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badass women in history

  1. Everyone, We Need to Talk About 17th-Century Badass Writer Margaret Cavendish

    Because the idea of “geek culture” is relatively new, and because women have to fight tooth and nail to get respect within that culture (cf. Feminist Frequency’s Anita Sarkeesian or Brianna Wu and Gamergate), we tend to forget that even in this brave new world we have predecessors, women who fought battles we can only imagine, women who blazed trails—or, in Margaret Cavendish’s case, blazed whole new worlds.

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  2. The Amazing Scientific Achievements of the Woman Who Kickstarted Paleontology

    "Thanks, Mary Anning." -Steven Spielberg [citation needed]

    Before Mary Anning and her contemporaries, it was still widely assumed that fossils were just remains from existing animals and not generally useful for science (nor put in the ground by Satan). Thought most of her work wound up being published by men because life in the early 19th century was awful, Anning made a ton of important discoveries—including what bezoar stones actually were, because she needed to see the dinosaurs' droppings.

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  3. Elle Fanning to Play Mary Shelley in New Biopic by Wadjda‘s Haifaa Al-Mansour


    Mother of science fiction (well, one of them) Mary Shelley, writer of Frankenstein, is getting the Shakespeare In Love treatment courtesy of Wadjda director Haifaa al-Mansour. Calling it right now: Ben Affleck for Lord Byron.

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  4. 50 Female-Directed Movies You Should Watch, Part 3: Foreign Films

    You didn't have any non-movie-watching plans this week, right?

    Welcome to day three of our series on films by female directors. We've covered mainstream and American independent movies so far, and now we move on to foreign flicks.

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  5. We Would Watch Every Movie In This “Rejected Princesses” Art Series

    Especially the one with Hatshepsut.

    Animated children's movies often draw from source material that isn't particularly kid-friendly, but there are some stories that just can't be sugarcoated. This is where artist Jason Porath (a former effects animator at DreamWorks) comes in. His "Rejected Princesses" series depicts women from history and legend who are either "way too awesome, way too awful, or way too weird" for a Hollywood greenlight.

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  6. Ubisoft Blames Lack of Female PCs in Assassin’s Creed on “Reality of Production”

    Today in things that make us scream incoherently

    Readers, meet Charlotte Corday. She was born in 1768, and at the age of twenty-five was executed by guillo

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  7. The Scarlet Pimpernel and What Superheroes Owe to Baroness Emma Orczy

    The Escapist : The Big Picture : Scarlet Unity - What Assassin's Creed and Batman Have in Common
    You'd think after discovering that Alexandre Dumas was multiracial years ago, I'd have learned to assume less about the writers of historical adventure novels, but I had no idea that The Scarlet Pimpernel was written by a woman. Or narrated by a woman! They left that out of the Broadway show and illustrated book retelling of the Looney Tunes adaptation that were, uh, my only experiences of the story as a kid. Here's to reading the original! Previously in Badass Women in History

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  8. 10 Hardcore Female Military Leaders From History

    Power Grid

    300: Rise of An Empire came out on Friday, and its release should give Queen Artemisia of Caria some well-deserved public recognition. Played by Eva Green in the film, Artemisia was a real-life naval commander for Xerxes the Great's fearsome Persian military in the 5th century BCE. According to the writings of war historian Polyaenus, Xerxes declared that she was the finest officer in his fleet. But she's far from the only amazing female military commander in history. Here are ten others, most (though not all) of whom have never had movies made about them... but definitely should someday soon.

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  9. Maggie Q to Star in Series Based on Pirate Queen Ching Shih, the Terror of the South China

    Buckle Buckle Swash Swash

    Deadline is reporting that one of our favorite historical ladies may be coming to a television screen near you: Ching Shih, a pirate's widow who, at the dawn of the 1800's, began a career that would make her one of the most notorious pirates in the world, the terror of the Chinese, British, and Portugese navies, so unstoppable that the only way to end her naval empire wound up being to offer her complete amnesty and a nice retirement.

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  10. Let Us Renew Our Vows, Tumblr That’s Just Illustrated Puns on Famous Ladies Names

    Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

    Seven months ago, I pledged myself utterly to, in the most formal way I could manage on short notice. At the time I wasn't even sure if a human being could marry a blog! Especially if they've never even talked to the people who run it! But I'm happy to report that more than half a year later, Ladypuns still brings me joy with every post.

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  11. “History’s Forgotten Women” Get Their Own… Eyeshadow Line?

    Olden Lore

    OK then. This is Ignis Antiquita, a line of 40 eyeshadows “inspired by the amazing, fiery, passionate, strong women who have been largely forgotten in our history books, or had their histories revised due to the fact that they were what they were- WOMEN!” Here are descriptions of all the women included. Before you scoff at the idea of famous women of history being paired with a makeup line—let me say A) there’s nothing wrong with makeup itself, and B) Ignis Antiquita wasn't created by some huge conglomerate seeking to take advantage of the struggles of women to sell some impossible beauty standard, but by independently owned company Aromaleigh. I can only assume founder Kristen Leigh Bell thought “You know what’s cool? Eyeshadow. You know what’s also cool? Historical women!” True on both counts. Are you following The Mary Sue on Twitter, Facebook, Tumblr, Pinterest, & Google +?

