History's Heroines

Badass ladies who have made their mark on history.

fyeah-history:

Empress Dowager CixiEmpress Dowager Cixi, of the Manchu Yehenara clan, was a powerful and charismatic woman who unofficially but effectively controlled the Manchu Qing Dynasty in China for 47 years from 1861 to her death in 1908.

Empress Dowager Cixi was a shrewd political player as well.  She was crowned Empress Dowager Cixi at 27 after the Emperor Xianfeng’s death.  Until her own death, she effectively manipulated the court into doing her will, including working over and around (and sometimes through) people that got in her way.  For example the 8 Regent Ministers, who resented what they saw as her interference in status quo politics, frequently tried to stymie her.  In retaliation, she secretly gathered allies from those the Ministers had made enemies of and staged a coup that left three of the 8 executed (she only executed 3 to show how noble she was).  This lady did not eff around.
She also suffered no BS from anyone, friends or enemies.  She had  one long-standing ally named Prince Gong - that is, until he showed too much ambition and gathered far too much military and popular support.  When he became a real threat to her rule, despite the aid he’d given her in the Xinyou Palace Coup, she cut his political feet out from under him and demoted him, allowing him to keep only an empty title without power.  He would never return to his former power again.
Dowager Empress Cixi is often vilified as a tyrannical and despotic ruler, but she did manage to control the Qing dynasty for 47 years, and most of her bad press may have been created by her opponents.  Read more about her here >

fyeah-history:

Empress Dowager Cixi
Empress Dowager Cixi, of the Manchu Yehenara clan, was a powerful and charismatic woman who unofficially but effectively controlled the Manchu Qing Dynasty in China for 47 years from 1861 to her death in 1908.

Empress Dowager Cixi was a shrewd political player as well.  She was crowned Empress Dowager Cixi at 27 after the Emperor Xianfeng’s death.  Until her own death, she effectively manipulated the court into doing her will, including working over and around (and sometimes through) people that got in her way.  For example the 8 Regent Ministers, who resented what they saw as her interference in status quo politics, frequently tried to stymie her.  In retaliation, she secretly gathered allies from those the Ministers had made enemies of and staged a coup that left three of the 8 executed (she only executed 3 to show how noble she was).  This lady did not eff around.

She also suffered no BS from anyone, friends or enemies.  She had  one long-standing ally named Prince Gong - that is, until he showed too much ambition and gathered far too much military and popular support.  When he became a real threat to her rule, despite the aid he’d given her in the Xinyou Palace Coup, she cut his political feet out from under him and demoted him, allowing him to keep only an empty title without power.  He would never return to his former power again.

Dowager Empress Cixi is often vilified as a tyrannical and despotic ruler, but she did manage to control the Qing dynasty for 47 years, and most of her bad press may have been created by her opponents.  Read more about her here >

weirdvintage:

Mystery writer Agatha Christie with her surf board “Fred” in 1922.  She was one of the earliest Britons to master stand-up surfing while visiting Hawaii. (via Retronaut)

weirdvintage:

Mystery writer Agatha Christie with her surf board “Fred” in 1922.  She was one of the earliest Britons to master stand-up surfing while visiting Hawaii. (via Retronaut)

(Source: weirdvintage)

There were no educated women: Fatima al-Fihri

medievallyaccurate:

imageCourtyard, Al-Qarawiyyin University, Fes. Morocco(by Khonsali)

Fatima Muhammad Al-Fihri (فاطمة محمد الفهري)(?-880) was an Arab Muslim woman who, along with her sister Mariam, supported the construction of several mosque and education centres, the most famous of which is the University of…

asianhistory:

