We have filled history with tales of ruthless women who would stop at nothing to wreak havoc and chaos. We have no idea how much of it is correct. And how much we have deliberately exaggerated or even made up. Sometimes we have said things to discredit and humiliate the women who dared to stand up to the establishment.
Women in history
Jane Austen, the original rom-com queen, defined an entire literary genre with her astute social observations and wit. Austen took birth into a family of 8 children in England. She began writing her now-classic novels, such as Pride and Prejudice and Sense and Sensibility. She wrote these when she was in her teens.
Her books are amusing, endearing, and raise questions about women’s roles in society. She was not one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Austen had to keep her true identity hidden from the public. She was the author of some of the most popular novels of the time.
Her real identity was not revealed until her death, when her brother, Henry, revealed it.
We still feel her literary influence today. And the themes and lessons she taught in her novels are still relevant.
A German teenage girl wrote the Diary of Anne Frank. It is one of the most honest, powerful, and poignant accounts of World War II.
During Hitler’s rise to power and World War II, the Franks were a Jewish family. They lived in Germany, then Austria.
Throughout the war, the family hid in a secret annexe with four other people. But in 1944, the Nazis discovered them and sent them to concentration camps.
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Only Anne’s father survived the Frank family. And it was he who had decided to publish Anne’s diary.
We have translated The Diary of Anne Frank into nearly 70 languages. It is a personal portrayal of one of history’s most inhumane periods. It is able to educate us on universal human qualities such as emotion, passion, and love. Also, hope, desire, fear, and strength. She was not one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Because she chose to marry her country rather than a man, we have called Elizabeth “The Virgin Queen”.
Although it may seem like ancient history, Queen Elizabeth I was one of the most successful rulers in British history. And England became great in politics, commerce, and the arts during her reign.
Elizabeth had a difficult time moving up to the throne.
Also, she should have never been allowed to rule because she was a woman. Moreover, her mother was Anne Boleyn, Henry VIII’s much hated ex-wife.
Queen Elizabeth was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
On the other hand, Elizabeth I proved all the sceptics wrong. She went on to become one of history’s greatest female leaders. ‘The Virgin Queen,’ known for her intelligence, cleverness, and fiery temper, was truly one of the great women in history.
In 1955, while riding a bus in Montgomery, Alabama, Rosa Parks the conductor asked her to stand up and give her seat to a white man. Parks, a black seamstress, refused, igniting an entire civil rights movement in the United States.
She was not one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Parks was born in 1913. Then, she moved to Alabama when she was 11 years old.
She went to the Alabama State Teachers’ College for Negroes, where she attended a laboratory school. But she had to leave in 11th grade to care for her ailing grandmother.
Parks was a member of Montgomery’s African-American community prior to 1955. In 1943, she became a member of the NAACP’s Montgomery chapter. Then she rose to the position of chapter secretary.
Alabama’s segregation laws were still in effect in 1955. And municipal buses had a policy where white citizens could only sit in the front. But black men and women had to sit in the back.
There were no more seats in the white section on December 1st. So the bus conductor told the four black passengers to stand and give the white man an entire row.
Again, three of the four people obeyed, but Parks did not.
She was not one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
The police arrested Parks as a result of her actions, which sparked nationwide protests. She was the first woman to be laid to rest at the US Capitol. There she died on October 24, 2005, at the age of 92.
Maya Angelou was a civil rights activist as well as a poet, singer, and memoirist. She was one of the most powerful women in the history of the United States.
I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings, her award-winning memoir, changed the face of literature. It was an African-American woman’s first nonfiction best-seller.
She was not one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Angelou had a difficult upbringing.
Again, Maya experienced racial prejudice and discrimination throughout her life as a black woman growing up in Stamps, Arkansas.
In fact, her mother’s boyfriend abused Angelou when she was seven years old, and her uncles killed him after that.
The incident troubled Angelou so much that she went silent for many years.
She wrote I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings. It is one of the most outspoken voices in the civil rights movement.
Also, they explore topics like identity, rape, racism, and literacy. Also mentioned how character strength and a love of literature can aid in the fight against racism and trauma.
Ill spoken woman in the world
Yehenara (later Cixi) was one of Emperor Xianfeng’s many mistresses who rose to power after giving birth to his son.
She became pregnant with her young son, the new Emperor Tongzhi, after Xianfeng’s death.
We frequently depict Cixi as a tyrant who poisoned her enemies and a sexually powerful individual.
