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Women in Ancient Egypt

  • Women and men in ancient Egypt enjoyed the same legal and economic rights. Women could divorce their husbands and remarry.
  • Women and men were also subject to the same punishments.
  • Women worked many of the same jobs men did, most in the fields. Life was tough, though women did live longer than men (58, 54)
  • Women could hold political office, with several examples of female pharaohs available. There were at least 5, not including the Cleopatras and other Greek rulers.
  • Women could also hold lower political office, with many being scribes.
  • Women who were on their periods were considered to be removing impurities. They were excused from work and forbidden from some religious areas.
  • It is worth noting that when Egypt was conquered by Greece, Egyptian women retained many more rights than their Greek counterparts.

Physics says: go to sleep. Of course
you’re tired. Every atom in you
has been dancing the shimmy in silver shoes
nonstop from mitosis to now.
Quit tapping your feet. They’ll dance
inside themselves without you. Go to sleep.

Geology says: it will be all right. Slow inch
by inch America is giving itself
to the ocean. Go to sleep. Let darkness
lap at your sides. Give darkness an inch.
You aren’t alone. All of the continents used to be
one body. You aren’t alone. Go to sleep.

Astronomy says: the sun will rise tomorrow,
Zoology says: on rainbow-fish and lithe gazelle,
Psychology says: but first it has to be night, so
Biology says: the body-clocks are stopped all over town
and
History says: here are the blankets, layer on layer, down and down.

Albert Goldbarth, “The Sciences Sing a Lullaby” (via larmoyante)
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