History is so packed with women it should be called ‘her-story’. Joke. What? Don’t look at me like that. Ok, yes; the fairer sex has been massively under-represented in history; there’s a glass ceiling in our permanent record. Our written past is a sausage fest. But despite all this, it could be worse. Imagine if even more of our famous ladies were men.
Hatshepsut (AKA. Thutmose II)
This pharaoh reigned as Thutmose II, which is coincidentally what his half-brother would have called himself if Thutmose had been born a girl instead. The pharaoh went ahead and married Princess Iset, and had a son who became Thutmose III. He was a generally decent chap, and just got on with the business of being king. He had a long, relatively uneventful reign, and with no need to prove himself, he didn’t embark on any grand monuments or projects. He is largely ignored in the record of the 18th dynasty, which is mainly known for its eccentric characters.
Boudica (AKA. King Bouda)
King Bouda was well-known to the men of the surrounding tribes, and managed to rally a sizeable portion of the country in revolt after he was flogged by the Romans. However, even though he hadn’t been king for very long at all, he was unwilling to defer too more experienced commanders. After the sack of London, several chieftains took their men and returned home. The revolt was crushed quickly and mercilessly, but Norfolk kept a strong regional identity, a bit like Cornwall.
Anne Boleyn (AKA. Arnold Boleyn)
One of the main reasons Henry VIII got through so many wives is because none of them could provide him with a son. He divorced his first wife and brother’s widow, and briefly cast an eye at Arnold Boleyn, before moving straight on to Jane Seymour instead. Elizabeth I was never born, Mary Queen of Scots inherited the throne, and the Church of England was quickly shut down. Great Britain stayed Catholic along with North America and the entire Western hemisphere. The Napoleonic Wars were over pretty quickly, and the two World Wars were a lot weirder.
Pocahontas (AKA. Powhatan II)
Things rapidly changed for young Powhatan II when English colonists established a settlement in his family’s back yard. The young brave saved the life of John Smith, but was subsequently kidnapped; precipitating retaliation from the native population of Virginia – which, incidentally, wasn’t called that because why would it be (see Arnold Boleyn…our Virgin Queen was never born!). Colonists avoided the area for the next fifty years, but then committed genocide against the ‘barbaric’ natives in revenge. Powhatan II stayed in the New World for his entire life, and remained a footnote in history. And…Disney realised two years earlier that they had run out of original stories to tell.
Margaret Thatcher (AKA. Martin Thatcher)
Martin Thatcher was Britain’s first overtly camp Prime Minister, belting out one-liners such as; “I may be persuaded to surrender the hat. The pearls, however, are absolutely non-negotiable.” With his massive hair and bright outfits, he was able to distract the public’s attention from the breaking of the unions, 3 million unemployed and the Falklands War. He went on to dismantle the NHS, and sell off publicly owned companies by the dozen. Subsequent prime ministers including Tony Blair and David Cameron were voted in on their camp credentials. Both were massively disappointing.
So there you have it…women have changed the course of history, often for the better. In-fact, how boring would the history books have been if the great gals of the past had never been born. Their biggest obstacle seems to be the perception of what they are capable of, which is a bit silly when you think about the real challenges these great women actually faced.