The NOT Queen of Egypt & the NOT Sultana of Dehli

Hello and welcome! Here we are at Episode 3 and we are very glad to have you join us! I will be honest and say i wrote the blog for Episode 4 first so sorry for the little delay on this. Enjoy!

Name: Hatshepsut

Born:  1508 BCE     Died:  1458 BCE

What they did: First women to obtain full role as Pharaoh, was a really good one too.


  • Hatshepsut was the longest reigning female pharaoh in Egypt, ruling for 20 years in the 15th century B.C. She is considered one of Egypt’s most successful pharaohs.
  • Hatshepsut was the elder of two daughters born to Thutmose I and his queen, Ahmes.
  • After her father’s death, 12-year-old Hatshepsut became queen of Egypt when she married her half-brother Thutmose II, around 1492 B.C.
  • Thutmose II died after a 15 year reign, making Hatshepsut a widow before the age of 30 and the throne went to his infant son, also born to a secondary wife (Isis). According to custom, Hatshepsut began acting as Thutmose III’s regent, handling affairs of state until her stepson came of age.
  • After less than seven years, however, she claimed the role of pharaoh.
  • Thutmose III was never deposed of and was considered co-ruler throughout her life, but it is clear that Hatshepsut was the principal ruler in power.
  • Hatshepsut fought to defend her legitimacy to the throne, pointing to her royal lineage and claiming that her father had appointed her his successor.
  • She ordered that she be portrayed as a male pharaoh, with a beard and large muscles.
    • This was not an attempt to trick people into thinking she was male; rather, since there were no words or images to portray a woman with this status, it was a way of asserting her authority.
  • Hatshepsut’s successful transition from queen to pharaoh was, in part, due to her ability to recruit influential supporters.
  • Under Hatshepsut’s reign, Egypt prospered. Unlike other rulers in her dynasty, she was more interested in ensuring economic prosperity and building and restoring monuments throughout Egypt and Nubia than in conquering new lands.
  • She built many great temples including Deir el-Bahri, (considered one of the architectural wonders of ancient Egypt) and Djeser-djeseru (“holiest of holy places”). She also erected a pair of red granite obelisks at the Temple of Amon at Karnak, one of which still stands today.
  • Another great achievement of in the ninth year of her reign was a trading expedition she authorized that brought back vast riches–including ivory, ebony, gold, leopard skins and incense–to Egypt from a distant land known as Punt (possibly modern-day Eritrea).
  • The queen died in early February of 1458 B.C. when she would have been in her mid-40s.
  • She was buried in the Valley of the Kings, located in the hills behind Deir el-Bahri and she had her father’s sarcophagus reburied in her tomb so they could lie together in death.
  • Late in his reign, Thutmose III began a campaign to eradicate Hatshepsut’s memory: He destroyed or defaced her monuments, erased many of her inscriptions and constructed a wall around her obelisks. As a consequence, scholars of ancient Egypt knew little of Hatshepsut’s existence until 1822, when they were able to decode and read the hieroglyphics on the walls of Deir el-Bahri.

Name: Razia al-Din

Born:  1205     Died:  1240

What they did: The first and only woman ruler of Delhi.


