Women have always had it tough. Throughout the centuries, women have had to fight against oppression and inequality while trying to weave their way through a patriarchal societies that were basically designed to keep them quiet, uneducated, and locked away in a kitchen. Even today in our “progressive” society, women are forced to deal with rampant sexism, agism, and a pay gap that is decreasing way too slowly. But as the saying goes: When the going got tough, the tough got going. As it turns out, women throughout history have been tough as hell. This list is made up of 25 women who figured out a way to empower themselves during decades when empowerment was not on the radar for women. Some of them were famous, and others were just everyday women who happened to really like to work hard, promote change, and make a difference. Seeing their photos is truly inspiring: There’s just something so badass about the women in #14.