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Annie Jump Cannon
This astronomer threw off all the social conventions of her day to pursue her one true calling: the stars.
Mekatilili wa Menza
When colonial powers went too far, she rebelled in the most stylish way possible: dancing from town to town. It was surprisingly effective.
Christine de Pizan
When her husband unexpectedly died, she rolled up her sleeves and became one of the greatest authors of the age to keep food on the table. She wrote passionate defenses of her gender (and military treatises!) that were centuries ahead of their time.
A clever woman who rose from obscurity to become a political force, playing nations against each other to protect her people.
When the most powerful man in the world made plans on her country, she: turned down his marriage proposal, destroyed his armies, and defiled his head so famously that she became legend for centuries thereafter.
Madam C.J. Walker
America's ostensible first female self-made millionaire was a black beauty magnate who did it all for her daughter.
When this Spanish merchant went out to pick cabbages, she stumbled upon an unusual kind of pest: a French knight.
This unassuming middle-aged woman became one of Britain's most notorious terrorists in her unyielding quest to win women the right to vote.
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.
Somalia's ballsiest queen, she took power from men either figuratively or literally - by ordering much of the gender castrated.…