However, our further research reveals that many of the crimes that Cixi committed were made up.
It was by British Sinologist Edmund Backhouse. He also claimed to have had sexual relations with the woman when she was 65 years old, among other things. Cixi was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Apparently, she used her sexuality to control powerful men like Julius Caesar and Mark Antony, according to Roman writers.
She was very intelligent and had the excellent political ability as the ruler of one of the most powerful kingdoms in history. We have to mention this.
However, Cleopatra fought to protect her homeland and country, as well as the future of her children.
Her constant portrayal as a temptress is the result of Octavius’ (later Augustus’) smear campaign.
This aimed to discredit her and Mark Antony in the struggle for control of Rome. Cleopatra was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
She never said, “Let them eat cake,” for example.
Marie Antoinette was written about for her very much spending and lack of compassion for France’s peasants.
Also, we have often depicted her as an airhead.
In reality, because she was Austrian and an aristocrat, she was an easy target. Mary was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Marie Antoinette was sympathetic to the poor and a dedicated mother.
According to later studies, she even criticised the French nobility’s great spending during the country’s bankrupt years. To the revolutionaries, none of this mattered, and an incorrectly said remark earned her a quick trip to the guillotine.
China’s only female ruler began her political career as a mistress to two emperors. We frequently depict her as a ruthless ruler who murdered her daughter.
We think that Wu has imprisoned her rival mistress and taken off their hands and feet. And then dunked them in wine vats. Wu Zetian was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Also, she was a ruthless politician. Moreover, there is no reason to believe that her wild tales of cruelty are true.
But, her reign was peaceful and wealthy. And she was an efficient ruler who was no more oppressive than her male counterparts. Her gender and support for Buddhism, however, made her an easy target for the Confucians who compiled China’s imperial histories.
We frequently depict Anne Boleyn in history as a seductress.
After all, Henry VIII went against the church and courted scandal for her sake. People accused her of black magic, and rumours about her monster baby and extra fingers persist to this day.
Moreover, Boleyn was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
We buried Boleyn’s harlot persona when they executed her for adultery and incest. Anne was an intelligent supporter of a great ideology and a patron of scholars, which history neglects to mention.
Moreover, she was undoubtedly a practical woman who exploited her beauty. But we have not found the accusations of sexual deviance and devil worship.
Women in history facts
- In 1909, we celebrated the first Women’s History Day
- In 1978, we renamed the day as Women’s History Week
- We renamed it Women’s History Month in 1987.
- Every March, the president proclaims Women’s History Month
- There is a theme for each Women’s History Month
- We granted women the right to vote for the first time in Wyoming Territory.
- The 19th amendment did not grant equal voting rights to all women.
- 9 months before Rosa Parks, Claudette Colvin refused to give up her bus seat.
- In 1961, Geraldyn “Jerrie” Cobb became the first woman to pass astronaut tests.
- Sally Ride became the first woman in space — and the first gay astronaut — about 20 years later.
- Until 1974, women were unable to obtain credit cards on their own.
- Women make up 27% of the House of Representatives.
- As people get older, women outnumber men.
- Women are more likely than men to obtain a college diploma.
- The wage disparity between men and women continues to exist.
- Women account for 14% of active duty military personnel.
- Marie Curie was the first woman to win both the Nobel Peace Prize and the Nobel Peace Prize.
- Eleanor Roosevelt held press conferences with only women in attendance.
- In the year 2021, we employed 57.8 percent of all women.
- The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted Aretha Franklin as the first woman.
- Kamala Harris is the first woman and the first woman of colour to serve as Vice President of the United States.
Underrated women in history
The most well-known prostitute in history wasn’t even a prostitute. The Gospels mention Mary Magdalene, but we never refer to her as a prostitute. Mary was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history. Pope Gregory the Great made the error of declaring her so.
Mary Magdalene was a wealthy woman. Also, she contributed financially to Jesus’ ministry.
She was also one of his followers. Jesus loved her “more than all the disciples, and used to kiss her often on her”. This was according to one of the Gnostic Gospels (the Gospel of Philip).
Unfortunately, there was a hole in the manuscript. So, it is impossible to tell how often Jesus kissed Mary Magdalene. It could have been the lips, but it could also have been the cheek or the forehead.
Anne of Cleves
Here is something a little different. A woman who we remember for her unattractive appearance rather than her crimes.
Somebody sent Anne of Cleves, a German aristocrat, to England to become Henry VIII’s fourth wife.
