Golda Meir: Prime Badass
Because women have done more in the past 10,000 years than just pop out babies and make sandwiches.
DISCLAIMER: We make no claim that all women featured here are saints. They did awesome stuff; the women themselves might not have been. Keep that in mind before sending angry notes.
Golda Meir: Prime Badass
Provided refuge, food, and medical and spiritual aid to Katipuneros (revolutionaries) in her small convenience store. Illiterate and a single mother, she also let revolutionaries hold secret meetings in her house. Became known as the Mother of the Katipunan, as well as Tandang Sora (or Old Sora), at 84 years old. When the Spaniards interrogated her, she did not divulge what she knew about the revolution. Because of her age, she was sentenced to be exiled to Mariana Islands. She returned from exile under the American occupation. The revolution impoverished Tandang Sora. Notwithstanding her dire conditions, she politely declined the colonial government’s offer of a lifetime pension. She was content and happy, she told the government emissary, that she was able to help in regaining her country’s freedom. She died at the age of 107. (Melchora Aquino)
Geraldine Anne Ferraro (August 26, 1935 – March 26, 2011) was an American attorney, a Democratic Party politician and a former member of the United States House of Representatives. She was the first female Vice Presidential candidate representing a major American political party. Ferraro grew up in New York and became a teacher and lawyer. She joined the Queens County District Attorney’s Office in 1974, where she headed the new Special Victims Bureau that dealt with sex crimes, child abuse, and domestic violence. She was elected to Congress in 1978, where she rose rapidly in the party hierarchy while focusing on legislation to bring equity for women in the areas of wages, pensions, and retirement plans. In 1984, former Vice President and presidential candidate Walter Mondale selected Ferraro to be his running mate in the upcoming election. In doing so she became the only Italian American to be a major-party national nominee in addition to being the first woman. But in the general election, Mondale and Ferraro were defeated. She served as a United States Ambassador to the United Nations Commission on Human Rights from 1993 until 1996 in the presidential administration of Bill Clinton. She also continued her career as a journalist, author, and businesswoman, and served in the 2008 presidential campaign of Senator Hillary Rodham Clinton.
Spied for the revolution during the Spanish Reconquista of New Granada (modern-day Colombia) by offering her services as a seamstress to wives and daughters of Royalist families, while overhearing conversations, collecting maps and intelligence, identifying the major Royalists, finding out who was suspected of being a revolutionary, and recruiting young men to the insurgent army. Eventually arrested for espionage and treason and sentenced to death by firing squad. While imprisoned, cursed the Spaniards relentlessly and predicted their defeat instead of repeating the prayers of the priests. It is said that when she paused, tired and thirsty, a guard offered her a glass of wine and she threw it back in his face, saying “I would not accept even a glass of water from my enemies!”
As she was led to her death, she continued to berate her captors and gave her fellow prisoners heart. Ascending the scaffolding in Bolívar Square, she was told to turn her back, as that is how traitors were killed. However, she refused to kneel before the Spanish firing squad, and yelled “I have more than enough courage to suffer this death and a thousand more! Do not forget my example.” Considered the most significant woman of the Revolution, with a holiday - Day of the Colombian Woman - in her honor on the anniversary of her death. The only historical female personality ever depicted on Colombian currency. (Policarpa Salavarrieta, “La Pola”)
Led the People Power Revolution of the Philippines, calling for massive civil disobedience protests (including four days of the military-civilian rebellion where millions crammed the streets to protect reformist soldiers who had mutinied against Marcos and nuns armed only with rosaries knelt in front of tanks, stopping them in their tracks) eventually leading to the ousting of Ferdinand Marcos and her declaration as President. Oversaw the promulgation of a new constitution, which limited the powers of the presidency and established a bicameral legislature. Gave strong emphasis and concern for civil liberties and human rights, and peace talks with communist insurgents and Muslim secessionists. Her economic policies centered on bringing back economic health and confidence and focused on creating a market-oriented and socially-responsible economy. Survived several coup attempts, and even after her presidency served as a unifying force during troubled times. (Corazon Aquino)
Played a vital role in the foundation of the Socialist International Group. Was one of the main far Left revolutionaries in the German Socialist Party befote World War I. Was good friends with Rosa Luxembourg. One of the main founders of the German Women’s Movement, editor of the newspaper Die Gleichheit, started the first ‘International Women’s Day’ on March 1911. Became involved in WWI anti-war campaigning and was arrested repeatedly in consequence. Founded the Spartacist League and the Independent Social Democratic Party of Germany (USPD, interviewed Lenin on ‘the women’s question’, was a member of the central office of the German Communist Party, later she became part of its central committee. In August 1932, as the chairwoman of the German Parliament (Reischtag) by seniority, she called for people to fight Nazism. (Clara Zetkin)
Helped establish the Tang Dynasty, after raising an army of 70,000 warriors and peasant rebels and earned the loyalty of the rural provinces (by not allowing her men to rape and pillage, and distributing food and drink). Crushed the army of the emperor, while also recruiting its skilled officers, before joining up with her father’s army to descend on the Imperial Palace. When she died two years later, was given a funeral worthy of a general. (Li Zhao, Princess Pingyang)
Organized the locals of Donegal in protest against evictions during the “Land Wars”. Influenced poet William Butler Yeats to become involved with Irish nationalism, and helped him found the National Literary Society of London. In Paris, published a nationalist newsletter called “L’Irelande Libre.” Traveled to the US, Scotland, and England raise funds for the movement. Co-founded the Transvaal Committee, which supported the Afrikaners in the Boer War, and Inghinidhe na hÉireann (Daughters of Erin), a revolutionary women’s society, and still found time to star on stage in Yeats play, “Cathleen ní Houlihan,” which Yeats had written for her. Worked with the Red Cross in France during WWI. Was interned at Holloway Jail for six months for her part in the anti-conscription movement. along with Hanna Sheehy Skeffington, Kathleen Clarke, Countess Markievicz and others. After she was released, she worked for the White Cross for relief of Irish victims during the War of Independence. Along with Charlotte Depard founded the Women’s Prisoners Defense League to help Republican prisoners and their families. Worked for the Women’s Prisoners Defense League, which mobilized again in defense of Republican prisoners in 1935, for the rest of her life. Her son, Seán, was one of the founders of Amnesty International, and awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1974. Is called Ireland’s Joan of Arc. (Maud Gonne MacBride)
The youngest woman ever to have been elected to British Parliament having been elected at the age of 21, she stood on the slogan “I will take my seat and fight for your rights” – signalling her rejection of the traditional Irish republican tactic of abstentionism (being absent from Westminster). Publicised discrimination against Catholics in Northern Ireland. Convicted of incitement to riot in December 1969 after the ‘Battle of the Bogside’, and was re-elected in the 1970 general election. After witnessing the events of Bloody Sunday, punched Reginald Maudling, the Secretary of State for the Home Department in the Conservative government, when he made a statement to Parliament on Bloody Sunday stating that the British Army had fired only in self-defence. Helped to form the Irish Republican Socialist Party, a revolutionary socialist breakaway from Official Sinn Féin. Survived an assassination attempt by the “Ulster Freedom Fighters”. (Bernadette Devlin)