Women have done some pretty amazing things over the years, but some women have really made a big impact.
Here are 10 absolutely badass women, who have definitely made their mark on the history of the world as we know it.
1. Sojourner Truth
Sojourner Truth was an African-American anti-slavery campaigner and women’s rights activists, who was well ahead of her time. She was born Isabella Baumfree in around 1797, ironically, into slavery. Along with her infant daughter, she escaped her slave owners in 1826, and was the first black woman to win a court battle against a white man in 1828 when she recovered her son from a slave owner.
In 1843, Isabella gave herself the name Sojourner Truth because she was convinced that God had called her to leave her home in the city and travel in the countryside delivering speeches. A pretty impressive woman who battled her whole life for equality for all.
2. Margaret Sanger
If you take birth control on a regular basis, you might want to thank Margaret Sanger. She was an American birth control activist and sex educator, as well as a nurse and a writer. She actually popularised the term “birth control” and even opened the first birth control clinic in the United States. Sanger was the woman who started the organisations that ultimately grew into Planned Parenthood.
For her efforts to support women’s right to be pregnant, she was heavily criticised, arrested and charged on more than one occasion. She is widely regarded as the momentum behind the birth control movement as it exists today.
3. Omu Okwei
Omu Okwei, sometimes known as Okwei of Osomari, was a Nigerian queen merchant from Ossomari. She was born in 1872 to Prince Osuna Afubeho, and the granddaughter of King Obi Ossai.
She was sent to live with an aunt as a child, where she learned basic business practice and began trading produce and poetry. In 1889, she married a trader, against her parents wishes. Although she divorced him, she made a living on the Niger River selling clothing, pots and lamps. When the British colonised, women were locked out of decision-making procedures, but amazingly, Okwei was given a warrant to sit in, and served in the native court for two decades. Eventually, she was given the title of omu, meaning queen, and elected the Market Queen. She would be the last merchant queen in power, before the British replaced the traditional system.
4. Shi Pei Pu
The truth is, Shi Pei Pu was actually a man. However, he makes this list because for decades, he was able to convince everyone to the contrary. Born in 1938, Shi Pei Pu was a Chinese opera singer performing in Beijing.
He went on to become a spy who, for 20 years, maintained a sexual affair with Bernard Boursicot, a man in the French Embassy, who was convinced he was a woman. During their relationship, there were gaps, and at one point, Shi Pei Pu actually showed up with a child that he said was the product of their relationship. Boursicot had no idea that he was being deceived until 1982 when he brought Shi Pei Pu and his “son” to Paris and they were arrested. At this point, the story came out, much to Boursicot’s horror.
5. Maud Wagner
As far as badass women go, they don’t get much more badass than Maud Wagner. Born in February of 1877, Maud was a circus performer who became famous as being the first female tattoo artist in the United States. Maud worked in the circus circuit in her youth as anaerialist and contortionist. She met Gus Wagner there, and they started dating in exchange for Gus teaching Maud to use a tattoo gun.
They went on to have a daughter, Lotteva, who started tattooing at age nine and went on to become a well-known tattoo artist herself. The Wagners were known for their hand-poked tattoos, and in fact, they were some of the last two tattoo artists working in America using traditional methods.