Donnie Yen is cool, but his mother is MUCH cooler - she started the first Wushu school in the United States, and is one of the grandmasters of the art form.
Bow Sim Mark
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This unlikely heroine created her own Woman's Army of 70,000 soldiers through good manners and political savvy - and then used it to overthrow one of China's greatest douchebags.
Isabella of France
After years of neglect and abuse from her husband, this queen raised an army and took over England for herself.
The first European woman to end up in New Zealand, Charlotte Badger was part pirate, part adopted Maori, and part mom. Which part is which is somewhat lost to history.
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.
A phenomenally successful archaeologist who became a fashion icon for wearing men's clothing.
Mexico's infamous "weeping ghost" has many incarnations: a jilted widow, a slave princess, a milk addict, a coffee bag, and a pair of panties.
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.
Marguerite de la Rocque
Stranded by her cruel relative on an abandoned Canadian island (literally named the Isle of Demons), she survived for two years by hunting animals and eventually made it back to France.
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.
One half of the odd couple of Crimean nursing - the jolly black businesswoman who swore by folk remedies, in stark contrast to Florence Nightingale's by-the-book Victorian approach to medicine.