“When I started working on Women’s History about thirty years ago, the field did not exist. It was not recognized, people didn’t think that women had a history worth knowing. … For women, looking back to the past has usually been painful because what we would learn would be an absence. We would learn that women had not done this and they had not done that and that essentially, according to the traditional view, women had contributed very little to the making of human society and even less to the making of the intellectual product of Western civilization.”(https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R_PJwMpAgtQ)
In 1915, this rowdy Puerto Rican activist was arrested for wearing pants in public. It wouldn't be the last time she wore pants, or got arrested.
One of the most powerful women in Zulu history, this cursed princess did what was necessary to protect the realm.
When a soldier raped her, this woman tossed him in a well and threw rocks at him until he died.
Spy, smuggler, saboteur, partisan: this Jewish woman refused to go like a lamb to the slaughter, and fought the Nazis tooth and nail... even after the war, when she, alongside others, poisoned thousands of Nazi POWs in a revenge plot.
As a Holocaust survivor, her poetry was too dark for some, but it was perfect for death metal.
She wrote 270 Wikipedia articles in a single year -- “I had a target for doing one a day, but sometimes I get too excited and do three.”
One of the first Indian women to practice law, she fought against -- and inside of -- a system that held no room for her.
Born without arms or legs, this artist learned to write, sew, and paint with her mouth - and came to work for kings and queens.
Forced to marry a mobster, she escaped, ran for parliament and won -- while obscuring her face. But now, she's showing it freely.
Fifty years before women got the federal right to vote, this legal agent became “the terror of all rogues.”
When the end of an era was at hand, this samurai woman refused to go gently.
This "most dangerous of all spies" staged daring mountaintop escapes, prison breaks, and railway bombings -- all on her trusty wooden leg, codenamed "Cuthbert."
3rd century Rome had a major woman problem. Her name was Zenobia, and she took over a huge chunk of their empire in her brief and tumultuous career as rebel queen.
When the Japanese invaded the Philippines, this beauty queen traded face powders for explosive ones.
Matilda of Tuscany
Fiery defender of the pope who made kings kneel before her.