• Rita Hayworth

    Rita Hayworth

    Rita Hayworth (1918-1987) was born Margarita Carmen Cansino, the daughter of a professional flamenco dancer from Spain. Trained as a dancer herself, she started out in Hollywood doing bit parts. ...

  • Rosalind Franklin

    Rosalind Franklin

    In May 1952, Rosalind Franklin (1920-1958) made a photograph. It wasn't just any photograph: it was an X-ray diffraction image of the DNA molecule. Labeled "Photo 51," it would prove to be the ...

  • Sappho

    Sappho

    Sappho (ca. 620-570 BCE) was the world's first great love poet, composing lyrics of astonishing power and immediacy. The Greeks considered her the greatest of all the lyric poets; it's a tragedy ...

  • Sojourner Truth

    Sojourner Truth

    Sojourner Truth (1797-1883) was one of America's greatest heroines. Born into slavery in New York, she became a powerful voice for abolition and women's rights. Her most famous ...

  • Sor Juana

    Sor Juana

    In the relentlessly patriarchal society of New Spain, there was no place for a girl genius. Juana Inés de la Cruz (1648–1695) was a prodigy: she could read and write by the age of three, was ...

  • Susan B. Anthony

    Susan B. Anthony

    Susan B. Anthony (1820-1906) devoted her life to the cause of women's suffrage, toiling for over 50 years in the face of incredible opposition (not to mention ridicule). As the de facto "Napoleon" ...

  • Themistoclea

    Themistoclea

    The Greeks considered Pythagoras the "father of philosophy." He taught a system of natural science, mathematics, and ethics that profoundly influenced the Western canon. Ah, but who taught ...

  • Tin Hinan

    Tin Hinan

    Tin Hinan (4th century) was the legendary queen of the Tuareg people, the matrilineal desert-dwelling Berbers who are famous for their blue clothing---and for the fact that it's their men, rather ...

  • Tomyris

    Tomyris

    Tomyris (6th century BCE), the warrior queen of the Massagetae, was the woman who defeated and killed Cyrus the Great. In revenge for Cyrus's trickery and the death of her son, Tomyris led her ...

  • Trung Sisters

    Trung Sisters

    In ancient Vietnam, before the Chinese came, women were clan rulers and queens. Society was built on what seems to have been a gender-equal footing, and women routinely wielded political power, went ...

  • Vestal Virgin

    Vestal Virgin

    Related post: Last-minute Vestal Virgin (a pile of sheets and some yarn, basically) The Vestal Virgins were the six priestesses who tended the sacred flame of Vesta, goddess of the hearth, in ...

  • Victoria

    Victoria

    Queen Victoria (1819-1901) was the longest-ruling female monarch in history. We often think of her as the elderly widow of her later years, but the movie "The Young Victoria" reminded us that she ...