Cleopatra: A Feminist or Not?

By Daniella Djiogan

One of the most famous femme fatale in history, Cleopatra. A pharaoh who had beauty, wealth, power, a self proclaimed goddess. A woman who had everything one could ever hope to have in this life.

The queen who ruled Egypt as the last pharaoh of the Ptolemaic dynasty.

During her reign, she was known to have achieved political and economic stability by aligning with the Roman Empire: though most of what we hear of her legacy involves her romantic involvement with the powerful Greek leader, Julius Caesar, and later Mark Anthony.

She was known to seduce men in-order to get what she wanted. Some might call her a loose woman, but others might say she was a tactician, a mastermind, a woman with great intelligence and charms.

Which brings me to the following question; Can Cleopatra be considered a feminist? since she reigned as a woman over Egypt, one of the greatest civilizations in history.

Can she be called a ‘feminist’ purely on the fact that she held such power over a time where only men were deemed rightful for the throne.

Can she be called a feminist because she believed in equality among the sexes? She believed women should have as much power as men.

Or is her credibility greatly lessen because in her quest for power, she manipulated the hearts of countless men?

The precise definition of a feminist states “a person who supports feminism,” which entails a person whose goal is to achieve or promote equality, equal rights and opportunities. That’s the basic definition of feminism.

Many might add on to it and some might even go as far as complicate the matter, but simplicity speaking, feminists advocate for ‘equality’.

So knowing this, how do you view Cleopatra, excluding all the extra love and romance gist that turned her legacy into our tragic amusement?

Do you think she was a feminist of some sort? Or does the argument require much more evidence to prove the claim?

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