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1920s Afghanistan was a progressive and rapidly-modernizing country in large part to the most powerful, empathic, and maligned queen it had ever seen.
She traded a life of privilege for one spent fighting for justice on both literal and political battlefields so tirelessly that even exiling her five times couldn't keep her down.
Catalina de Erauso
After escaping from a convent, this swashbuckler had the strength to chase her dreams: which were apparently to drink, fight, and womanize.
The actual hero of the Ali Baba myth, this slave girl saves the titular character by singlehandedly dispatching the forty thieves - without him even knowing.
An Inuit woman so strong nobody could even beat her lice in arm-wrestling, her story just gets stranger the closer you look.
This Indonesian queen ruled wisely and justly in life, and was deified as the embodiment of all evil after her death. The story of why gets a bit complicated.
Once upon a time, there was a lesbian Wild West abortion doctor. She once horsewhipped a guy in the face and was tossed in San Quentin Prison for sedition. To the surprise of no one, she lived in Portland.
"Stagecoach" Mary Fields
Pistol-packing, liquor-swigging, 6'2" black postal carrier/babysitter of the Wild West.
When the Tsar became hellbent on nailing down her gender, this clever gender-nonconforming heroine kept him guessing to the end.
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.
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.
Black, Muslim warrior queen of a tribe of griffin-riding Amazons - and the honest-to-god namesake of California.