 Qiu Jin (November 8, 1875 - July 15, 1907) was a Chinese anti-Qing Empire revolutionary, feminist and writer. She was executed after a failed uprising and today is considered a hero in China. “The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake.” Born in Minhou, Fujian Province, Qiu grew up in Shanyin Village, Shaoxing Subprefecture, Zhejiang Province. Married, Qiu found herself in contact with new ideas. In 1904 she decided to travel overseas and study in Japan, leaving her two children behind. She was known by her acquaintances for wearing Western male dress and for her left-wing ideology. She joined the Triads, who at the time advocated the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and return of Chinese government to the Chinese people. She joined the anti-Qing societies Guangfuhui, led by Cai Yuanpei, and the Tokyo-based Tongmenghui led by Sun Yat-sen. She returned to China in 1905. She was an eloquent orator who spoke out for women’s rights, such as the freedom to marry, freedom of education, and abolishment of bound feet. In 1906 she founded a radical women’s journal with another female poet, Xu Zihua, in Shanghai. In 1907 she became head of the Datong school in Shaoxing, ostensibly a school for sport teachers, but really intended for the military training of revolutionaries. After an uprising led by her cousin Xu Xilin failed in July 1907, Qiu was arrested in her school. She was tortured by Qing officials in order to make her reveal secrets but did not succumb; a few days later she was publicly executed in her home village, Shanyin, at the age of 31. Qiu was immortalized in Republican China’s popular consciousness and literature after her death. She is now buried beside West Lake in Hangzhou. The People’s Republic of China established a museum for her in Shaoxing City.

asianhistory:

Qiu Jin (November 8, 1875 - July 15, 1907) was a Chinese anti-Qing Empire revolutionary, feminist and writer. She was executed after a failed uprising and today is considered a hero in China. “The Woman Knight of Mirror Lake.” Born in Minhou, Fujian Province, Qiu grew up in Shanyin Village, Shaoxing Subprefecture, Zhejiang Province. Married, Qiu found herself in contact with new ideas. In 1904 she decided to travel overseas and study in Japan, leaving her two children behind. She was known by her acquaintances for wearing Western male dress and for her left-wing ideology. She joined the Triads, who at the time advocated the overthrow of the Qing dynasty and return of Chinese government to the Chinese people. She joined the anti-Qing societies Guangfuhui, led by Cai Yuanpei, and the Tokyo-based Tongmenghui led by Sun Yat-sen. She returned to China in 1905. She was an eloquent orator who spoke out for women’s rights, such as the freedom to marry, freedom of education, and abolishment of bound feet. In 1906 she founded a radical women’s journal with another female poet, Xu Zihua, in Shanghai. In 1907 she became head of the Datong school in Shaoxing, ostensibly a school for sport teachers, but really intended for the military training of revolutionaries. After an uprising led by her cousin Xu Xilin failed in July 1907, Qiu was arrested in her school. She was tortured by Qing officials in order to make her reveal secrets but did not succumb; a few days later she was publicly executed in her home village, Shanyin, at the age of 31. Qiu was immortalized in Republican China’s popular consciousness and literature after her death. She is now buried beside West Lake in Hangzhou. The People’s Republic of China established a museum for her in Shaoxing City.
femininefreak:

Did you know?
There was a “female Paul Revere” named Sybil Ludington who rode twice as far and was only 16 at the time?
Put women back into history.
Read more here…

femininefreak:

Did you know?

There was a “female Paul Revere” named Sybil Ludington who rode twice as far and was only 16 at the time?

Put women back into history.

Read more here

Anonymous said: What your opinion on Women in the Military?

peashooter85:

If a woman can meet the standards then I don’t see why not.  Today pretty much every modern military in the world allows women in combat.  The thing that gets me is that many people treat the subject like it’s something new and groundbreaking, like its never been done before. However, throughout history there have been many women who fought and did battle, many of whom were absolute badasses who make UFC heavy weight champions seem like wimpy wet noodles.

Anhotep I, Ancient Egypt, Hyksos War, “cleansed Egypt of the Hyksos”.

image

Hua Mulan, Tang Dynasty China, disguised herself as a man.  Inspired the Disney movie “Mulan”.

File:Hua Mulan.jpg

The Trung Sisters, 1st Century Vietnam, rebelled against the Chinese Empire.

image

Joan of Arc, the Hundred Years War. Led the French to victory against the English.

image

Tomoe Gozen, lady Samurai during the Genpei War.  The woodblock illustration below is of her decapitating the Samurai Honda no Moroshige of Musashi during the Battle of Awazu.

image

Matilda of Tuscany, Middle Ages, Investiture Conflict, personal bodyguard of Pope.

image

Hannah Snell, Royal Marine, Seven Years War, disguised herself as a man.

