A reader asked for examples of historical disabled badasses. I give them an earful.
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In fighting the bias of the caste system to spread education, this woman brought knowledge to girls across India.
When her kid was stolen from her, this ex-slave successfully sued to get him back; she then went on to become a forceful speaker for abolition across the United States.
When she came face-to-face with a great monster, this mother saved her child and herself through bravery, quick thinking, and great culinary skills.
Susan la Flesche Picotte
The first Native American medical doctor endured back-breaking labor, years spent alone, and institutional racism to better the lives of her people.
Revolutionized the field of mathematics, yet was persecuted for being Jewish and paid a pittance for her visionary teaching work.
This legendary pockmarked poet sang truth to power and was killed for it, becoming an enduring symbol of resistance.
Indomitable pirate queen who ran Morocco and ruined Portuguese trade.
Joan of Arc
The infamous teen girl who helped end the Hundred Years War and save France - but do you know how…
The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
The exiled daughter of a deposed ruler, she could have been a fairytale bridge between worlds - but fairy tales are not real. Benazir, whose name means "without flaw," was anything but.