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This unlikely heroine created her own Woman's Army of 70,000 soldiers through good manners and political savvy - and then used it to overthrow one of China's greatest douchebags.
Mekatilili wa Menza
When colonial powers went too far, she rebelled in the most stylish way possible: dancing from town to town. It was surprisingly effective.
The "Last of the Aboriginal Tasmanians" (she wasn't) used brains, brawn, and sheer will to carve a place for herself, even as the world was collapsing around her.
Joined her sister Hortense Mancini in escaping from an equally abusive marriage, making headlines (and trouble) all across Europe in…
Ida B. Wells
One of the first anti-lynching advocates, she risked her life for decades to report on the truth when nobody would believe her.
First her father died. Then her sons. Then her husband. Pregnant, saddled with debt, a failing company, and an overbearing mother, Rebecca Lukens rolled up her sleeves and showed the world what she was made of: iron.
The last Crow nation baté (Two Spirit mystic) in history, she earned her name -- which means "Finds Them and Kills Them" -- by tirelessly fighting to preserve her way of life.
Possibly the most prolific female serial killer in history, a primary inspiration for Dracula, one of the most reviled women in history, and, I argue, innocent.
One of the most infamous libertines of the Renaissance, she cavorted all over Europe to flee her abusive marriage, lived…
When her brother of this fairytale princess decided to marry her, she warded him off by cutting off her own hands. Then she gave birth to a dog. It got weirder after that.