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This pope was largely assumed to be male until she gave birth in the midst of a procession - and largely assumed to be factual until the 13th century.
A'isha bint abi Bakr
Independent, bold wife of the Prophet Muhammad, she led armies in the Battle of the Camel and was one of…
Let her leprosy go untreated for years to make herself the perfect spy in the Japan-occupied Philippines - soldiers wouldn't touch her, so she could slip right through.
When her husband was killed by conquistadors, this native Chilean showed the Spanish what "fight like a woman" really means.
When a soldier raped her, this woman tossed him in a well and threw rocks at him until he died.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the by-the-book Victorian rebel who revolutionized the field of medicine who stood in stark to Mary Seacole's jolly reliance on folk remedies and home comforts.
This amateur dancer escaped a life of abuse by pretending to be an Indonesian princess - and eventually became a victim of the maniacal world of espionage.
Ludicrously over-accomplished athlete who invented flying ambulances and won the only gold medal ever awarded by the French Academy of Sports for "all sports" - yes, all of them.
1920s Afghanistan was a progressive and rapidly-modernizing country in large part to the most powerful, empathic, and maligned queen it had ever seen.
When her husband became deathly ill, this pregnant teen took the reins to become America's first female boat commander - all while fighting off a mutiny and keeping her husband alive.