Hatshepsut was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh. She used this regency to manufacture her female kingship, forcing the public to grow accustomed to seeing a woman in such a powerful role.
KAIRO JANUARY 1: Hatshepsut also Hatchepsut; “Foremost of Noble Ladies”; or Hatasu c. 1507–1458 BC) was the fifth pharaoh of the Eighteenth Dynasty of Egypt. She was the second historically confirmed female pharaoh, after Sobekneferu. Various other women may have also ruled as pharaohs or at least regents before Hatshepsut, as early as Neithhotep around 1,600 years prior.
Hatshepsut came to the throne of Egypt in 1478 BC. As the principal wife of Thutmose II, Hatshepsut initially ruled as regent to Thutmose III, a son of Thutmose II by another wife and the first male heir. While Thutmose III had inherited the throne at about two years old, Hatshepsut continued to rule by asserting her lineage as the daughter and only child of Thutmose I and his primary wife, Ahmose.
Hatshepsut’s legacy is oftentimes dominated by a debate regarding the extent of whether her reign challenged or upheld the patriarchy. On one hand, Hatshepsut was an innovator. She managed to rule as regent for a son who was not her own, defying the system which had previously only allowed direct mothers to rule on behalf of their biological sons.
Moreover, she used this regency to manufacture her female kingship, constructing extensive temples to celebrate her reign, thereby forcing the public to grow accustomed to seeing a woman in such a powerful role. This ensured that when the oracle declared her king, the Egyptian public readily accepted her status.