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When her father died, leaving her lower-class family in debt, this indomitable woman worked tirelessly and became one of history's greatest fossil collectors.
When her shogun husband cheated on her, she raised an army and destroyed the other woman's house. Later she deposed her incompetent son to become the first nun to rule Japan.
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.
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.
Olga of Kiev
Brutal princess-turned-Christian saint who burnt down enemy towns using pigeons.
Sister Rosetta Tharpe
The godmother of rock and roll, this black bisexual singer fused gospel and pop to blaze her own way across the Jim Crow-era south.
This "untouchable" woman ended decades of abuse by starting a bandit gang and avenging the lower castes. After some time in prison, she got out, ran for parliament, and won.
This Sikh warrior saint led 40 deserters back into battle and in so doing, possibly saved her entire religion from extinction.
When the Tsar became hellbent on nailing down her gender, this clever gender-nonconforming heroine kept him guessing to the end.
One of the most infamous libertines of the Renaissance, she cavorted all over Europe to flee her abusive marriage, lived…