femmecomplexe

I will not be triumphed over

In Around the World on December 6, 2010 at 3:38 am

http://www.nytimes.com/2010/12/05/opinion/05schiff.html?pagewanted=1&src=ISMR_AP_LO_MST_FB

To continue on with women in power… I came across this article giving advice on good governance, based on Cleopatra VII, the famous Egyptian Queen who came to power at 18.   Being the absolute ruler she controlled everything and therefore had to deal with all the administrative processes of, well, everything.  Along with these responsibilities came problems:

Partisan interests threatened to trip her up at every turn; she observed enough court intrigue to make a Medici blush. To complicate matters, she was highly vulnerable to a hostile takeover. Oh, and she looked very little like the other statesmen with whom she did business.

But, she prevailed because of these reasons

1. Obliterate your rivals – she killed off all her siblings so none of them could try to rise against her

2. Don’t confuse business with pleasure – Politicians these days are known to have affairs left and right, and Cleopatra, well she used her little escapades to help her (Julius Caesar and Marc Antony were powerful figures in the Roman Empire and she allied with them)

3.  Appearance count – throw a little pomp and circumstance into your routine in order to look good to others (people are easily impressed by spectacle and image is everything)

4.  Go big or go home – people like to feel special and they like gifts

5.  Never get involved in a land war in Asia

6. Underpromise and overdeliver – this way there’s not disappointment, only surprised delight

7. If you can’t pay your debts, debase your currency – Exports here we come

8. A friend of a friend may well be an enemy – be careful who you trust

9. Good neighbors make good fences – appease those closest

10. Control the narrative – make people believe what you want them to

So I hope this little bit of history/advice was interesting; it goes to show that we learn from history and that in reality the present is the past happening again and again in a different time periods and with different tools.  Women are not often those in control so it’s refreshing or unfortunate when that’s the case, depending on their contributions, but regardless, they have helped make history what it is and it’s nice to see some notice being taken of Cleopatra’s ruling tactics and not just her sexual exploits.

ps: I’m quite displeased that the first thing to pop up in the Google Search about Cleopatra are costumes.  REALLY people!

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