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12 Historical Women Who Gave No F*cks


Source: | Original Post Date: January 5, 2015 –


These are just some of the women who, historically speaking, didn’t give a single f*ck.

1. Dr Elizabeth Blackwell (1821–1910)


Elizabeth Blackwell was the first female MD in the United States. The English-born physician was rejected by many medical schools due to her gender. Eventually landing a place in the Geneva Medical College in New York, she tolerated many critical classmates and a professor who doubted she could tolerate the reproductive anatomy classes in fear of this exposure to her “delicate sensibilities”.

She went on to become a world-famous obstetrician!

2. Annie Smith Peck (1850–1935)


Mountaineer Annie Smith Peck was one bad-ass woman. Scaling every major mountain in Europe, she was also the first person to scale Peru’s highest peak, Mt. Huscaran in 1908. An influential scholar, she wrote multiple books and lectured around the world. She climbed into her 80’s, retiring at 82.

She also did all of this wearing pants – something quite extraordinary for her time!


3. Mary Lou Williams (1910–1981)


Third from the left, Mary Lou Williams was a pianist. She went on to become one of the most influential music composers for the first three decades of jazz. Performing professionally since the age of 12, she was a massive influence of “Kansas City Swing” big-band jazz and bebop. She also composed in many music genres.


4. Sojourner Truth (1797–1883)


Sojourner Truth was an abolitionist and women’s rights activist, well known for speaking her mind. In an exchange of words between Harriot Stanton Blatch and Sojourner, she put him in his place with one sentence.

Harriot Stanton Blatch: “Sojourner, can’t you read?”

Sojourner Truth: “Oh no, honey, I can’t read little things like letters. I read big things like men.”

5. Ada Lovelace (1815–1852)


The real writer of the first computer program, Ada Lovelace was a mathematician. She worked with Charles Babbage on his “proto-computer” more aptly known as the “analytic engine”.

Babbage once entreated her:

“Forget this world and all its troubles and if possible its multitudinous Charlatans – everything in short but the Enchantress of Numbers.”

6. Beatrice Potter Webb (1858–1943)


Social reformer, economist and historian of her time, Beatrice Potter Webb campaigned with her husband Sidney for policies which would benefit the urban poor, which worked towards the first minimum wage laws. They developed the early Labour party in Britain, she authored hundreds of books and founded the London School of Economics.

This would all have been frowned upon in her era, she didn’t give a f*ck.


Lilian Bland was a journalist and aviator. In 1910, she built her own plane in Ireland. Fashioning a fuel tank from an empty whisky bottle and her aunt’s ear trumpet, she managed to fly it for 30 yards! This was pretty impressive for those days.

She was a smoker, wore trousers, performed martial arts, loved cars and swore. She retired in style – Cornwall gambling, drinking and painting!

8. Ethel L. Payne (1911–1991)


Ethel L. Payne was an investigative journalist who covered the American Civil Rights Movement and International Affairs. She was a member of the White House Press Corps and famously p*d off President Eisenhower when she persistently questioned the desegregating interstate travel. This led to him ignoring her in future press conferences. Reporting for the Chicago Defender over the course of a long career, she became the first female African American commentator to appear on a national network when she was hired by CBS in the 1970’s.

Regularly criticized by many detractors on her assertive questioning style, she simply didn’t give a f*ck!

9. Murasaki Shikibu (973–1025…ish)


The lady-in-waiting in Japan’s imperial court during the Heian period, Murasaki Shikibu wrote what is believed to be the first novel in human history – The Tale of Genjii. praised by her father for her intelligence, she lamented that she was “born a woman”. She claims to have learned Chinese by listening to her father educate her brother through the door. In this era, women were not meant to learn Chinese!

10. Nellie Bly (1864–1922)


Daring and influential, Nellie Bly was an investigative journalist who published ground breaking stories about poverty and political corruption. Once faking madness, she managed to get the inside scoop on an abusive mental institution in NY City, which led to outcry and reform.

Many peers were jealous and labeled her reports as “stunt reporting”, but this didn’t keep her down – she ended up traveling the world in a record breaking 72 days!

11. Nzinga Mbandi (1583–1663)


The queen of modern day Angola, Nzinga Mbandi was a powerful woman. After the passing of her late brother Ngola Mbandi who passed in 1624, she gained the position to rule. She was also internationally acclaimed for her diplomacy and military tactics, her skills in warfare, espionage, trade, alliance-building, and religious matters assisted her in holding off Portuguese colonialism during her lifetime.

12. Hedy Lamarr (1914–2000)


Hedy Lamarr was an Austrian-born American actress and inventor. She was the inventor of “frequency hopping” technology, which was utilized in secret communications and in radio controlled torpedoes in WW2. This paved the way for future technological advancements like WiFi and GPS.

What a bad-ass group of women who essentially just didn’t give a f*ck!

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