“When I started working on Women’s History about thirty years ago, the field did not exist. It was not recognized, people didn’t think that women had a history worth knowing. … For women, looking back to the past has usually been painful because what we would learn would be an absence. We would learn that... Read more »
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The only female emperor of China in history, her ruthless rise to power makes Game of Thrones look like a day at the beach.
When her rebel husband was imprisoned, she continued the movement - by holding a castle under siege for three long, lonely years.
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.
This self-described "undutiful daughter" posed as a man to become the world's first female shipwright.
This phony Asian royalty fooled rural England for some time - but the truth she was hiding was far darker.
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.
After decades of gaslighting and emotional abuse at the hands of her in-laws, this iron-willed woman survived being shot four times point blank, won a separation from her husband, and became one of the most respected business icons in New Orleans.
Roundly-despised and unfairly-maligned seductress of the bible who ran afoul of the wrong priests.
Saved the Jewish people by hammering a tent spike through an unsuspecting house guest's head.
Possibly the most prolific female serial killer in history, a primary inspiration for Dracula, one of the most reviled women in history, and, I argue, innocent.