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3 Bad*ss Women from History to Help You Get Through the Semester 

This article is written by a student writer from the Her Campus at BU chapter.

Ah, that time between the end of midterms and the beginning of finals. We’re tired, but we still have a lot left to get through. We’re really reaching for even a sliver of motivation and inspiration to keep our dedication up. Here is a list of 3 bad*ss historical women from around the world to help you get to the end of the semester!

Catherine the Great 

Catherine the Great began as a princess from Prussia but became the Russian Empire’s longest-ruling monarch—and one of the most successful at that. She entered the Russian monarchy through a marriage with Peter the Third, who then was a Duke. In 1762, the reigning monarch died and Peter was crowned as the Tsar. However, in six months, Catherine and her co-conspirators organized a coup d’état and overthrew the Tsar Peter the Third – forcing him to abdicate. Following this, Catherine ruled the Russian Empire for 34 years, which is how she earned her the title of “Great.”

Rani Laxmibai 

A queen from India with a similar story: Rani Laxmibai was the wife of the king of Jhansi who died early in their marriage. The kingdom was left to the king’s adoptive son and Rani Laxmibai. However, because this was the beginning of British colonialism in the Indian subcontinent, the East India Company tried to annex the land for themselves. Rani Laxmibai refused this and was killed after she engaged in uprisings, sieges, and battles against the British. In today’s India, she is a symbol of resistance against the British and the power of women. 

Cheng I Sao

Most women that go down in history are those who lead on political fronts: queens, empresses, and princesses. But someone just as incredible as Cheng I Sao—one the world’s deadliest pirates from China. Cheng, the leader of a pirate fleet from China, married Cheng I Sao who was a common woman with uncommon intelligence and bravery. They worked together as a team, but after the death of Cheng, Cheng I Sao took over the reins on her own. She had control over most of the East and Southeast Asian seas and a fleet with over 2,000 men, women, and children that were under her protection and command. She had the Chinese authorities chasing after her for several years until she struck a deal with them that gave her and her fleet liberty and power. 

These three women were all extraordinary leaders. We may not be queens or pirates in the favor of Lady Luck, but we, too, have intelligence, strength, and courage like these women. And perhaps that is enough to get us through the semester!

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Writers of the Boston University chapter of Her Campus.