More readers offer their nominations:
My vote goes to Alexandra David-Néel: explorer, opera prima donna, anarchist, spiritualist, and author. She was an acquaintance of the 13th Dalai Lama and the Panchen Lama, studied Buddhism at the Royal Monastery of Sikkim (becoming the Maharaja’s lover), trespassed into Tibet disguised as a pilgrim, traversed China, traveled through the Soviet Union during WWII, completed a circumambulation of the holy mountain Amnye Machen. She died in France at age 100, having written over 30 books about Eastern religion, philosophy, and her travels. Her ashes were mixed with those of her lifelong traveling companion and dispersed in the Ganges.
As a general rule, the women featured on the site Badass of the Week (especially the real-life ones) are pretty damn interesting. Some examples include a Somali gynecologist who gets terrorists to stand down with stern dressing down (Hawa Abdi) and the “Joan of…
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