It probably won’t surprise anyone reading this that one of my favorite heroes of all time is Hatshepsut. Plenty has been said and written about Hatshepsut, the woman pharaoh of the 18th Dynasty who went from princess to queen to regent to king. There’s a TED-Ed lecture on her, and a very favorable article from the Smithsonian is here.
Since we don’t know Hatshepsut’s motives for becoming pharaoh, all kinds of things have been attributed to her, most of them awful: the phrases “scheming stepmother,” “vilest type of usurper,” and “vain, ambitious, and unscrupulous woman” have all been written about her. But there’s one possibility that I have never seen proffered: What if she just wanted a chance to lead her people? Leadership can be a noble calling, and back then, there just weren’t that many opportunities for women to lead. Yes, she was already queen, but all the power rested with the pharaoh. I can’t fault her for what she did.
But back in the 18th Dynasty, there were some who felt that Hatshepsut was violating ma’at (the divine order of the universe) by becoming pharaoh, a role that was typically reserved for men. It was a religious reason for saying the sexes were not equal.
Fast forward to today, when we have people like American Family Radio’s Bryan Fischer saying, “I think you could make a good case that leadership in culture, society, politically as well as in the home, that that is something in God’s economy that’s reserved for men.” Therefore, he’s not voting for Hillary Clinton. Friendly Atheist has the story with video here. Fischer does specifically invoke the Bible, although he also says the Bible doesn’t come out and say what he’s saying, but he thinks you can interpret the Bible in this manner.
Welcome to the 19th century.
Fischer would get along with my Toastmasters evaluator, who criticized me for saying in a speech that women deserve equality, and his reason was because “not all [are] created equal” (his words).
Modern-day Kemetics interpret ma’at more broadly; they don’t use it as a weapon against women who want to lead. And many modern-day Christians take a similar approach. But not Fischer.
Here’s what I think: If you want to vote for Hillary Clinton, vote for her because you like her ideas and what she stands for. If you want to vote for Donald Trump, do the same (Netjeru help us). Keep religion out of it; religion doesn’t belong in politics anyway.
If you have any comments, please leave them below.
2 thoughts on “Hillary Clinton and Hatshepsut”
That comment from your Toastmasters evaluator was outrageous. Was he American? “We hold these truths to be self evident . . .” and all that. Or did he take the “all men are created equal” part literally to mean males only? I was in Toastmasters a long time ago, in my twenties, and I was the youngest and one of the very few female members. I enjoyed it and got a lot out of it but it was a bit of an old boys’ club.
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Oh yes, Karen, he was American. The only thing I could think when he wrote in my Competent Communication book that “not all created equal” was that he was using religion – a religion that is not mine, but maybe he didn’t know that – against me. A lot of folks who take the Bible literally seem to think that because Eve was made out of a piece of Adam, that makes the sexes not equal. I don’t know why that should be, necessarily, but it’s religion, so I guess it doesn’t have to make sense. But you bring up an interesting point; did he think that “all men are created equal” applied to only men? It’s possible; if you can have people literally interpret the Bible, why not the Declaration of Independence?
As to the gender mix of Toastmasters clubs, actually, mine had more women than men in attendance that day, which my evaluator noted and thus concluded that my speech about gender equality was appropriate for the audience (like men wouldn’t have been interested? I guess all the men are presumed to be sexists?). Overall, it was a bizarre experience that, combined with one or two others, succeeded in turning me off Toastmasters for the duration. I’ve decided that a Competent Communicator award isn’t that important; I can live without one.
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