Dbq Essay: Female Subordination

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Joan Espino
Period 7
Ms. An
AP World History
DBQ Essay # 1 (Final)

Queen Hatshepsut was the first female pharaoh who ruled Egypt. She reigned during 1473 – 1458 B.C.E. She first served as co-ruler with her stepson Tuthmosis III, but later took power as a pharaoh herself. Although she was a great ruler, the idea of having a female ruler was unfamiliar to Egyptians and it unsettled them. As an effort to present her in unthreatening guise to make Egyptians feel more at ease, artists depicted Queen Hatshepsut as a male wearing the stylized beards that are traditionally associated with pharaohs. This gesture shows how females are subordinate to males because they did not feel comfortable that their nation was being led by a female. That is why most societies turned to patriarchal rule. This gesture also showed how they did not respect Queen Hatshepsut because they altered her image as a male. Many societies indicated women’s subordination to men’s status through documents showing how women were not able to participate in government duties, not being allowed a proper education and the inequality between slave men and slave women.

Many civilizations such as the Aryan, Chinese and the Mesopotamian societies are examples of patriarchal societies. Patriarchal society is one in which authority rests in the hands of men. Unlike Egyptian societies, Mesopotamian and Aryan societies forbid women to enjoy public authority. In The Gilgamesh Epic, those who have public titles were all men. “A many as there were: their father, Anu; their counselor, the warrior Bel; their leader, Nimurta; their champion the god Enlil. (Doc. 1)” They entrusted men but did not let women participate in government duties. The reason why most societies turned to patriarchal forms of gender status was because of the relative importance of wealth in a society.

Women did not have the luxury of education in Vedic India. In many other societies, it was rare for women to have formal...
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