  • Razia was born to Shams-ud-din Iltutmish, a former Turk slave and Qutb Begum (the Sultan of Dehli’s only daughter), they also had a son, Nasiruddin Mahmud.
  • Razia had a privileged upbringing. She was close to high ranking members of
    the court and harem.
  • She was the favorite of her father and her maternal grandfather (the Sultan). Contrary wise, her half-brothers Rukn ud-din Firuz and Muiz ud-din Bahram, who were children of former slave girls, werenot favored and grew up away from the centers of power.
  • When Razia was 5 years old, the sultan Qutb ud-din Aibak died. Her father succeeded him, becoming Sultan.
  • She was trained to administer a kingdom, in the event her father or husband were absent.
  • Despite Razia’s abilities, intelligence, and royal lineage, her brother, Nasiruddin, was groomed to succeed Iltutmish instead. However, Nasiruddin suddenly died in 1229.
  • Iltutmish made Razia his heiress apparent (making him the first Sultan to do so) after she was ruler of the city in his absence when he went away for war for a year.
  • Unfortunately for Razia, after her father’s death in 1236, her half-brother, Rukn ascended the throne instead.
  • His mother basically ruled for him allowing him to do as he pleased. She had a penchant for executing people had wronged her and both she and her son were quickly removed from power (6 month reign).
  • Reluctantly, the nobility agreed to allow Razia to finally reign as Sultan of Delhi under the official name, Jalâlat-ud-Dîn Raziyâ, This made her the first and only woman ruler of Delhi.
  • As part of her becoming a ruler, Razia gave up purdah, which is the practice of living in a separate room or dressing in all-enveloping clothes in order to stay out of sight of men or strangers. She instead opted to dress similarly to the male rulers before her which was a shocking move in a conservative Muslim
  • During her reign, she acted as chief of the army and even rode an elephant to lead her forces into battle. She captured new territories and expanded her kingdom.
  • Razia was not just a competent warrior; she also worked to strengthen her kingdom by encouraging trade, strengthening the infrastructure, and establishing proper laws.
  • Razia eventually married childhood friend and Governor of Bathinda, Malik Ikhtiar-ud-din Altunia, but how they got there is something terrible.
  • He had long hoped to be her royal consort, but Razia’s responsibilities as Sultana took priority, so she
    continuously turned down his marriage proposals.
  • After Malik became governor, Razia relied on a slave named Jamaluddin Yaqut, causing his status to quickly skyrocket from “Lord of the Stables” to “Chief of the Nobles.”
    • There were rumors, that Razia and Yaqut were in a relationship.
  • Malik (being jealous we assume) lead a rebellion against Razia.
  • During the rebellion Yaqut was killed and Razia was captured by Malik.
  • While in prison in Bathinda, it’s said she was treated well because Malik was in love with her. Eventually, Razia was released and she and Malik were married.
  • While Razia was imprisoned, her other half-brother, Muiz (MUZE) proclaimed himself king, backed by 40 chiefs.
  • Razia, with the help of Malik, tried to regain power, assembling their forces and marching towards Delhi.
  • They were defeated by Muiz, deserted by their remaining forces, and fled Delhi to Kaithal.
  • They day after their defeat, on October 14th , 1240, they were both killed.
  • Razia’s reign lasted only 4 years. She was 35.
  • Razia’s burial site is disputed and is said to be in one of three places:
    • A courtyard in Bulbul-i-Kahn near Turkmen Gate, Delhi. Part of the tomb has been converted into a mosque.
    • Kaithal
    • Tonk, Rajasthan, where it’s said she is buried with Yaqut.
    • She has honorary tombs in all three places.

Medical Mavens & The First Seagull in Space


Name: Edinburgh 7 (Sophia Jex-Blake, Isabel Thorne, Edith Pechey, Matilda Chaplin, Helen Evans, Mary Anderson, and Emily Bovell)

Born: Multiple Dates        Died: Multiple Dates

What they did: Forced the University of Edinburgh to accept them into medical school through numbers and perseverance.


