• Katya Lebeque

Real badass princesses - take 1

So, I've had a lot of kind feedback on the freaky fairy tales blog posts - it seems you guys are as interested in the untold true tales behind the storybooks as I am! ut since the weather outside is plenty chilling and dark all on its own right now, I thought this week we could switch it up with something to put fire in our bellies... real-life badass heroines that could take on Katniss and Triss any day.

One of my all-time favourite badass princesses has to come first: Zhao Pingyang of China. What's the only thing more badass than a horse-riding warrior princess? A horse-riding warrior princess who wasn't born a princess but was made one through her sheer badassery in battle.

Forget Mulan guys - Zhao Pingyang personally rescued her husband and family, living just outside the palace, when her commoner-born military genius father openly revolted against the emperor of the time. After that, she sold her family's impressive estate and bought herself an army to go and take on the emperor's troops in person. A fearsome warrior, she eventually led 700 000 soldiers that completely trashed the royal army time after time. She was so badass that historians claim that the emperor had a whole specialised SWAT team of guys whose mission was only to kill her, for years, and they never succeeded! When her dad finally became emperor, she was named princess, honoured as a hero and got her own parade. Thanks, Dad!

Today I read an interview about the wife of Harvey Wienstein, who apparently found out the horrors of the Weinstein abuse when everybody else did on a wave of #metoo horror. It was this that got me thinking - we almost always consider women 'badass' who have not been defeated in combat, or violated, or made to feel scared. But sometimes the very definition of badass is having the worst happen to you and rising above it. Exhibit Chiomara - a chieftain's wife living in barbarian Europe at the height of the Roman Empire. When she was captured by the Romans, she was brutally treated and raped. Since even back then the violating of women was pretty shameful, a Roman soldier promised that if a ransom in gold was paid for her, she'd be released back to her tribe.

So a rendezvous is set up and the ransom is paid. Does Chiomara fall to the ground crying or faint meekly? Oh no. She orders her tribesmen paying the ransom to decapitate the centurion. Chiomara then walks all the way home unaided with the severed head in held in her skirts. She finds her husband and throws the head to the ground, declaring 'only one man who has lain with me shall remain alive.' Bad. Ass.

So those are my first two real-life kickass women who were also sort of) princesses and, next up, I plan on tackling the Mongolian super-wrestler princess and a woman so badass she rode into battle with her baby strapped to her back. Or maybe I'll do the female Samurai...H.mm...

What do you guys think? More badass women or more freaky fairy tales? Let me know and stay warm!

© 2018 by Katya Lebeque. All rights reserved.

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