, daughter of
female pharaoh Hatshepsut
My mother is standing in front of me, speaking to me, but I don’t quite hear her. I have heard this lecture before. It is not that I am not paying attention to her words, but rather, paying attention to her expression. Her face speaks of more difficult times ahead. She is reminding me again the reason that I must wear a fake beard and side lock. She is telling me how this is the path to acceptance. “We are treading a thin line here, Neferure. Tuthmose III is becoming impatient with my power and rule over the kingdom. We must show him that not only men can lead a people.” My mother has been telling me these things as long as I can remember. She tells me elegant stories about how some day I shall be prince, despite being a girl. Hatshepsut, my mother, stands back to look at me, dressed, as always, in the garb of the male pharaoh (king). Her shendyt (kilt) is flowing in the breeze. The hemes (headdress) looks regal and right on her head. She is even wearing a fake beard, like me. We wear this garb to satisfy the citizens who do not see us worthy leaders, especially when we are dressed in female clothing
In the fifteenth century B.C.E., the first female Pharaoh of Egypt ruled the country. Her name was Hatshepsut. Hatshepsut was serving as pharaoh until her step-son Tuthmose III came of age. Even then, however, she did not relinquish the power of the king. Her daughter, Neferure, was promised to Tuthmose III and trained in the art of leadership in hopes that she would one day take over Hatshepsut’s role. These two powerful female figures tread the edge of a fragile rule as Tuthmose III became more and more aware that females were ruling in his place. The other women in Egypt were seen as having a lower value than men, who were not punished for certain laws that women were. This rise to power for women gave them a new hope and future.
Mother turns to me, and kisses me on the forehead. I smile and she turns away, gliding out the door. She has proven to the people of Egypt that a woman can better the country. Many of her advisors tell her that she has become a master politician, which is helped by her charisma and beauty. However, some citizens have had their doubts and problems with our “inferiority” ruling the country. Because of their doubts, my mother decided to construct a masterful piece of architecture; a temple. Today is the final day of construction of my mother’s temple. It has taken twenty years to be finished. Hatshepsut ordered to have it constructed in the Valley of the Kings, saying that she was worthy enough to be one. It is beautiful and made of desert stone, swept dry by the dust and wind.
I have already finished my daily lessons with my mother’s trusted advisors and priests. They show me political strategies and teach me matters of state so that I will be worthy of my station. Someday, I might even possess as much intellect as my mother. My father, Senenmut, will come later in the day to teach me as well, and speak of happy things. But me; I will visit my mother’s temple. Our palace is large and spacious, but I know the route down to the front stairs. Walking sedately around a corner and trying my best to look regal, I run straight into my betrothed, Tuthmose III.
“Good morning”, he says to me. I look defiantly into his eyes, for no particular reason, and say the same in reply. He places a finger under my chin and examines my fake beard. “You know”, he says, “Wearing that really doesn’t suit you”. He smiles, trying to seem charming, but I just stare right back at him. His eyes hide envy. It is the envy of my power opposed to his. I bow my head to him, and continue on my way. I feel his eyes following me.
At the palace front, I join my mother in a chariot. We have a whole entourage with horsemen and guards on either side. We soon trundle along the way through the city. I watch the people on either side stare at our procession. Mother turns to me, “Neferure, the time of my rule is growing short. I have heard rumours of Tuthmose III’s plans to unseat me. If this happens, you must promise me that you will not put yourself in danger. He will most likely send me away, but do not give him a reason to harm you in any way. Do you understand me?” I am surprised, but I nod my head. We are reaching the outskirts of the city, and the winds are coming. They foreshadow our worries.
At the Valley of the Kings, my mother and I, in our men’s garb, exit the chariot. I am standing in front of the most beautiful sight ever seen. The evening sun is hitting my mother’s temple at its apex, sending an orange glow over its surface. The stairs seem to extend forever up to the small landing at the top, built literally into the side of a cliff. Tomorrow, the palace painters will come here and adorn the walls with picture stories of my mother’s rule. Someday, when she leaves this world, she will be entombed here, along with her special pets and servants, so that they may serve her in the afterlife. Egypt, has never seen a better king than my mother. I turn to her and determination is painted on her face. Whatever happens in the weeks to come will work out, one way or another.
What would it be like to be the first female ruler of a country? You would have to experience many trials and challenges along the way. Or maybe it would be as easy as pie, just sliding into the leadership role. Maybe the next century will see a whole generation of female leaders. That would be fantastic. Remember to explore the possibilities and gifts you have around you, and connect with your other Sisters Around the World.