  • Sophia Jex-Blake applied to study medicine in Spring 1869 but was told the University couldn’t make necessary accommodations for one lady.
  • Sophia figured that if the University wouldn’t be willing to make necessary accommodations for one woman, maybe they would reconsider if there were more women!
  • She put ads in newspapers to find more women to join her.
  • Altogether, five women submitted a second application that summer. By the time it was approved by the University Court, the group had grown to 7.
  • To start school all had to take an exam, out of the 152 total candidates who took the exam in October, four of the women ranked in the top 7 places.
  • On November 2 of that year, the University of Edinburgh became the first British University to accept women.
  • They were not allowed in the same classes as male counter-parts, some teachers refused to teach them, some professors would not give them credits for their classes, and they had to pay more tuition.
  • in 1870 Edith Pechey ranked 1st in her first physiology and chemistry exam which should have gotten her a scholarship but due to growing resentment towards the women from the faculty and the concern of upsetting the male students Edith and other qualifying women were denied the scholarship.
  • The women suffered much abuse for their studies, including being called whores, mean threatening them, having their property damaged and more.
  • It all came to a head when the women in November of 1870 went to take an anatomy exam in Surgeons’ Hall.
    • The women found that Nicholson Street was blocked by a crowd made up of hundreds of people. As the women approached, they were pelted with garbage and the crowd shouted at them.
    • When they tried to enter Surgeons’ Hall, the gates were slammed in their faces. They instead faced the crowd until a sympathetic student finally opened the gates. This event is now known as the Surgeons’ Hall Riot.
    • Sophia claimed that the crowd had been encouraged by a teaching assistant, who then successfully sued
      her for defamation.
    • The riot gained the women widespread publicity and won them support, even amongst some male students who were shocked by the riot. The supportive male students STEPPED THE FUCK UP and began escorting the woman and acting as bodyguards.
    • Some of their supporters formed a General Committee for Securing a Complete Medical Education for Women which had over 300 members including Charles Darwin and more women joined their classes
  • Despite all of this, the University refused to award the women their degrees in 1873. This decision was not only upheld by the Court of Session which is the supreme civil court of Scotland, but the court also ruled that the women shouldn’t have been accepted into the University in the first place.
  • Where did all the women go?
    • Sophia Moved to London and established the London school of Medicine for Women in 1874. She eventually returned to Edinburgh in 187 and opened her own practice there becoming their first women doctor. She then helped also create the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women. Sophia was also an LGBTQ figure. Her partner was Dr. Margaret Todd who was an incredible lady in her own right and helped to coin the term isotope!
    • Edith practiced in Leeds before becoming a senior medical officer at a women and children’s hospital in Bombay (modern-day Mumbai.) eventually she was also appointed to the senate at the University of Bombay.
    • Isabel Attended Sophia’s school and became its secretary. She left the medical field to help run the school for almost 30 years. Her daughter became a surgeon.
    • Emily got her MD in Paris, worked at  New Hospital for Women in London for three years the moved to Nice to work with helping with TB. She was also awarded the Officer of the Order of Academic Palms by the French government for her contributions to medicine (an award women rarely won).
    • Helen married and had 3 children, she became a member of the executive committee for the Edinburgh School of Medicine for Women.
    • Matilda married then moved to Tokyo and helped found a school of midwifery. She later studied at the London School of Medicine for Women and received her MD in Paris in 1879, eventually setting up her own private practice.
    • Mary finished her studies at the London School of Medicine for Women. She received her MD in Paris and worked at London’s New Hospital for Women until 1895.


Name: Valentina (Valya) Tereshkova

Born: 1963        Died: Not dead yet (said in Monty Python accent)

What she did: First women in space!


  • Started school at 8, left school at 16 to work, but finished via correspondence courses.
  • She became interested in parachute jumping after joining the Yaroslavl Air Sports Club. She made her first jump in 1959 at age 22.
  • In 1961 she volunteered for the Soviet Space program.
  • Although she did not have any experience as a pilot, she was accepted into the program because of her 126 parachute jumps.
    • At the time, cosmonauts had to parachute from their capsules seconds before
      they hit the ground on returning to Earth.
    • Other Qualifications included that they be under 30 years of age, under 5 ft 7 in tall, and under 154 lb in weight.
  • From more than 400 applicants Valentina and four other women received 18 months of training.
    • Which included tests to determine how she would react to long periods of time being alone, to extreme gravity conditions and to zero-gravity conditions.
    • Weightless flights, isolation tests, centrifuge tests, rocket theory, spacecraft engineering, 120 parachute jumps and pilot training in MiG-15UTI jet fighters.
  • In November 1962, after which four remaining candidates were commissioned Junior Lieutenants in the Soviet Air Force.
  • The State Space Commission nominated Tereshkova to pilot Vostok 6 at their meeting on 21 May. Tereshkova was exactly ten years younger than the youngest Mercury Seven astronaut, Gordon Cooper.
  • On the morning of 16 June 1963, Valentina and her backup Solovyova were both dressed in spacesuits and taken to the launch pad by bus. Following the tradition set by Gagarin, Tereshkova also urinated on the bus tire, becoming the first woman to
    do so.
  • After a two-hour countdown, Vostok 6 launched faultlessly, and Tereshkova became the first woman in space.
    • Her call sign in this flight was Chaika (English: Seagull) later commemorated as the name of an asteroid, 1671 Chaika.
    • She orbited the earth 48 times and spent almost three days in space.
    • With a single flight she logged more flight time than the combined times of all American astronauts who had flown before that
    • Tereshkova also maintained a flight log and took photographs of the horizon, which were later used to identify aerosol layers within the atmosphere.
  • Tereshkova was honored with the title Hero of the Soviet Union. She received the
    Order of Lenin and the Gold Star Medal. She became a spokesperson for the Soviet Union and while fulfilling this role, she received the United Nations Gold Medal of Peace.
  • After her mission, she was asked how the Soviet Union should thank her for her service to the country. Tereshkova asked that the government search for, and publish, the location where her father was killed in action. This was done, and a monument now stands at the site in Lemetti—now on the Russian side of the border.
  • Tereshkova studied at the Zhukovsky Air Force Academy and graduated with distinction as a cosmonaut engineer. In 1977 she earned a doctorate in engineering.
  • She has held numerous political positions and is still a very recognized figure in Russia.
  • Tereshkova was invited to Prime Minister Vladimir Putin’s residence in Novo-Ogaryovo for the celebration of her 70th birthday. While there she said that she would like to fly to Mars, even if it meant that it was a one-way trip.


