Here at F Yeah History we’re all about celebrating women in history, but some people are just unavoidably the worst. Sure maybe they achieved a lot, maybe they are badassery incarnate and maybe they accomplished a lot…but their also kinda sorta massive dicks
So without further ado here are the:
Former prostitute turned pirate, Ching Shih ran one of the largest and most feared fleet of pirates in the world.
Ching was married to the leader of the Red Flag Fleet, a much feared and respected pirate armanda. When her husband was killed during a tsunami, Ching took over.
if her men thought they were going to have it easy with a woman at the helm, they were sorely mistaken. To say Ching ran things with an iron fist would be an understatement:
-Disobeyed an order? you’re getting beheaded
– looted plunder? Beheaded
– stole from an allied town? Beheaded.
– raped a female prisoner? oooo you best know you’re getting beheaded
Ching Shihs pirates were allowed to marry female captives, but if their leader heard that they were in anyway messing their new wives around…well hopefully they weren’t to emotionally attached to that whole ‘having a head’ thing.
Yet Chings steely control worked and under her rule The Red Flag fleet grew in both infamy and size.
By 1808 Ching had amassed an Armanda of thousands and was in control of well over 70,000 men. It was then that the Chinese government felt maybe that they’d let things go a bit far and that Ching needed to be reigned in.
An imperial fleet was sent after Ching and she met them head on; the government didn’t stand a chance. By the end of the battle Ching had actually expanded her fleet (capturing Chinese sailors and offering them the choice of joining her ranks or a bloody death)
For two years the Chinese government tried to destroy the Red Flag, even roping in the British Navy for help. Still No luck.
The Chinese knew that things had gone fully tits up when The Admiral of the Chinese navy committed suicide rather than face capture by Ching!
So they opened up amnesty negotiations with Ching. But rather then ask for clemency Ching fought for the right to retire.
Obviously nobody said no (if we’ve learnt anything, it’s don’t fucking mess with a Pirate Queen) And so Ching retired to the country where she spent the remainder of her days running a brothel and gambling.
Born in 1463 Caterina was the illegitimate daughter of the Duke of Milan; a notorious dick. The Duke loved nothing more than planning out horrifying torturous deaths for his enemies, tearing them limb from limb, burying them alive – whatever took his fancy.
Caterina took after her Dad.
At just 10 Caterina was married off to the Popes nephew and a few years later the pair left for the life at the Vatican. There Caterina was transformed from a teenager to a powerful and famously ruthless courtier.
But Caterina’s world was turned upside down in 1484 when the Pope died and shit got real. Riots and rebellions spread like wildfire. With Caterinas husband off fighting fires she was left to hold down a fortress whilst seven months pregnant. As you do.
Having proved her tenacity and strength in Fortress gate, people started to turn to Caterina rather than her far weaker husband. It’s unsurprising then that when her husband was named ruler of Imola and Forli, it was kind of obvious who was really in control.
This was exhibited for all to see following a revolt in Forli. Caterina rode out to Forli to take control of the situation and nice lady that she was, she personally oversaw every detail of the brutal torture and execution of those involved.
But brutal executions can only quell a people for so long and Following a tax increase the people of Forli had enough. in 1488 Caterinas husband was murdered by the Orsis family while he ate dinner (the Orsis were one of Forli’s top noble families – it’s all very Game Of Thrones)
Caterina and the children were now prisoners, but if the Orsis thought a woman and some kids were going to be easy captives then they were veeeery wrong.
Caterina tricked the Orsis into letting her out of confinement, offering to help them convince strongholds to surrender to the Orsis. They agreed and even let her go in alone to bargain with one fortress so long as Caterina left her children behind as hostages.
Once inside the stronghold Caterina obviously immediately started organising an attack on the Orsis…
When the Orsis reminded her that if she went ahead with her plans they’d kill her children, Caterina climbed the fortress walls, hiked up her skirt and explained that they were welcome to kill her kids, hell kill them in front of her if they really fancied, because she had the tools to make more.
Somehow, despite Caterina, the kids stayed alive. Caterina herself managed to hold out within the fortress, and sent out a message to Forli:
‘My people, people of Forlì! I tell you to punish and kill all enemies. For it I will consider you my good brothers for evermore. Do not hesitate to act, and fear nothing, because the deed will benefit you and your children. And if you fail to act you will regret it in a few days.’
The veiled threat worked. The people of Forli took to the streets and Caterina left the fortress where she was reunited with her children (who I bet were just thrilled to see her…) Unsurprisingly Caterinas next step was to hunt down her new enemies and brutally kill them, as was her style.
