27 Mar '11, 11pm

Our reader says it's wrong to describe Cixi and Cleopatra as iconic women.

MEDIACORP is currently promoting its Singapore Women's Month through regular television and radio spots. The four iconic women it has chosen to front the promotion include Queen Cleopatra of Egypt and Empress Dowager Cixi of China (Mother Teresa and US aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart are the other two). To state that Cleopatra saved Egypt with her beauty is as sexist as it is absurd. One might just as well say that Pocahontas saved the American Indians with her naivete. Cleopatra indeed seduced Julius Caesar with her feminine charms but in her historic role, she was proven more a political player with obvious self-advancing motives than a self-sacrificing saviour of her kingdom. After Caesar's assassination, her charms were next applied on Mark Antony whom she dropped just as quickly when fate instead favoured Octavian. Ancient Egypt thus became a Roman province and she en...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/STForum/Story/STIStory_650025...

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