March is women’s history month, so in celebration of all of the hardcore women of the past, I have created my top five favorite women in history.
1. The Amazonian warrior women (So this one may be more than one woman, but they definitely needed to have a shout out on my list.)
These ladies were the inspiration for my favorite comic book character, Wonder Woman, and possibly the toughest women in history, if they actually existed. These fierce warrior women used bows and arrows and throwing spears to battle and destroy their enemies. They have been written about since Greek myths were current affairs instead of ancient history, but no one knows for sure whether their story is fact or myth. In this case, fact or fiction doesn’t matter as much as the truth of their huge effect on history—and if not history, then at least my comic book interests.
2. Joan of Arc (1412 – 1431)
Even though she may have been thought of as insane—she heard voices and said saw visions—any woman who puts on armor, grabs a sword, fights in battle, and leads a French army to victory is okay in my book. Joan started off as a lowly peasant girl and ended up a national hero in France and a Catholic saint. So crazy or not, she is definitely on my short list for women who kick some major butt.
3. Jane Austen (1775 – 1817)
She was the English novelist who wrote many great works of fiction, such as Pride and Prejudice, Emma, and Mansfield Park. She is known for her romantic tales and inspired social commentary. In a time when Jane should have been worried about marriage and kids, she gave her life and passion to the written word. She may have written romantic fiction, but her ability to poke fun at the social norms of her day is the reason her books are still used in English classrooms today.
4. Queen Elizabeth I (1533 – 1603)
There are so many great things to say about Queen Elizabeth I that I could write an entire book about how much she rocked. Instead, I will just list two of the reasons this powerful lady deserves props. First, she never married. Okay, so you may see that as a downer, but women in her time usually lost a lot of power and respect when they got married, and there was no way this queen was going to play housewife to some guy when she could rule over all of England and Ireland. Another reason to love this independent queen was that she brought about what many experts believe was the Golden Age of England. This was a time when England was economically strong; began exploring the world; and literature, poetry, and theatre were all the rave. In short, Elizabeth I was a woman with endless amounts of power who wielded it for good. Who wouldn’t want her on their list of top women in history?
5. Alice Paul (1885 – 1977)
Many women played a roll in the suffrage movement, the struggle for women to gain the right to vote, but Alice Paul was the rabble-rouser who kept fighting long after many gave up. Among other things, she organized the picketing of the White House and hunger strikes. The combination of her rebellious nature and her drive for fighting for what’s right make Alice Paul one of the most important figures in not just the women’s movement but in American history.