File:HannahSnell.jpg

Nadezhda Andreyevna Durova,  most heavily decorated soldier in the Russian Cavalry during the Napoleonic Wars. Disguised herself as a man.

image

Deborah Sampson, American Revolution, disguised herself as a man. Removed a musket ball from her thigh with a knife.

image

Harriet Tubman, American Civil War, spy, army scout, and co-commander of Union forces during the Combahee River Raid.

image

Loretta Valsaquez, American Civil War, Confederacy. Disguised herself as a man.

image

Cathay Williams, 38th Infantry (Buffalo Soldiers) during the late 19th century. Disguised herself as a man.

image

The Dahomey Amazon’s, East Africa 19th century.  The most feared warriors of the Kingdom of Dahomey.  Their favorite pastime was to decapitate their captured enemies.

File:Dahomey amazon1.jpg

One of many “Soldateras” during the Mexican Revolution.

image

Captain Flora Sandes, World War I, English woman who fought in the Serbian Army.  Won the Serbia’s highest honor (the Order of the Karađorđe’s Star) after leading her company on a successful assault despite being wounded by a grenade and in a bout of hand to hand combat.

image

Soldiers during the Spanish Civil War.

image

Lydia Litvyak, Soviet Air Force, World War II: First female fighter ace, first kill scored by a woman, highest scoring female fighter pilot with 16 kills.

File:Lydia Litvyak.JPG

Nancy Wake, World War II, commanded a 7,000 man resistance group in France. Was tortured by the Gestapo for 4 days and never talked.  On the flip side she was known for interrogating enemy spies and getting them to talk, then executing them.

image

The 46th Taman Guards Night Bomber Group, a Soviet all female bomber group during World War II.  Nicknamed “The Night Witches” by the Germans because of their stealthy bombing tactics.

image

Lyudmilla Pavlichenko, Soviet Sniper during World War II, deadliest female sniper with 309 kills. Heroine of the Soviet Union.

image

Mariya Oktyabrskaya, Soviet tank driver during World War II, Heroine of the Soviet Union.

image

Capt. Kim Campbell, US Air Force, A10 Warthog pilot during the Iraq War, the pictures speak for themselves.

image

image

File:Kim campbell damage a10.jpg

image

image

rebellemagazine:

Women training to be doctors at the Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia in 1885

I love this picture.

rebellemagazine:

Women training to be doctors at the Women’s Medical College of Philadelphia in 1885

I love this picture.

fyeah-history:

Folk art depiction of Lady TrieuLady Triệu (Vietnamese: Bà Triệu, Sino-Vietnamese: 趙嫗 Triệu Ẩu; 225–248) was a female warrior in 3rd century Vietnam who managed, for a time, to successfully resist the Chinese state of Eastern Wu during its occupation of Vietnam. She is also called Triệu Thị Trinh, although her actual given name is unknown. She is quoted as saying, “I’d like to ride storms, kill sharks in the open sea, drive out the aggressors, reconquer the country, undo the ties of serfdom, and never bend my back to be the concubine of whatever man.”

fyeah-history:

Folk art depiction of Lady Trieu
Lady Triệu (Vietnamese: Bà Triệu, Sino-Vietnamese: 趙嫗 Triệu Ẩu; 225–248) was a female warrior in 3rd century Vietnam who managed, for a time, to successfully resist the Chinese state of Eastern Wu during its occupation of Vietnam. She is also called Triệu Thị Trinh, although her actual given name is unknown. She is quoted as saying, “I’d like to ride storms, kill sharks in the open sea, drive out the aggressors, reconquer the country, undo the ties of serfdom, and never bend my back to be the concubine of whatever man.”

(Source: Wikipedia)

dynamicafrica:

