The Official History Chicks Podcast Book Club discussion

Cleopatra: A Life
This topic is about Cleopatra
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July Book Choice > Women's Role

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Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
In my opinion, Egyptian history is one of the most difficult to follow due to the repeated names and titles. That is what made me so excited to read Cleopatra: A Life this month; so that I could gain more knowledge on this fascinating part of history.

A topic that has stood out for me while reading this book is the role that women played in the Egyptian culture. They were able to keep their property, even when married or divorced, could obtain a divorce if they felt justified to do so and even were the ones that went into shops and did the shopping while the men stayed home and tended to the household.

They were not subjected to the same criticisms as women were in the rest of the world many generations later. A funny quote that I read was: "Women urinate standing up, men sitting down." ~ Stacy Schiff

What do you think happened to society that, given several centuries later, women are fighting for their rights?


message 2: by Mary (new)

Mary | 22 comments I have thought about this a lot. It comes up so often in The History Chicks episodes, doesn't it?
I think many men have feared strong women, yet admired them at the same time.
I think repressing women whether through bullying, ignorance, tradition, greed, and/or fear angers us all deep in our DNA.


Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
I agree, Mary. I do believe, that over the past several centuries, it could be fear that has driven men to place control over women, especially those that are strong.


message 4: by Courtney (new)

Courtney (courtcupcake21) | 1 comments I loved to hear that Women in Egypt had more rights than anywhere else in the world at that time, and that women were allowed to get such a good education which when looking back into history most women weren't allowed to get an education at all. It is mentions in the book that Romans only allow the first born daughter to live and all other daughter being born would be left to die where in Egypt it seemed like more women then men held the power in more ways than one.


Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Yes, I completely agree with you Courtney! It is nice to read about how women had more/equal rights as men in Egypt. I wonder why, in Rome, they killed any additional girls that were born to a family.


Vicki | 1 comments I loved the child care remedies. Fried mice and Poppy concoction. So interesting.


Amber (mommytucker) | 157 comments Mod
Vicki wrote: "I loved the child care remedies. Fried mice and Poppy concoction. So interesting."

Yes, I found that most amusing too! We have grown so much but I still feel that some (not the fried mice and poppy concoction) are still good remedies for today.


Lori Pacholka | 2 comments I especially loved reading about the differences between Egyptian woman and Roman women. What a stark contrast! I often wonder if religion had to do with inequality with women BUT it almost seems a universal issue, give or take a few cultures with matrilineal leanings. I have to agree with Mary as well in regards to women fearing men. Throughout millennia there has been such a focus on ‘being a man’ and that men are the protectors, providers, decision makers, while women are primarily vessels of pleasure and childbirth. It was refreshing to read of a society that treated women with total equality. I love thinking of men’s reactions when this ruler, Cleopatra, entered their realms.


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