Sunday, 13 December 2009

The Badass of the Week

Ben Thompson has an amazing site called Badass of the Week, and he's not simply talking about men (or people, for that matter). It's also not only about badasses throughout history; there are plenty of real-life, modern-day heroes too. 

And naturally, the ultimate female badass: Ellen Ripley.

This is one of my favourite entries; although the one on Amelia Earhart is pretty badass, too:
The Badass of the Week: Blenda and the Women of Smaland: "Blenda was basically your typical sixteen year-old woman – she more-or-less enjoyed picking flowers, plowing fields, and fighting off full-scale invasions from neighboring militaries – and when she heard word that the Danes were coming, she took it upon herself to get all the women of the land together to devise a way to withstand the inevitable onslaught of beards, swords, and more (even bigger) beards.

The King of Sweden returned from his campaign to find that Blenda and her girlfriends triumphantly standing on top of a massive heaping pile of dead Vikings, and was so pumped up about the whole thing that he granted the women of Smaland a bunch of totally awesome political and social rights that had been previously unavailable to them. From that point on, all daughters had the right to inherit property, money and land equally with their brothers, and were allowed to wear military-style garments around town and at their weddings. They were also given the prestigious right to wear the Royal Coat of Arms on their clothing – a tradition that has lasted to this day. Blenda is still recognized as a national hero in Sweden.

And that, my friends, is a pretty badass way to fight for women's rights. "

(The irony of Blenda's name has not escaped me, when taken in conjunction with the fact that she and her gal pals basically blended those Vikings into a pile of mincemeat.)

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