While some cited movie stars, celebrities and fictional charcaters, some recognized women from history.
Through the years, women have fought patriarchy to make their voices heard, to fight for their rights, and to do so much more amazing things. Even pop culture is dominated by men, not offering equal space for prominent women characters, be it in movies, books, or TV. Despite having the odds stacked against them, countless women have made their mark in history. A Redditor asked men on the platform about the women who were their personal heroes, and the responses threw light on some inspiring women, some popular and some not-so-popular. A few of them even spoke about the women in their lives that inspired them. Here are some of the best replies we came across.
1. Xena, the princess warrior: The inspiring character was the lead in an American fantasy television that was aired from September 4, 1995, to June 18, 2001. "Pretended to be Xena all the time as a kid," wrote u/modernmartialartist. Another Redditor, u/gortonsfiJr, agreed, "Came here to say Xena. She was an amazing badass." There was also much appreciation for Lucy Lawless who played the iconic character. "Lucy Lawless is an all-around badass. Great in Xena, great in Spartacus, embraced the Xena/Gabrielle shipping and became a pretty outspoken advocate for LGBT rights," wrote u/Hollowbody57.
2. Elizabeth Friedman
"Elizabeth Friedman was a badass mathematical genius who used her code-breaking skills to help bring down some of the biggest mobsters in the 1930’s while they were busy running circles around law enforcement. More importantly, she was responsible for breaking up Nazi spy rings in the 1940’s, particularly in South America, and helped turn the tide of major conflicts that very possibly shifted the outcome of World War II. And she did all of it while being mocked, dismissed, and forced to keep her work secret by order of the government. Nobody knew her contributions in taking down the Nazis until after she died and her work was declassified. Everyone should know this amazing woman who sought neither accolades nor credit for doing what her male counterparts couldn’t even begin to comprehend," wrote Bma1500.
3. Marie Curie
"She took one for the team," wrote B00STERGOLD about the physicist and chemist who conducted pioneering research on radioactivity. "Her original 1890s research papers are so radioactive to this day that you need to wear special equipment to take them out of their lead box. The first book on radioactivity and its radioactive. It's like buying a book on how to talk to ghosts, and the book arrives with three ghosts haunting it," commented circleen.
4. Sophie Scholl
Scholl was a German student and anti-Nazi political activist, who was executed by the Gestapo for her resistance. "Sophie Scholl was an active member of a non-violent resistance group against Nazi Germany. If I remember correctly, she was executed for distributing pamphlets promoting her cause. She stood up for others even in the face of death. I deeply admire that," commented Bird-in-a-suit. Another Redditor, RyeDraLisk, shared an inspiring quote by Hitler's secretary Traudl Junge. "One day, I walked past a plaque on the Franz-Joseph Straße (in Munich), on the wall in memory of Sophie Scholl. I could see that she had been born the same year as I, and that she had been executed the same year I entered into Hitler's service. And, at that moment, I really realized that it was no excuse that I had been so young. I could perhaps have tried to find out about things," she had said.
5. Hedy Lamarr
"Actress who also invented a frequency hopping spread spectrum communication for torpedo guidance," wrote Johnny TNT. While she might be more popular as an actor, she also invented the technology that became a precursor to the secure wi-fi, GPS, and Bluetooth now used by billions of people around the world, reported Forbes. She starred in Oscar-nominated films Algiers and Sampson and Delilah.
6. Harriet Tubman
"Tiny, 5 ft tall, illiterate former slave, who was a spy for the north, worked as a battle strategist and freed over 300 slaves. Absolute badass," commented StevesMcQueenishere. "Love how more people are learning that Tubman did more than just the Underground Railroad, she was a Union spymaster during the war.
7. Dolly Parton
"She's my absolute hero. She's insanely talented, helps the world, and does it all while being as humble as possible (denying the medal of freedom twice is legendary status to me)," wrote As*holeRemark. "She's brilliant, brave, determined, and generous. Her charity work is incredible. She's quite progressive when that's not her cultural background - I admire anyone who had to think out their views and go against the grain, much more than someone who has "perfect" politics because those views got approval in their community," added intet42. "And told the local government not to spend money on a statue of her when there were more pressing needs," commented Sam_Porgins.
8. "My Manager"
"The manager I had when I volunteered in a charity shop. I was in a very bad place in my life, and she helped to coax me out of my shell, and build my confidence. And she told customers who were rude to me to f*ck off (I'm a little person, so I tend to attract jerks). She was so classy while not taking anyone's shit, and she was unflappable in any situation. I aspire to be like her one day," wrote u/Usidore_.
9. Yousafzai Malala
"Had more courage than all the men in her village put together. As a child, she stood up to the Taliban, looked one of their members straight in the eye, and told them they can f*ck right off if they think they can stop women from getting an education. She took an AK-47 round to the face for it and still continues her fight today. That same year Caitlin Jenner was voted woman of the year which still pisses me off," wrote SpecialK118.
10. "My mother"
As cliche as this is, my mother. Single mom raising two kids (my older siblings) with no degree and living off food stamps. Worked her ass off to support my older siblings, both of which earned master's degrees. Continued to support me and my younger brother who are both in college currently. Taught herself how to be successful in real estate and now owns her own business. Statistically, my siblings and I should not be as privileged as we are today, and I owe all of it to my mom, said Pootz_.