Meet Florence “Woo Woo” DiTullio Joyce, aka “Winnie the Welder.” During WW2, she and some 2,000 other women worked the shipyards building ships and subs. Why “Woo Woo”? According to her: “I was a curvaceous 119 pounds. Every time I walked by, the guys would go, ‘Woo Woo!’ (some things never change)
Florence “Woo-Woo” Ditullio
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RP on Biography.com!
Biography.com has a guest piece today by yours truly, with brief blurbs about several of the women covered on this site and in the book.
When her husband became deathly ill, this pregnant teen took the reins to become America's first female boat commander - all while fighting off a mutiny and keeping her husband alive.
Emily Hahn led a life as varied as her writings. She got a degree in engineering to prove that she could, then made a career as a writer; she lived in a red-light district and dined with millionaires; she had a family in England and worked in New York.
Selvi escaped an abusive marriage she was forced into age 14. She went on to become South India's first female taxi driver, and an advocate to prevent other young girls from being forced to marry.
The Gulabi Gang
An all-female vigilante group wanders rural India, teaching women self defense and confronting abusive husbands.
Picked to be an impotent figurehead, this savvy intellectual quickly learned how to play politics and modernized the nation to ward off invasion.
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.
Woman finishes final while in labor
While this is a dystopian nightmare that should never have happened, her fortitude is still stunning.
Cecile DeWitt-Morette was a pioneering mathematical physicist who worked with Albert Einstein, Irene Joliot-Curie, and Richard Feynman, and advocated for more women in the sciences.
China expanded the Great Wall to keep this female warrior out
Mandukhai Khatun went into battle pregnant, pausing only to give birth to twins (as the legend goes). Regardless, she was no joke.
This undefeated warrior princess refused to marry unless her suitor could defeat her in wrestling - if he lost, he owed her 100 horses. In the end, she had 10,000 horses and no husband.
Matilda of Tuscany
Fiery defender of the pope who made kings kneel before her.
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.
One of the most powerful women in Zulu history, this cursed princess did what was necessary to protect the realm.
To ensnare the scheming ministers who were ruining her life, this princess used guile, cunning, and a sophisticated knowledge of civil engineering.
When a monster demanded teenage girl sacrifice, Li Chi saved herself, and was crowned princess for her troubles.
When this indigenous Brazilian warrior mermaid proved too awesome for her tribe, she just took up residence in the water, and started an aquatic harem of passers-by.
Loud, proud, uncompromising: this bold politician helped bring about Title IX, the Freedom of Information Act, and the Equal Rights Amendment - as well as much more.
When the end of an era was at hand, this samurai woman refused to go gently.
This Mongol stood up to the most fearsome man in the world and in so doing, prevented a genocide.