#TBT Dynamic Africa History Post: Who Was Huda Sha’arawi?
Considered to be one of the central figures in early 20th century feminism in Egypt, Huda Sha’arawi (pictured: center) was born into a wealthy family in Minya, Egypt, in 1879. She was the daughter of Muhammad Sultan, the first president of the Egyptian Representative Council.
Throughout her childhood and early adulthood, Sha’awari was raised in a harem, largely secluded from the outside world. At the thirteen, she was married to her cousin Ali Pasha Sha`arawi who she eventually separated from for seven years after he refused to leave his concubine, as per their marriage arrangement. During her separation from him, Sha’awari extended her formal education. From a young age, she was tutored in a variety of subjects and spoke French, Turkish, and Arabic. 
A pioneer and activist, Sha’awari was involved in many philanthropic projects throughout her life beginning with the establishing of the first philanthropic society run by Egyptian women, in 1908, that offered services for poor women and children. She argued that women-run social service projects were important for two reasons. First, by engaging in such projects, women would widen their horizons, acquire practical knowledge and direct their focus outward. Second, informed largely by her harem upbringing, such projects would challenge the view that women existed solely for men’s pleasure and were constantly in need of protection and guardianship by men. However, despite holding this progressive view of women’s rights at the time, Shaarawi saw the problems of the poor as issues to be resolved through charitable activities of the rich, particularly through donations to education programs. Holding a somewhat romanticized view of poor women’s lives, she viewed them as passive recipients of social services, not to be consulted about priorities or goals. The rich, in turn, were the “guardians and protectors of the nation.”
As a young woman, Sha’awari displayed defiant acts of independence. Once such incident involved her entering a department store in Alexandria to buy her own clothes instead of having them brought to her abode in her harem. In 1909, she also helped to organize Mubarrat Muhammad Ali, a women’s social service organization and the Union of Educated Egyptian Women in 1914, the year in which she traveled to Europe for the first time. Sha’awari helped lead the first women’s street demonstration during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, and was elected president of the Wafdist Women’s Central Committee.
In 1910, she opened a school for girls focused on academics, rather than teaching practical skills like midwifery which was common at the time. Four years later, she founded the Intellectual Association of Egyptian Women. But it was her founding of the Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) in 1923 that Sha’awari is often most remembered for. The EFU consisted of upper and middle class Egyptian women, and at its height had about 250 members. The EFU focused on various issues, particularly women’s suffrage, increased education for women, and changes in the Personal Status laws. While the EFU accomplished few of its goals, it is widely credited with setting the stage for later feminist victories. She remained an active member of the EFU throughout her life and the organization remains active to this day.

Part of Shaarawi’s motivation for founding the EFU was her desire to send a delegation of Egyptian women to the 9th Congress of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in Rome, in May 1923. In a speech at this conference, Shaarawi advanced her conception of Egyptian feminism. She argued, first, that women in ancient Egypt had equal status to men, and only under foreign domination had women lost those rights. Second, she argued that Islam also granted women equal rights to men, but that the Koran had been misinterpreted by those in power. Shaarawi and the EFU maintained their ties with the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance for several years. However, in the 1930s, increasingly influenced by the nationalist movement in Palestine, Shaarawi and her colleagues began to define nationalism in pan-Arab, rather than Egyptian, terms. In addition, they became increasingly suspicious of Western feminists, and began to cast their feminist struggle in pan-Arab terms as well. Eventually, they broke their ties to the Suffrage Alliance. In 1945, Shaarawi and the EFU played a major role in founding the All Arab Feminist Union.

Upon her return from the Rome conference in 1923, and following the death of her husband that same year, Sha’arawi performed an act that will forever be remembered as a major moment in her life: she removed her veil in public at a Cairo train station. Her decision to unveil was part of a greater movement of women and was influenced by French born Egyptian feminist, Eugénie Le Brun, but it contrasted with some feminist thinkers like Malak Hifni Nasif. In fact, some say that Sha’arawi’s removal her veil, although bold at the time, has become an exaggerated part of her life as removal of the veil was never on the EFU’s list of priorities.

Sha’arawi passed away in 1947. Much of her life was penned in her memoir The Harem Years.

(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

dynamicafrica:

#TBT Dynamic Africa History Post: Who Was Huda Sha’arawi?

Considered to be one of the central figures in early 20th century feminism in Egypt, Huda Sha’arawi (pictured: center) was born into a wealthy family in Minya, Egypt, in 1879. She was the daughter of Muhammad Sultan, the first president of the Egyptian Representative Council.

Throughout her childhood and early adulthood, Sha’awari was raised in a harem, largely secluded from the outside world. At the thirteen, she was married to her cousin Ali Pasha Sha`arawi who she eventually separated from for seven years after he refused to leave his concubine, as per their marriage arrangement. During her separation from him, Sha’awari extended her formal education. From a young age, she was tutored in a variety of subjects and spoke French, Turkish, and Arabic. 

