The Most Bad-Ass Women Throughout American History

Here are all the coolest women (in my humble opinion) in American history.




Pocohontas spread the peace by stopping the execution of John Smith.


Anne Bradstreet

Bradstreet is an inspiration, especially to women writers like me, as she was the first woman to publish a book in the United States.


Nancy Ward

The “Beloved Woman” was the voice for her Cherokee people when she spoke to U.S. representatives and tells them to back the eff off.


Phillis Wheatley


Wheatley, after being emancipated, became the first African American woman to publish a book.


Mercy Otis

This witty woman wrote a satirical play, The Adulateur, in which she predicted the Revolutionary War.


Abigail Adams

Mostly just awesome for saying this, “Remember the ladies… [we] will not hold ourselves bound by any laws in which we have no voice…”


Mum Bett

Mum Bett went to court and ensured her own freedom as well as all of Massachusetts.



Accompanied the whole Lewis and Clark expedition, while mothering her child.




Kaahumanu co-ruled Hawaii and got rid of a bunch of laws that restricted women.


Prudence Crandall

“Connecticut’s state heroine” shocked everybody with the notion that black girls could learn. She established a school for black girls in 1833.


Sojourner Truth


Truth crushed racism and sexism in her speech, “Ain’t I a Woman.”


Amelia Bloomer

Bloomer was perhaps the first to say, “Screw what I look good in, I’m wearing what makes me comfortable.”


Emily Dickinson


Too cool for society (And isolating herself from it), Dickinson wrote poetry that will stay with its reader long after reading it. And, please, do read it.


Mary Jane Patterson

Received a Bachelor’s degree. Not impressed? She was the first black woman to do it. Don’t take your education for granted.


Victoria Woodhull

Think Hillary Clinton was the first woman to run for president? Think again. Woodhull ran for president, with Frederick Douglass as her running mate, even before women had the right to vote.


Emma Lazarus

You know that sonnet on the bottom of the Statue of Liberty? Yeah, this woman wrote it.
Annie Oakley

Just watch this


Kate Chopin


You know that annoying thing that guys do when they say marriage is a prison sentence. Chopin said it first.


Anna Julia Cooper

There’d be no #solidarityisforwhitewomen if it weren’t for her. She was one of the first black feminists.


Charlotte Perkins Gilman

Author of my favorite short story. Read it, please, read it.


Gertrude Stein

Changed the course of American fiction and influenced writers, like Ernest Hemingway and F. Scott Fitzgerald.


Tye Leung Schulze

The first Chinese American to work in the federal government.


Annie Smith Peck

Literally brought feminism to a new level when she posted a sign that said “Vote for Women” on Mount Coropuna in Peru.


Gracie Allen

The first woman to debunk that whole “women can’t be funny” shit.


Margaret Sanger


Founded Planned Parenthood and told men to get their hairy hands off our uteruses.


Jeannette Rankin

Rankin was the first woman elected into the “House of Representatives” and told the country, “We’re half the people; we should be half the Congress.”


Martha Graham

Completely changed dance by doing her thing.


Ruth Patrick

The Academy of Natural Science doesn’t pay women, but that didn’t stop her. She worked with them anyway by volunteering.


Karen Horney

Told Sigmund Freud that not everything is about penises.


Gertrude Berg

Starred in the first sitcom, The Goldbergs.


Helen Frankenthaker

Just look at some of these.


Betty White

Come on, you know who Betty White is.


Rosa Parks


Took a monumental part in the civil rights movement and inspired other women to as well.


Maria Goeppert-Mayer

Was the first woman to win the Nobel Prize for Physics.


Betty Friedan


Wrote The Feminist Mystique, which explains so much about the show, Mad Men.


Fannie Lou Hamer

Crashed the Democratic National Convention when black people weren’t welcome.


Shirley Muldowney

“The first lady of drag racing” opened the doors for other women to race and do things with cars and things I know nothing about because I’m not badass enough.


K. Switzer

Entered the Boston Marathon, despite it excluding women. Some dude tried to push her, but she just kept going and finished the race.


Diahann Carroll

Won a Golden Globe after shattering race and gender stereotypes in her show, Julia.


Joan Gamz Cooney

Created Sesame Street, for god’s sake.


Kate Millet


Said this, “Many women do not recognize themselves as discriminated against; no better proof could be found of the totality of their conditioning.”


Mary Tyler Moore

Moore was the epitome of a strong, independent lady.


Gloria Steinem


Sorta the face of the modern feminist movement, she cofounded the magazine, Ms., which is the publication for mainstream feminism still today.


Maya Angelou


Wrote this.


Patricia Schroeder

“I have a brain and a uterus and I use both.” Amen.


Gilda Radnor

Radnor was a Saturday Night Live cast member, who paved the way for all the hilarious comediennes to follow.


Sister Elaine Roulet

This “Prison Angel” worked with the prison reform system by fighting for women’s rights to be connected to their children in prison.


Sandra Cisneros

This novelist and poet wrote, The House of Mango Street, a pivotal work of American literature, particularly Mexican American.


Pleasant T. Rowland

Rawland started the American Girl Dolls company, which fosters young girl’s imaginations and urges them to read and learn.


Aretha Franklin


“The Queen of Soul” was the first woman to be inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


Toni Morrison

Wrote poignant works such as, “Beloved,” which deals with themes of oppression and motherhood.


Julie Taymor

Directed that musical, The Lion King, that made everyone go crazy.


Madeline Albright

The first woman secretary of state stressed the importance of having women’s issues at the forefront of our foreign policy.




Hillary Clinton


Our next president and going to be the most badass president yet.


5 thoughts on “The Most Bad-Ass Women Throughout American History

  1. Pingback: On Being Afraid of Social Injustice | Oshitbritt on Things

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