How Did Influential Women in The Past Gain Power?

In the mesmerizing tapestry of ancient myths and religious legends, a rarity lurks, veiled beneath a male-dominated narrative: the reign of formidable female beings. Prepare yourself for an extraordinary revelation as we uncover the captivating presence of female goddesses, hidden behind the shadows of history. Artemis, Kwan Yin, Lakshmi, Frida Kahlo, and Cleopatra, each emblematic of their respective religious and mythological traditions, share a common thread - they didn’t actively seek power, but rather lived their lives unapologetically, guided by their beliefs and passions.

Their actions spoke volumes as they fearlessly pursued what they believed in, leaving an indelible mark on history. In their quest to break free from societal constraints, these women became pioneers, setting a powerful example for generations to come. Their stories remind us that true power can be found in embracing one’s own identity and living authentically. 


Artemis (Greek), also known as Diana (Roman), epitomizes female empowerment by redefining the boundaries of what a woman can achieve. As the goddess of the hunt, she embodies strength, skill, and independence. Artemis rejected traditional expectations imposed upon women, particularly the roles of wife and mother. Instead, she embraced her independence and devoted herself to her pursuits, primarily hunting and roaming the wilderness.


By fearlessly roaming the wilderness and displaying her exceptional hunting skills, Artemis shattered societal expectations in ancient Greece, where women were typically confined to domestic roles. Furthermore, Artemis symbolized the need for female solidarity and guardianship. She took it upon herself to protect women and young girls, particularly during childbirth, emphasizing the importance of women supporting and looking out for one another. Artemis's power and influence were not gained through conforming to societal expectations, but by boldly living her life according to her own principles.


In Buddhism, Kwan Yin occupies a unique and revered position. As the embodiment of compassion, she defies the constraints on women in a male-dominated religion. In traditional Buddhist societies, women often faced limited roles and restrictions in their spiritual pursuits. However, Kwan Yin's prominence in Buddhism disrupts this narrative. She not only breaks free from these constraints but also serves as a role model for women seeking liberation and spiritual empowerment.

Kwan Yin's compassion extends to all beings, transcending gender distinctions and highlighting the inherent value and potential of women. By embodying the virtues of compassion and wisdom, Kwan Yin challenges the patriarchal hierarchy within Buddhism. Her teachings emphasize the equality of all beings and advocate for the inclusion and empowerment of women within the religious community. Kwan Yin's power lies not in worldly authority but in her transformative ability to inspire and uplift individuals, regardless of their gender. Through her example, she encourages women to assert their autonomy, pursue spiritual growth, and actively participate in the practice and teachings of Buddhism.


Lakshmi, the Hindu goddess of wealth and prosperity, embodies female empowerment through her association with financial independence and abundance. She is revered for her ability to grant blessings and bring prosperity to those who worship her. Her power lies in her capacity to inspire women to pursue economic empowerment, take control of their financial well-being, and recognize their own worth and capabilities.


Additionally, as a motherly figure, Lakshmi blesses her devotees with fertility and domestic harmony, emphasizing the importance of women's reproductive roles and nurturing qualities. While interpretations may vary, Lakshmi's symbolism in Hindu mythology resonates with the idea of women's financial autonomy, self-worth, and fertility, making her a symbol of empowerment for women in various aspects of their lives.


Lladró’s Winged Fantasy’s ethereal portrayal shares a captivating resemblance to Ishtar, both adorned with majestic wings that symbolize their divine essence and transcendental power.


In more recent times, extraordinary women have emerged who have shattered societal expectations and redefined what it means to be a powerful woman. One such remarkable individual is Frida Kahlo. In an era where female empowerment was uncommon, Kahlo's art and personal journey challenged the status quo. Through her self-portraits, she expressed raw emotion, embracing her unique identity and experiences. Kahlo's paintings shattered expectations, confronting themes of pain, fertility, and sexuality. Her art became a symbol of female resilience and strength, inspiring women to confront their own traumas.

Beyond her artwork, Kahlo's personal life exemplified her defiance of traditional gender roles. One notable instance that exemplifies her rebellion against gender norms was the time she appeared in a family portrait wearing a men’s suit. By deliberately choosing this unconventional attire, Kahlo subverted traditional gender roles and expressed her fluid understanding of identity and personal autonomy. Kahlo's impact extends far beyond her time, as her legacy continues to inspire women worldwide. Although she didn't intentionally align herself with feminist movements, her unapologetic expression of self and her refusal to be confined by societal norms solidify her as a powerful figure in women’s history.


Cleopatra, the last active pharaoh of ancient Egypt, gained power through a combination of strategic alliances, political acumen, and a strong desire to maintain her position and influence. While she was not actively seeking power in the sense of seeking conquest or dominance, she recognized the importance of securing her position as ruler of Egypt. Cleopatra understood that her survival and the stability of her kingdom depended on her ability to navigate the complex political landscape of the time.

She challenged societal norms in a profound way by becoming a powerful female pharaoh in a predominantly male-dominated society. Prior to her reign, there had been few female pharaohs in Egypt's long history, and their rule was often seen as an exception rather than the norm. Moreover, she used her position to challenge gender norms, actively participating in military campaigns, engaging in diplomatic negotiations, and governing with wisdom and vision. Cleopatra not only defied societal expectations but also shattered preconceived notions of women's capabilities and leadership. Cleopatra's actions showcased the potential and significance of women in leadership roles, providing a lasting legacy that continues to inspire women to break barriers and shape their destinies.

These extraordinary women are not defined by mere words but by their transformative actions. They were not known for preaching, but for doing. Their power emanated from the harmony between their words and deeds. By living authentically and fearlessly pursuing their beliefs, they wielded an unparalleled influence. It is this congruence between their words and actions that truly empowered them and continues to inspire us today.

Goddess Ishtar, an ancient Mesopotamian deity, embodies the power and autonomy of women, representing strength, fertility, and love, and serving as a symbol of feminine empowerment throughout history.

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