Born in 1867 in Minnesota, Linda Hazard was in many ways a woman ahead of her time. A female doctor in an era when this was unheard of; a successful author and driven as all hell to boot! But before we get out the feminist marching band and erect this bitch a statue, I should also point out that Linda murdered a load of her patients.
Linda believed that starvation could cure all diseases (obvs). She practiced this theory in Minneapolis, but after one of her patients actually died of starvation, Linda was threatened with legal action. Ironically she was saved from jail, as she didn’t actually have a medical license.
Though she escaped jail this incident was enough to convince Linda to get the hell out of dodge and move to Washington, where she happened to know that thanks to a legal loophole she could practice medicine legally.
In Washington Linda opened up Wilderness Heights, a health farm in the Countryside where she promised to fix all medical ailments through starvation. Linda’s passion – which verged on fanaticism – quickly helped her build up a fan base of loyal followers.
Life at Wilderness Heights was tough for the guests (who paid though the nose to be there). In addition to a diet of essentially no food, Linda also helped them tackle diesease by enforcing daily enemas, scalding hot baths and massages that verged on beatings.
Some of Linda’s (often already ill) patients just couldn’t take it and soon the emiciated and bruised bodies started to pile up.
Yet people continued to come. Linda’s ‘health farm’ had became like some kind of cult; the danger was clear, the deaths abound, but followers kept coming. Two such followers were Dorothea and Claire Williamson, wealthy socialite sisters with a hypochondriac streak.
The sisters arrived healthy but within months one would be dead. Under Linda’s supervision the two women entered into a strict diet of pretty much nothing. Within two months the women weighed just 70 pounds. Yet they choose to remain in Linda’s care, most likely as they had deteriorated to much to refuse her.
But help was coming. Dorothea had sent a cryptic letter to an old Nanny, worried the women came to visit the sisters. On arrival she was told that Claire was dead and she found Dorothea 50 pounds and close to death.
Thanks to the sisters social standing, Claires death registered with the authorities (though 14+ people had already died of starvation under Linda’s care) Linda was stripped of her license to practice medicine and given 2-20 years in prison.
She of course got out of jail after 2 years.
Linda traveled to New Zealand where she once more set up shop and peddled starvation as medicine. Several years later she moved back to Washington and set up another starvation ‘health’ camp, because bitch just won’t learn.
Again patients died (Linda was fined a whole £100!). Luckily after almost a decade the place burned to the ground in 1935.
Linda appears to have taken this as a sign and slowed down, which clearly wasn’t good for her health. In 1938 she took ill and died after trying to starve herself back to health.
Now whilst the prior entries on our list have committed dickery in the name of wealth, power and progress…Elizabeth Bathory was just a plain old dick. Like really. She’s the literal worst.
Elizabeth came from a long lineage of distinguished Hungarian nobility and so naturally as a noble woman in the 1500s she was married off at 15.
Her new husband was famed for his cruelty, but fortunately Elizabeth was fully on board with this! Legend has it that Elizabeth’s new husband lovingly gifted her with her own personal torture chamber (because fuck Barbies dream house!)
Together the couple blissfully lived life in thier castle, occasionally brutalising errant wrong doers from the villages they ruled over. But in 1604 Elizabeth’s husband died and now in her 40’s she was left to rule alone.
This didn’t bother her and Elizabeth relished her solo role. Everything was going swimmingly until 1610, when word started to spread that Elizabeth had some…er, nefarious hobbies. In the winter of 1610 a group of soldiers came to Elizabeth’s home and arrested her. From here shit went downhill fast.
Now, it was well known that Elizabeth was partial to a bit of light murder and torture, but it soon transpired that she had been getting up to some seriously bloody high jinks.
Elizabeth was accused of murdering over 600 people, most young women. She did this in many and various ways, but here are just some:
– stuck red hot needles under peoples nails and skin.
– starved people to death (Hey Linda!)
– made one woman cook and eat her own flesh
– sticking red hot irons in very very uncomfortable places – – – covering girls in honey and leaving them outside on a hot sunny day to be slowly devoured by insects.
Yeah…so Elizabeth was just the worst. Like world record breaking worst (actually thats true, she holds the world record as the worst female serial killer in history!)
She was tried for murder but due to her influential family ties was spared the death penalty (the same cannot be said for her closest servants, who were all executed)
Elizabeth spent the remainder of her days locked with the walls of her castle. Bricked up inside her quarters with only a crack in the wall for air and food.
Wow this was really interesting! How can I found out more? Volume 2 will be coming very soon, so keep an eye out! In the meantime you can discover one kickass woman a day on my Twitter. And a huge thank to the lovely Tweeps that suggested women for this article, you guys really are the best!!