Random Acts of Kindness – Choose one. I have.

  1. Remember to turn the lights off when you leave a room!
  2. Make your voice count – sign a petition for a good cause
  3. Support a small, local business as a customer
  4. It’s hard to stay connected – reach out to an elderly person you know
  5. Visit a friend who’s sick
  6. Hug your parents
  7. Compliment someone today!
  8. Start the day right – make breakfast for everyone
  9. Send a thank you card to someone who has made a difference in your life (a friend, family member, teacher etc.)
  10. Leave a kind message anywhere (in a library book, on a computer etc.)

Fun Idioms Generated for the day: Creativity Exercises by the JayMentor

  • Sometimes, the help that comes is so slow in coming it can be termed as
  • That’s Helping A Snail Cross The Road.
    ———————
  • Just as a college is meaningless without students or teachers
  • A Library Is Meaningless Without Readers.
    ———————
  • Sometimes the Empathy / Sympathy expressed is so Verbose that I feel
  • When Comfort Turns To Discomfort.
    ———————
  • Making A Meal Out Of Nothing.  Any suggestions?
    ———————
  • There’s No Plan For Madness.  Not in my dictionary.  What about you? 🙂 

Creativity: Random Inputs generated this morning for today

Quick and Dirty

Meaning:

Things that are fixed with great speed, but as a result, it’s probably not going to work very well.  The quick trip this year did not expect any result even after a month and I was little depressed.  But the Brainwave and Udemy courses I am doing are really balancing.

There’s No I in Team

Meaning:

To not work alone, but rather, together with others in order to achieve a certain goal.  The recent attempts to work as a team member without putting skin in the game has not worked.  Partner trouble of the past always comes back however much I try to let it go.

Burst Your Bubble

Meaning:

To ruin someone’s happy moment.  No I did not and will not do that.

Break The Ice

Meaning:

Breaking down a social stiffness. Hmmm… I think I shall shrink all other social activities and whatever is going on and just focus on 2 or 3 major big ticket items only.  I need finishiative myself.

Right Off the Bat

Meaning:

Immediately, done in a hurry; without delay. But it did not yield any results. May be the introduction was not done well or my offerings were wrong or may be I was not seen as the choice or I failed to sell my services well.

I Smell a Rat

Meaning:

A feeling that something is not quite right, or awry.  That sinking feeling ! Ahh !  but I am learning lessons on Self hypnosis and they are good. They work.

It’s Not Brain Surgery

Meaning:

A task that’s easy to accomplish, a thing lacking complexity.  No. I do not have any simple task in my task list. I must just junk it and fill it up with small simple tasks and steps I can do and applaud myself , pat my own back.

 

Don’t worry. Be happy

To one of the group Baba dictated the following on the board:

“Why worry?! Worry is unnecessary. Necessary worry is not good, but unnecessary worry is madness. If I say: ‘Be
happy!’ be happy at once! Forget. Away with it! Why brood?
I never brood. Laugh! Be cheerful! It is all illusion — why not be cheerful, happy? Start now!!”

Another time Baba said:
“Do everything, but don’t worry. Worrying binds. When one
is beyond worrying, one is happy. But you must consciously
not worry. The stone does not worry, but unconsciously. It
is all fun, all a game, happiness — if you don’t worry.”

Love Alone Prevails, p240
By Kitty Davy
Copyright AMBPPCT

10 Mind-Blowing Things That Happened This Week (8/3/18)

OUR WORLD

MORRIS M. 

 

Keeping up with the news is hard. So hard, in fact, that we’ve decided to save you the hassle by rounding up the most significant, unusual, or just plain old mind-blowing stories each week.

This was the week when the dream of a new, post-Mugabe society finally seemed to die in Zimbabwe. Following last year’s coup, new elections deteriorated into the sort of violence and painful crackdown that the old regime specialized in. More on this sad story below, along with a look at the week’s other great controversies—from 3-D printed gun technologies to the US trial of the year.

10Zimbabwe’s Elections Ended In A Brutal Crackdown

Photo credit: aljazeera.com

It was meant to be the moment that Zimbabwe finally stepped out from Robert Mugabe’s long shadow. On Monday, Zimbabweans went to the polls in the first elections in 16 years to feature international observers.

At first, things seemed to be progressing well. The African Union declared the elections mostly free and fair despite some clear media bias. As the results came in, both the ruling Zanu-PF party and the opposition MDC claimed victory but also said that they’d abide by the final count. Sadly, that last part was just wishful thinking.

