10 Powerful Badass Women and Where To Read About Them

Throughout history, women have been seen as the lesser sex. The women highlighted here let their badass natures shine, and we’re here for it.

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As the saying goes, “Well-behaved women seldom make history,” and we’re so glad that the women on our list did not behave like their contemporaries. From warriors to innovative scientists, these women broke with the traditions and social expectations of their eras. Their intelligence, strength, and courageousness proving throughout history that women can not only do what men do, but they can do it better.

Russian Female Fighter Pilots

The Night Witches by Bruce Myles


A regiment of Russian Fighter Pilots comprised entirely of women, the Night Witches bombed Nazi targets in the dead of night, helping the Allies win WWII. Journalist Bruce Miles compiled extensive research and personal interviews of several of the pilots for his novel Night Witches: The Amazing Story Of Russia’s Women Pilots in World War II.

Ruth Bader-Ginsburg

My Own Words by Ruth Bader Ginsburg


An inspiration to women the world over to break glass ceilings, Ginsburg looked adversity in the face and never backed down. She went to law school in an era where working women were relegated to secretaries and climbed her way to the top of the justice ladder to become a Supreme Court Justice of the United States. My Own Words is written by R.B.G. herself, along with commentary by her official biographers Mary Harnett and Wendy W. Williams.

Ida B. Wells

Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells


Crusade for Justice: The Autobiography of Ida B. Wells is a memoir from the badass revolutionary herself. An activist and journalist that knew no limits, Ida B. Wells fought for Civil Rights and women’s suffrage. Despite being born to slaves, Wells was well educated and She co-founded the NAACP and founded the National Association of Colored Women’s Club. She was a crusader for the anti-lynching campaign, which often led to her removal from jobs and ridicule from fellow suffragettes.

Hypatia of Alexandria

Hypatia: Her Life and Times by Faith L. Justice


Born in 355 CE, Hypatia was the leading mathematician and astronomer of her time, a title only she, as a woman, can claim throughout history. Urged to continue her father’s work, Hypatia rose during a time of religious tolerance only to be brutally murdered when power changed hands. Her death turned her into a powerful feminist martyr. Hypatia: The Life and Times takes an in-depth look into her life, work, and mythology.


Boudica by Vanessa Collingridge


Hailed as the Warrior Queen who nearly drove the Romans out of England, Boudica was a ferocious, battle-hardened badass woman intent on safeguarding her heritage, people, and land. Her name has become synonymous with exceptional leadership and strength. Boudica: The Life of Britain’s Legendary Warrior Queen is a biography of Boudica and an extended history of her people.

Hedy Lemarr

Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life by Laurie Wallmark


While most associate this bombshell with her Hollowood stardom, Hedy Lemarr was a brilliant scientist and inventor. If you love the wi-fi capability readily available damn near anywhere you go, give thanks to none other than Hedy herself. Decades ahead of her time, Lemarr developed a communications system with the intent of helping guide torpedoes to their targets. Unfortunately, the technology was so far advanced, the military rejected it. Hedy Lamarr’s Double Life illustrates the lengths she went to help the US during WWII, her scientific achievements, and how she managed to juggle her celebrity and inventing lives.

Harriet Tubman

The Extraordinary Life Story of Harriet Tubman by Sarah H. Bradford


Most know of the extraordinary acts of Harriet Tubman and the Underground Railroad at the time of slavery and the Civil War. The Extraordinary Life Story of Harriet Tubman goes further into her incredible life, detailing her time as a slave before she fled to Philadelphia, her years as a nurse and spy for the Union, and what she did to ensure the safe passage of slaves north.


Warrior Princess: The Story of Khutulun by Sally Deng


The great-granddaughter of Genghis Khan, Khutulun was a Mongolian Princess during the 13th century. In a time deeply rooted in patriarchy and gender roles, Khutulun broke with tradition following her father into battle after being raised like one of her 14 brothers. Her martial arts skills became legendary as no one, man or woman, was able to win against her in a wrestling match.

In addition to her prowess as a warrior, the princess was included and revered in political and tactical meetings, otherwise unheard of at the time. Not much is known about Khutulun other than what Marco Polo brought back from his excursions, but Warrior Princess attempts to bring her extraordinary story to life.

Madam C.J. Walker

On Her Own Ground by A’Lelia Bundles


Arguably the first self-made black female millionaire, Madam C.J. Walker’s journey was paved with hardships and perseverance. Despite being born to parents who were once slaves and the tragic loss of her husband, Walker’s life took a turn for the better with the invention of beauty products specifically engineered for black women.

On Her Own Ground delves into the background of Walker prior to her entrepreneurial enterprise and captures the essence of the woman who would remember her past and give back to those who needed it. She is remembered as a spokeswoman for Civil Rights and philanthropy.

Julie D’Aubigny

Goddess by Kelly Gardiner


Julie D’Aubigny was a 17th-century bisexual French opera singer who could handle a sword better than most men. She is better known as La Maupin. Her exploits include breaking her female lover out of a convent by setting her cell ablaze with a deceased nun’s corpse inside, beating three noblemen simultaneously in a duel, and defending chorus girls against lecherous patrons. Kelly Gardiner brings her short-lived, yet substantially tumultuous life alive in Goddess.

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