She was a programmer, a wife, a lesbian -- and she wouldn't rest until she could legally marry her wife.
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Sigrid the Haughty
When some scrubs hit on her, she burnt them alive. When a king slapped her across the face, she obliterated his kingdom. Sigrid the Haughty was not to be messed with.
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When this princess had her life ruined by an unstoppable warrior, she: became a fervent ascetic for years and got a divine boon; killed herself to reincarnate faster; came back as a man; and killed the man who'd wronged her, in the stunning climax of the world's longest epic poem.
The three men who accepted the Nobel Prize for "the most important scientific discovery of the 20th century" neglected to mention one thing: they owed much of their success to one brash, brilliant, and overlooked female scientist.
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.
When the Tsar became hellbent on nailing down her gender, this clever gender-nonconforming heroine kept him guessing to the end.
When flying cannibal ghosts kidnapped two women, there was no man that could save them. But there was a woman.