On Wednesday, Mugabe’s old party, Zanu-PF, were announced as the winners. Immediately, Harare exploded into violence. Opposition protesters flooded the streets, claiming the poll was rigged. The army responded the only way that the army in Zimbabwe ever does at election time: It opened fire. The resulting skirmishes devastated the city center and killed three people.[1]

It wasn’t meant to be this way. The 2018 elections were meant to be the moment that Zimbabwe turned over a new leaf and opened itself up to the outside world. But with the government now vowing to crack down harder, it looks like, sadly, Zimbabwe’s revolutionary dream was only ever that: a dream.

9A Plan To Release A 3-D Printable Gun Caused Chaos

Photo credit: gizmodo.com

At the last minute on Tuesday, a federal judge blocked the website DEFCAD.org from going back online. Or at least, the judge tried to. DEFCAD had actually gone live a few hours before it was meant to, resulting in a flurry of panicked headlines. The reason for this? DEFCAD is a website for downloading and 3-D printing your own guns.

If you’re thinking “this is an old story,” you’re right. DEFCAD first went live in 2013. It was taken down after the State Department threatened to prosecute for breaking US firearms export laws, but DEFCAD responded by suing, saying the printing blueprints were protected by the First Amendment. The Trump administration settled with the site in June, allowing it to return online. Until the judge blocked it.[2]

There are fears that DEFCAD will allow criminals to print untraceable firearms or those that can bypass metal detectors. At the moment, printed guns are notoriously unreliable, but that may not be the case in five years. Essentially, the court battle we’re about to see is a fight about what the First and Second Amendments mean in the digital age. The outcome will have far-reaching consequences.

8The Swedish Crown Jewels Were Stolen In Broad Daylight

Photo credit: abc.net.au

If you think all great heists involve Danny Ocean levels of planning and subterfuge, think again. This week, two men pulled off one of the biggest robberies in Swedish history, stealing some of the crown jewels.

Their plan was almost hilariously simple. They walked into a cathedral where the jewels were being displayed, smashed the glass, grabbed the jewels, and rode to the nearest lake on bikes before jumping on jet skis and jetting off into infamy.

The jewels dated from around 1611 and included an orb used at King Karl IX’s funeral. They were as priceless as crown jewels tend to be, which is what makes the ease with which they were stolen so bizarre. There are Walmarts that are harder to steal from than that.

Still, the Swedish police remained oddly upbeat about the whole thing. As the jewels are so distinctive, they’ll be impossible to sell.[3]

7We Experienced The Longest Lunar Eclipse Of The Century (But Not In America)

Photo credit: timeanddate.com

For fans of incredible natural phenomena, there was only one story worth caring about in the last seven days. The longest lunar eclipse (aka a “blood Moon”) of the 21st century took place on the night of July 27. It lasted an incredible 1 hour and 45 minutes, during which time the Moon turned an evil red and Mars became brightly visible in the sky. It was like looking upon a scene from the Apocalypse . . . or at least it was if you didn’t live in North America.

The map of the eclipse’s route was like a gigantic middle finger to North America. Nearly every single country on Earth got to witness the blood Moon, with the exception of some Pacific island states, the US, Mexico, Cuba, and Canada.

It’s not all bad news, though. The next total solar eclipse to hit North America is already less than six months away, and that one will hit everywhere but Australia. Until then, North American nature lovers can take some solace from the fact that the skies in the UK and parts of Northern Europe completely clouded over prior to the eclipse.[4]

6India Stripped Four Million Of Their Citizenship

Photo credit: dw.com

Assam is a troubled state in India that borders Bangladesh. During the 1971 Bangladesh War of Independence, millions of refugees flooded the place, often lacking basic identification. In 1985, an agreement was signed, allowing those who arrived prior to the war’s start to stay in Assam permanently. Those who arrived as refugees would have to go.

However, the law was never really enforced and Assam has long been a hub for illegal immigration. When Narendra Modi’s Hindu nationalist party came to power, that all changed. An Indian citizenship list was compiled for Assam to decide who could stay and who should be deported. This week, a draft of that list was published. Over four million residents of Assam were missing. The assumption is that they will now be deported.[5]

Aside from effectively declaring four million people illegals, the list was controversial because of perceived anti-Muslim bias. Modi himself said that Hindus who fled Bangladesh after the war started should be allowed to remain, while Muslims would have to leave. This is a big problem for Assam, a tinderbox state with a reputation for ethnic violence. Only six years ago, race riots killed 80 people.

5Germany Freed Its Only Suspect In A Neo-Nazi Bombing

Photo credit: thelocal.de

In July 2000, a bomb exploded at a Dusseldorf station, targeting Jewish immigrants. Twelve people were injured, and a pregnant woman caught in the blast lost her unborn child. It was one of Germany’s most infamous neo-Nazi bombings, thanks to a 17-year investigation that turned up nothing.

