Represent the badass women in history
It’s Women’s History Month and we want to talk about something that has been bothering us in the Lumberjack Newsroom: the lack of badass female representation in media.
When there are badass female characters in a film or tv show, they’re usually relegated to the side for a male lead. Even when it comes to video game box art, you have publishers being pressured to not have a female on the front cover.
With a surge of films and tv shows with female leads like “Wonder Woman” (2017), “Jessica Jones” and “Glow” we’re slowly getting more badass female representation. We would like to highlight some women in history that fall under this title.
In 1941, Lyudmila Pavlichenko was 24 when she joined Russia’s Red Army to fight the Nazis. She joined the Red Army’s 25th rifle division as one of 2,000 female snipers. She rose to the rank of lieutenant in her division and killed 309 people, most of them Nazis.
In June 1942 Pavlichenko met with President Roosevelt and First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt in an effort to convince the U.S. to support the European front of WWII. Pavlichenko and Eleanor Roosevelt got along well and developed a friendship with one another. When Reporters spoke with her, many of them criticized Pavlichenko for not looking ‘pretty enough.’ She was quoted as saying, “I wear my uniform with honor, it has the Order of Lenin on it. It has been covered with blood in battle.”
In ’60s and ’70s Japan there was a gang known as the Sukeban girl gang that grew popular among high school girls. They were known to wear longer skirts and/or pants as a protest against the sexualization of young teens, and to give the middle finger to the traditional shorter skirts that girls were required to wear.
They functioned similarly to the Yakuza gangs at the time with a strict code of honor, but focused on petty crimes like shoplifting and beating people up. Because of their popularity more films were made with a focus on all-female gangs like “Girl Boss Guerilla” and “The Pinky Violence.”
When the Black Panther Party grew in Oakland in the 1960s, many young African Americans joined the group. One of them was 18-year-old Fredrika Newton. Newton disagreed with the image of how society portrayed the Black Panther Party as young African Americans carrying guns. Newton saw them as a group that helped African American communities by feeding them and getting them involved in local government.
Newton married Huey Newton, co-founder of the Black Panther Party, and founded the Huey P. Newton Foundation after his death. The foundation serves to carry on the Black Panther Party’s efforts in helping predominantly black communities while archiving the history of the Black Panther Party.
This is just a small selection of badass women in history. There are many more out there who’re ultimate badasses. Maybe there’s even a badass woman in your life who doesn’t have as much recognition.
Whether it’s your mom who took you to your first football game, or a friend who gave you the best advice to make you feel better, give the woman in your life thanks for being a badass.