Posts By: Jeremy Porath

Afghan rapper escaped forced marriage by singing about it

A young girl from Afghanistan escaped being forced into marrying a man when she was 16 years old — by writing a rap song about it. The young rapper is now living and going to school in the US, and she’s still making music about social justice in Afghanistan.

Sonita Alizadeh, whom this site has previously featured as a Modern Worthy, is making the rounds again thanks to the marvelous A Mighty Girl Facebook page. So here’s another article about her.

Tanya Smith

“This is what’s happening: I’m going to hit this guy.” Listening to Tanya Smith talk about her longsword fighting strategy is like hearing a battle-scarred general talk tactics.

This is a great 3-minute video & article (the two are unrelated and both worth a look) on an all-women medieval fencing league in NYC.

(With apologies to Rebecca Glass, Laura McBride, Deena Sadek, Tiby Kantrowitz, and all the other women involved in HEMA and Fecht Yeah that your name is not the one in the title. You’re still all awesome!)

Shamim Akhtar

Akhtar, 53, decided to step out of Pakistan’s traditional domestic rule which requires women to stay home.

An inspiration for many, she was issued a public service vehicle license, a first for a Pakistani woman — allowing her to pull trailers, drive trucks and tractors.

“Whatever I am today, it is because of the Islamabad Traffic Police training course,” Akhtar said humbly.

Further, while most Pakistani male drivers lack formal driving lessons for heavy vehicles, Akhtar seems to have an edge over the men which she uses to teach a novice.

RP on Refinery29!

Jason Porath compiled 200 of “history’s boldest heroines, hellions and heretics” for his new book, Rejected Princesses. And when you start reading, you’re reminded that villainous shit against women has really, truly been going on forever.

This is an INCREDIBLY thorough writeup that reveals the art for fifteen book-only entries – including the art for the absolute most complex entry in the entire book, Christine de Pizan. I’ve referenced this piece here and there – it’s a double page spread that features every single woman in the book (and a Where’s Waldo-style cameo from me). It took around 100 hours to complete. It’s all the diversity in the book in one image. I’m pretty damn proud of it.

Go to the link above and check out the rest of the pieces! Escaped Jamaican slaves, fierce samurai, scarred Moroccan folk singers, and itinerant gangs of Nigerian teachers await you!

(and full disclosure: the writeup does get a fair bit wrong. there’s 100 entries, not 200, in the book. it overstates how much my mom gave up to raise me and my brethren. but the core of it is there.)

Gertrude Sanford Legendre

Big game hunter, legendary French Riviera partier, and a quintessential WASP—Gertrude Sanford was also a vital U.S. spy who managed to outmaneuver the Nazis after being captured.

“What really burns me up,” Legendre wrote in October 1941, “is the unbelievable lack of confidence in a woman’s ability. It positively enrages me. Men cannot bear to have their world encroached upon by more efficient women. They hate to give way [to women], they hate to admit they are good, they hate to give them the power. It fairly drives me nuts. Gee I would love to speak my mind on that subject every now and again.”

RP on Bustle!

Make way for a new princess in town — actually, scratch that. Make room for 100 new, ‘rejected’ princesses that’ll redefine the royal title and force you to rethink the stories you grew up hearing.

Made Bustle too! Sweet! :D

RP on Entertainment Weekly!

Move over, Ariel. Take a seat, Cinderella. There’s a new group of princesses in town—only they’re not likely to be getting their own movies (animated or otherwise) any time soon.

RP made Entertainment Weekly!


Howdy /r/books! I’m Jason Porath, the dude behind Rejected Princesses – you may have caught the comic I did on the deadliest female sniper in history that made the rounds a while back.

I did an AMA (Ask Me Anything – think “Q&A”) on Reddit. It’s closed so you can’t ask new questions, but you can take a look anyway if you like.

RP on Geek Girl Riot!

Rejected Princesses is a project turned brand new book, whose tagline reads, “women too awesome, awful, or offbeat for kids’ movies”. We spoke to its creator Jason Porath on our latest Whachudoin’?

I did a long, super nerdy podcast with Geek Girl Riot — this one gets super personal at the end, and reveals the depths of my nerdiness. My parents met at a Ren Faire, y’all. I can bring it. I also talk about some of the feminist letter writing campaigns I staged inside of DreamWorks (still maintain Astrid would have made a better chief than Hiccup). It’s a fun one!

Clementine Paddleford

With a name like Clementine Paddleford, she should have been unforgettable. So why don’t you know who she is?

Clementine Paddleford invented modern food writing – covering the cuisine of everyone from celebrities to homeless people. She battled through laryngeal cancer, which threatened to take away her voice and career – but just made both more distinctive. And when she died, she was all but forgotten.

Thanks to Emma for sending this in!