“If women can be railroad workers in Russia, why can’t they fly in space?”

“Once you’ve been in space, you appreciate how small and fragile the Earth is.”


Profile: Susan B. Anthony

Susan B. Anthony

Profession: Suffragette

Nationality:  American

Born: February 15, 1820

Died: March 13, 1906 (aged 86)

Cause of Death: Pneumonia

Susan B. Anthony was born on February 15, 1820 in Adams, Massachusetts. Her father, Daniel, was a farmer and later a cotton mill owner and manager and was raised as a Quaker. Her mother, Lucy, came from a family that fought in the American Revolution. From an early age, Anthony was inspired by the Quaker belief that everyone was equal under God. That idea guided her throughout her life.

In her youth, she and her sisters responded to a “great craze for middle initials” by adding middle initials to their own names. Anthony adopted “B.” as her middle initial because her namesake aunt Susan had married a man named Brownell

When she was seventeen, Anthony was sent to a Quaker boarding school in Philadelphia, where she unhappily endured its severe atmosphere. She was forced to end her studies after one term because her family was financially ruined during an economic downturn known as the Panic of 1837. They were forced to sell everything they had at an auction, but they were rescued by her maternal uncle, who bought most of their belongings and restored them to the family. To assist her family financially, Anthony left home to teach at a Quaker boarding school.

After many years of teaching, Anthony returned to her family who had moved to New York State. There they associated with a group of Quaker social reformers who had left their congregation because of the restrictions it placed on reform activities, and who in 1848 formed a new organization called the Congregational Friends. The Anthony farmstead soon became the Sunday afternoon gathering place for local activists. There she met William Lloyd Garrison and Frederick Douglass. Listening to them moved Susan to want to do more to help end slavery. She became an abolition activist, even though most people thought it was improper for women to give speeches in public. Anthony made many passionate speeches against slavery.

In 1848, a group of women held a convention at Seneca Falls, New York. It was the first Women’s Rights Convention in the United States and began the Suffrage movement. Her mother and sister attended the convention but Anthony did not. Anthony did not take part in either of these conventions because she had moved to Canajoharie in 1846 to be headmistress of the female department of the Canajoharie Academy. Away from Quaker influences for the first time in her life, at the age of 26 she began to replace her plain clothing with more stylish dresses, and she quit using “thee” and other forms of speech traditionally used by Quakers. She was interested in social reform, and she was distressed at being paid much less than men with similar jobs, but she was amused at her father’s enthusiasm over the Rochester women’s rights convention. She later explained, “I wasn’t ready to vote, didn’t want to vote, but I did want equal pay for equal work.” When the Canajoharie Academy closed in 1849, Anthony took over the operation of the family farm in Rochester so her father could devote more time to his insurance business. She worked at this task for a couple of years but found herself increasingly drawn to reform activity. She was soon fully engaged in reform work and for the rest of her life; she lived almost entirely on fees she earned as a speaker.

In 1851, Anthony met Elizabeth Cady Stanton. The two women became good friends and worked together for over 50 years fighting for women’s rights.  After the Stanton’s moved from Seneca Falls to New York City in 1861, a room was set aside for Anthony in every house they lived in. One of Stanton’s biographers estimated that over her lifetime, Stanton spent more time with Anthony than with any other adult, including her own husband.

They traveled the country and Anthony gave speeches demanding that women be given the right to vote. At times, she risked being arrested for sharing her ideas in public.

Anthony was good at strategy. Her discipline, energy, and ability to organize made her a strong and successful leader. Anthony and Stanton co-founded the American Equal Rights Association. In 1868 they became editors of the Association’s newspaper, The Revolution, which helped to spread the ideas of equality and rights for women. Anthony began to lecture to raise money for publishing the newspaper and to support the suffrage movement. She became famous throughout the county. Many people admired her, yet others hated her ideas.