It was only last year that anyone was charged. A suspect known as Ralf S was arrested after a former prisoner came forward, saying Ralf had boasted to him about carrying out the bombing when they shared a cell in 2014.

This week, though, the trial of Ralf S collapsed. Although he was recorded claiming responsibility for the attack, too many witnesses backed out at the last moment. Unable to tell if his boasts were genuine or just the work of an egomaniac, the court freed him.[6]

The failure of the case is particularly pertinent in the wake of the recent NSU terrorism trial. In that case—which involved the murder of nine immigrants and a policewoman—German intelligence repeatedly failed to spot warning signs of right-wing terrorism. With another neo-Nazi attack now unsolved, questions are already being raised about the country’s ability to deal with homegrown extremism.

4A US House Race Transformed Into A Bizarre Argument Over Bigfoot Erotica

Photo credit: thedailybeast.com

File this one under “weird but (unfortunately) true.”

In Virginia, a heated race is currently on for the 5th Congressional District’s House of Representatives seat. This week, that already hot race got one heck of a lot steamier in the worst way possible. Over the weekend, Democratic candidate Leslie Cockburn publicly accused her Republican rival, Denver Riggleman, of being “a devotee of Bigfoot erotica.”

Politicians making up outlandish claims about their rivals is nothing new. There’s a great old story about Lyndon Johnson spreading rumors that one of his opponents liked his hogs just a little too much. What’s different is that Cockburn apparently had some evidence to back up her claim. Riggleman’s Instagram feed included a picture he’d posted of his own head photoshopped onto the body of a Bigfoot with an enormous wang.

While Riggleman really is a Bigfoot fan, he strenuously denies Cockburn’s allegations.[7] Still, the whole thing is something of a sad indictment of the state of US politics. In some countries, candidates argue about issues. In Virginia, they argue about Bigfoot porn.

3North Korea Finally Returned 55 US War Dead

Photo credit: nypost.com

It was perhaps the biggest PR win yet that President Trump has had from his successful summit with Kim Jong Un in June. Last Friday, North Korea announced that it would be returning the remains of 55 dead US servicemen from the 1950–53 Korean War. On Wednesday, a formal handing-over ceremony took place and the bodies were repatriated.[8] The move was seen as a goodwill gesture by Kim toward continued denuclearization talks.

Impressive as the ceremony was, it was still marred by the usual bouts of weirdness you get with any story involving the DPRK. In this case, it was Pyongyang’s bizarre decision to only return one dog tag alongside the 55 bodies. At least the bodies are likely to belong to Americans. In 2011, North Korea handed over the remains of what it said was a British pilot . . . only for doctors to discover that the bones belonged to a dead animal.

Hopefully, this is another step on the long road toward a nuclear-free Korea, but who can say for sure? Just before the return ceremony, US intelligence indicated that North Korea might be restarting its ICBM program.

2Armenia Arrested Its Former President

Photo credit: ABC News

This year has been a whirlwind one for the tiny Caucasus nation of Armenia. In spring, a one-man protest against a presidential power grab ballooned into peaceful mass demonstrations which may have involved a third of the entire population. The president resigned, the government collapsed, and anti-corruption protest leader Nikol Pashinyan was swept into power, all without a single shot being fired.

Now, the effects of Armenia’s velvet revolution are being felt. This week, security services arrested former president Robert Kocharian for orchestrating a crackdown in 2008 that killed 10 people. He is now the third high-ranking member of the previous government to be arrested for the crackdown, indicating that Pashinyan is serious about ending Armenia’s culture of impunity for the rich and powerful.[9]

As with everything in the former Soviet Union, though, the success of this drive depends on Moscow. Russia’s foreign minister has already condemned the arrests, calling them politically motivated. With Pashinyan having sworn to maintain good relations with the Kremlin, it may be that he’s forced to backtrack on these latest moves.

1Paul Manafort’s Trial Began

Photo credit: USA Today

One of the interesting things about Special Counsel Robert Mueller’s Russiainvestigation is that he was empowered to prosecute any crimes he uncovered, even ones unrelated to the Russia investigation. And while the Russia investigation itself has yet to bear fruit, Mueller has uncovered a slew of unrelated crimes.

The biggest of these likely involves Paul Manafort, a one-time Trump adviser who is now charged with money laundering, witness tampering, tax evasion, and violating the Foreign Agents Registration Act.[10]

This week, Manafort’s first trial finally began in Virginia. It’s expected to last three weeks, after which Manafort will face another trial on different charges in the District of Columbia. (Usually, trials in separate jurisdictions are rolled into one, but the Sixth Amendment allows a defendant to demand a trial in each area where he is accused of committing crimes. Manafort evidently invoked this right.)

The two trials will be watched closely for evidence of how Mueller’s team intends to go after its targets in later cases. