Before Hillary, Beyoncé or Amy Schumer, there were many bold women who paved the way for the badasses of today. What’s more, they did so in much harder and more oppressive times. Still, these women ignored everything society was telling them: that girls don’t write computer code, that women can’t fly an airplane or that females can’t have control over their own reproductive systems.
From smartypants Hedy Lamarr to tremendously brave Ellen Craft and transgender trailblazer Carmen Rupe, these women were fierce and are sure to inspire. To quote Chinese poet Qiu Jin, “Don’t tell me women are not the stuff of heroes.”