When Congress passed the 14th and 15th amendments which give voting rights to African American men, Anthony and Stanton were angry and opposed the legislation because it did not include the right to vote for women. Their belief led them to split from other suffragists. They thought the amendments should also have given women the right to vote. They formed the National Woman Suffrage Association, to push for a constitutional amendment giving women the right to vote.

In 1872, Anthony was arrested for voting, tried, and fined $100 for her crime. This brought national attention to the suffrage movement. She led a protest at the 1876 Centennial of our nation’s independence. She gave a speech “Declaration of Rights” written by Stanton and another suffragist, Matilda Joslyn Gage.

“Men, their rights, and nothing more; women, their rights, and nothing less.”

Anthony spent her life working for women’s rights. In 1888, she helped to merge the two largest suffrage associations into one, the National American Women’s Suffrage Association. She led the group until 1900. She traveled around the country giving speeches, gathering thousands of signatures on petitions, and lobbying Congress every year for women. Anthony died in 1906, 14 years before women were given the right to vote with the passage of the 19th Amendment in 1920.

A Revolutionary Rider & a Revolutionary Writer

Thank you all for joining us for our first episode and now our first blog post! We are excited for this new adventure! Keep reading to learn more about the two incredible women we covered this week.

Name: Sybil Ludington

Born: 1761         Died: 1839

What she did: In 1777 rode 40 miles on a rainy midnight ride to rally troops to fight during the revolution. (This is further than Paul Revere, just saying…)


  • Oldest of 12 children
  • She saved her father’s life at some point before her ride by having her siblings march around in semi darkness to look like a large army which scared off the loyalist kidnappers.
  • She was 16 at the time of her midnight ride.
  • Father was a Colonel she was rounding up his men who had gone home for planting season when the town of Danbury asked for aid against the British
  • Her ride went from about 9 am to dawn over 40 miles (almost twice as far as Paul Revere) in the rain, and when she returned most of the 400 men she called on were assembled and ready to march.
  • The American militia arrived too late to save Danbury. However, the next day at the start of the Battle of Ridgefield, they were able to drive the then British governor of the colony of New York, General William Tryon, and his men to Long Island Sound.
  • She was thanked by the president and later (much later, like 158 years + later) got a stamp (1975) and statues as recognition (made in 1935 and 1961)
  • The ride route is now a 50 k (31 mi) ultra-marathon footrace.
  • Story is disputed about whether or not it is true (we give it the Wining About Herstory truth stamp though)

Name: Olympe de Gouges (born: Marie Gouze)

Born: 1748          Died: 1793

What she did: French playwright and political activist during the enlightenment and subsequently the French Revolution whose writings on women’s rights and the rights of everyone not rich, white, male landowners reached a large audience.


  • Her best known work is an early women’s rights document that demanded that French women be given the same rights as French men, it was called the Declaration of the Rights of Woman and the Female Citizen (1791).
  • She was executed by guillotine during the Reign of Terror.
  • At 16 she was married off against her will to Louis Aubry, saying “I was married to a man I did not love and who was neither rich nor well-born. I was sacrificed for no reason that could make up for the repugnance I felt for this man.” He died a year later, and she never married again, calling the institution of marriage “the tomb of trust and love”.
  • After her husbands death she moved to Paris and became involved with the enlightenment.
  • She wrote Esclavage des Noirs (Reflections on blacks) about the slave trade and being more compassionate to slaves.
  • In her semi-autobiographical novel Mémoire de Madame de Valmont contre la famille de Flaucourt, she called out her birth father for abandoning her and her mother, and the culture that allowed him to do so.
  • She was arrested after she showed investigators her new play (only the first act or so was written) La France Sauvée ou le Tyran Détroné (“France Preserved, or The Tyrant Dethroned“) in which she scolds Marie Antoinette for her bad ruling. This made some view her as a Monarch loyalist.


“Men everywhere are equal… Kings who are just do not want slaves; they know that they have submissive subjects.”

“A woman has the right to mount the scaffold. She must possess equally the right to mount the speaker’s platform.”

 “Man, are you capable of being fair? A woman is asking: at least you will allow her that right. Tell me? What gave you the sovereign right to oppress my sex?”