So, Anne of Cleves was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Moreover, their first meeting ended in a stalemate, with Anne allegedly rejecting her future husband. Henry VIII dubbed her “the Mare of Flanders”. So, history will forever portray her as physically unattractive. This is despite the fact that she was quite attractive.
Hatshepsut served Thutmose III before they crowned her pharaoh and she ruled Egypt.
Again, her reign was important for the construction of temples and the expansion of the empire’s influence. Also, as the expansion of the empire’s coffers.
Also, she, on the other hand, did not impress her successors.
Hatshepsut’s monuments, statues, and obelisks were all destroyed in an attempt to erase her from history.
However, we believe people changed any subsequent references to Hatshepsut’s reign with her greed and ruthlessness.
This was despite the fact that her reign lacked such characteristics. Hatshepsut was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
Catherine the Great
We regard Catherine the Great as one of history’s greatest female rulers.
She changed Russia into one of Europe’s most powerful kingdoms. She was a ruler who was intelligent, powerful, and skilled.
Also, she was also well known in art and education. She was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
However, rumours about her sexual life covered up her success. We have over explained many or completely made up.
Although we think that the real father of Catherine’s son and future Emperor Paul I is Sergei Saltykov. Not her Russian husband Peter III.
To restore Catholicism to England, Mary I executed 283 Protestants (mostly by burning).
She was not, however, a violent ruler, and she was no more violent than other monarchs of the time.
Mary I was one of the most unfairly maligned women in history.
For example, her father, Henry VIII, executed over 50,000 people.
Mary I was a capable ruler who laid the groundwork for Elizabeth I’s accomplishments. The Protestant supporters of her sister gave the nickname “Bloody Mary”.
We used it. And then we created the perception that she was an evil woman.
Unsung female heroes in history
The first African-American woman who we elected to the United States Congress in 1964 was Patsy Mink.
Mink was a Japanese-American congresswoman from Hawaii. We elected her four years before Shirley Chisolm made history as the city’s first Black female congresswoman.
Throughout the 1950s, Rosalind Franklin worked in English laboratories studying the DNA molecule.
She gathered information that she would use to create the final helical model.
Also, one of her students used X-ray crystallography to take the first photo of DNA.
Dr. Rev. Pauli Murray
Dr. Rev. Pauli Murray was a pivotal figure in the Civil Rights Movement, but we frequently overlook her name.
In 1950, Murray released “States’ Laws on Race and Color.”
This used sociological and legal evidence to combat the time’s “separate but equal” policies. Thus, the book was about the Supreme Court case Brown vs. Board of Education in 1954.
Moreover, it fought and defeated segregation in schools.
We have dubbed Murray’s book as the “bible” of the Civil Rights Movement by NAACP Chief Counsel Thurgood Marshall.
In the late 1970s and 1980s, we regarded Nancy Lopez as the best female golfer.
Lopez would go on to become the first woman to win the Rookie of the Year, Player of the Year, and Vare Trophy.
So, this was all in the same season for the Ladies Professional Golf Association. We inducted Lopez into the World Golf Hall of Fame in 1987 after winning 48 LPGA Tour events.
Few people have spent as much time communing with the ocean as Sylvia Earle, a marine biologist and explorer. Her contributions span decades.
Earle co-founded two deep-sea exploration engineering companies after breaking the women’s diving depth record in 1979. We named her chief scientist. We did it in 1990 at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. There, she assisted in the cleanup of oil spills caused by the Persian Gulf War.
Powerful women in history
We have given some names of influential women below:
- Mary Anning
- Marie Curie
- Rosa Parks
- Emmeline Pankhurst
- Ada Lovelace
- Rosalind Franklin
- Margaret Thatcher
- Angela Burdett -Coutts
- Mary Wollstonecraft
- Harriet Tubman
- Empress Dowager
Unfairly maligned women FAQs
What is the name of the woman who killed her daughter?
Wu Zetian of China killed her daughter
Who is a modern day inspirational woman?
Madam Curie is very inspirational.
Who is the most famous female in history?
Virgin Mary, the mother of Jesus is the most famous.
Who was the best female ruler ?
We can say that Cleopatra was the best.
Who was the greatest empress of all time?
Empress Theodora (527-548) is the most powerful woman in history.
What was the name of the first female knight?
Nicholaa de la Haye was born around 1150 in Lincolnshire, England, and when her father died, she inherited his land.
Who are some historical female heroes?
So, let us look at some famous female heroes.
Queen Elizabeth II