A pioneer and activist, Sha’awari was involved in many philanthropic projects throughout her life beginning with the establishing of the first philanthropic society run by Egyptian women, in 1908, that offered services for poor women and children. She argued that women-run social service projects were important for two reasons. First, by engaging in such projects, women would widen their horizons, acquire practical knowledge and direct their focus outward. Second, informed largely by her harem upbringing, such projects would challenge the view that women existed solely for men’s pleasure and were constantly in need of protection and guardianship by men. However, despite holding this progressive view of women’s rights at the time, Shaarawi saw the problems of the poor as issues to be resolved through charitable activities of the rich, particularly through donations to education programs. Holding a somewhat romanticized view of poor women’s lives, she viewed them as passive recipients of social services, not to be consulted about priorities or goals. The rich, in turn, were the “guardians and protectors of the nation.”

As a young woman, Sha’awari displayed defiant acts of independence. Once such incident involved her entering a department store in Alexandria to buy her own clothes instead of having them brought to her abode in her harem. In 1909, she also helped to organize Mubarrat Muhammad Ali, a women’s social service organization and the Union of Educated Egyptian Women in 1914, the year in which she traveled to Europe for the first time. Sha’awari helped lead the first women’s street demonstration during the Egyptian Revolution of 1919, and was elected president of the Wafdist Women’s Central Committee.

In 1910, she opened a school for girls focused on academics, rather than teaching practical skills like midwifery which was common at the time. Four years later, she founded the Intellectual Association of Egyptian Women. But it was her founding of the Egyptian Feminist Union (EFU) in 1923 that Sha’awari is often most remembered for. The EFU consisted of upper and middle class Egyptian women, and at its height had about 250 members. The EFU focused on various issues, particularly women’s suffrage, increased education for women, and changes in the Personal Status laws. While the EFU accomplished few of its goals, it is widely credited with setting the stage for later feminist victories. She remained an active member of the EFU throughout her life and the organization remains active to this day.
Part of Shaarawi’s motivation for founding the EFU was her desire to send a delegation of Egyptian women to the 9th Congress of the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance in Rome, in May 1923. In a speech at this conference, Shaarawi advanced her conception of Egyptian feminism. She argued, first, that women in ancient Egypt had equal status to men, and only under foreign domination had women lost those rights. Second, she argued that Islam also granted women equal rights to men, but that the Koran had been misinterpreted by those in power. Shaarawi and the EFU maintained their ties with the International Women’s Suffrage Alliance for several years. However, in the 1930s, increasingly influenced by the nationalist movement in Palestine, Shaarawi and her colleagues began to define nationalism in pan-Arab, rather than Egyptian, terms. In addition, they became increasingly suspicious of Western feminists, and began to cast their feminist struggle in pan-Arab terms as well. Eventually, they broke their ties to the Suffrage Alliance. In 1945, Shaarawi and the EFU played a major role in founding the All Arab Feminist Union.
Upon her return from the Rome conference in 1923, and following the death of her husband that same year, Sha’arawi performed an act that will forever be remembered as a major moment in her life: she removed her veil in public at a Cairo train station. Her decision to unveil was part of a greater movement of women and was influenced by French born Egyptian feminist, Eugénie Le Brun, but it contrasted with some feminist thinkers like Malak Hifni Nasif. In fact, some say that Sha’arawi’s removal her veil, although bold at the time, has become an exaggerated part of her life as removal of the veil was never on the EFU’s list of priorities.
Sha’arawi passed away in 1947. Much of her life was penned in her memoir The Harem Years.
(sources: 1 | 2 | 3)

dynamicafrica:

RIP to legendary Tanzanian Taarab singer Fatma binti Baraka, popularly known as Bi Kidude, who passed away on April 17th, 2013, at her home on the island of Zanzibar. She is believed to have surpassed 100 years of age.

As a child, she was singled out for her fine voice and, in the 1920s, sang locally with popular cultural troupes, combining an understanding of music with an equally important initiation into traditional medicine.

At age 13, after a forced marriage she fled Zanzibar to mainland Tanzania. Bi Kidude toured mainland East Africa with a taarab ensemble, visiting the major coastal towns and inland as far west as Lake Victoria and Tanganyika.

She walked the length and the breadth of the country barefoot in the early 1930s fleeing another unhappy marriage. In the 1930s she ended up in Dar es Salaam where she sang with Egyptian Taarab group for many years. In the 1940s she returned to Zanzibar where she acquired a small mud hut to be her home.

She is known for her role in the Unyago movement which prepares young Swahili women for their transition through puberty. She is one of the experts of this ancient ritual, performed only to teenage girls, which uses traditional rhythms to teach women to pleasure their husbands, while lecturing against the dangers of sexual abuse and oppression.

(source)