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  12. Women Airforce Service Pilots Got Their Rose Parade Float Yesterday

    For A More Civilized Age

    If we talk about the Women Airforce Service Pilots a lot, it's only because they were awesome. Classified as civilians working for the Air Force as they performed the same job as (and even trained) enlisted men, unceremoniously dismissed at the end of the war, with their actions unnecessarily classified for thirty years and subsequently omitted from history textbooks. It's been a struggle for the aging members of the WASP to find their proper due, but one such effort went off without a hitch this very week.

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  13. Series of Real-World Heroines As Disney Princesses Is Snarktastically Wonderful

    A Series of Fallopian Tubes

    If you’ll remember, Disney’s redesign of Brave’s Merida kicked up quite the controversy earlier this year, causing many to be upset by how Disney crushes their princesses’ individuality in favor of creating generic, glitter-tastic images for them to slap on products and sell. Among those less-than-impressed is artist David Trumble, who worked with educational psychologist Lori Day to parody Disney’s “princessification” by illustrating what it would be like if the same treatment were applied to real-life female role models. Hit the jump to see the entire series and some quotes from Trumble on his inspiration.

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  14. 10 Geeky Halloween Costumes For Inveterate Procrastinators

    Power Grid

    It’s October 28th already, and you don’t have a Halloween costume. You could always go buy something at the last minute, but the high prices for poorly made, mass-produced costumes aren’t for you. But worry not, because we’ve got your back. Here are our picks for 10 geeky Halloween costumes for procrastinators, so named because they for the most part call for normal, everyday clothes. Minus assorted accessories, you’re pretty much guaranteed to have what you need for at least a few of these costumes in your closet already. Procrastinators and costume cheapskates unite!

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  15. What’s Inside the 125-year-old Safe Left by the Woman Suffrage Party? Today We Find Out

    Oh My Stars and Garters

    Today is the day-- here in New York City, the locked vault of the Women's Suffrage Party will be opened, 125 years after the organization's founding. The safe has been sitting in the Manhattan office of National of Women of the United States-- which was founded back in 1888 by people like Susan B. Anthony and Clara BartonIt hasn't been opened due to "limited funds," but that changes now. What's in the safe? Find out under the cut.

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  16. BBC Celebrates Susan Travers, The Only Woman in the French Foreign Legion

    Imagine What You'll Know Tomorrow

    This week, BBC Online Magazine proudly celebrates the life and complete badassery of the late Susan Travers, who would have been 100. Travers was (and is) the only woman to have been a member of the French Foreign Legion. During her later years, surprised reactions to seeing her with the tell-tale red and blue ribbon would not have been unusual, especially given the Legion's reputation and standing within France. For our American and non-French readership, let us say that the Foreign Legion, a military unit for foreign nationals who wish to serve in the French Armed Forces that is commanded by French officers, is notoriously tough. Because soldiers in the Legion hail from all over, a sense of cohesion is developed through rigorous training that is both physically and mentally extreme. Starting to get the idea?

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  17. Vintage Photos Of Stylish, Norm-Challenging Tattooed Women

    Girls Just Wanna Have Fun

    Although women have achieved a certain level of freedom to decorate their bodies as they wish in modern society, the scandal of getting a tattoo or a piercing wasn't always limited to unruly teens going against their parents' wishes. At best, the subject of strange glances on the street, and at worst, the subject of ridicule, tattooed women bucked societal norms in order to decorate their skin as they saw fit, paving the way for today's inked chicks. Here are some great old photos of some lovely ladies with awesome tatts!

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  18. Unearthing Audrey Munson, Hollywood’s First Nude Actress

    i'll just leave this here

    Although including nude women in film as often as possible seems to be a current industry standard in Hollywood, it wasn't always so. The very first, scandalous instance of female nudity in a non-pornographic film occurred in a 1915 film titled Inspiration -- Audrey Munson played a sculptor's model in a film that would end up buried with the passage of time, along with her bittersweet legacy.

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  19. To Celebrate the End of Women’s History Month, a Gallery of Women in Science

    she blinded me with science

    Not that we're going to suddenly stop celebrating great women in history, especially those who have made an impact in STEM fields, but what better way to close out Women's History Month than with a gallery of women in science? After the jump, one such gallery, courtesy of the Smithsonian Institution, of women who have made great contributions to several fields of science!

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  20. Women’s Airforce Service Pilots Get Their Due In New Film [VIDEO]

    Today in Boobs

    Dawn Letson wasn't in the U.S. Airforce during World War II but she knows a very interesting person who was. Alberta Kinney was a member of the Women's Airforce Service Pilots (WASP) program, a group of civilian women pilots (1,074 at their peak but a whopping 25,000 applied) who were employed to fly military aircraft. And she just happened to have home video footage of herself and the rest of her squad that she passed on to the WASP collection. Take a look at Letson talking about her friend and her accomplishments and get a sneak peek at the footage.

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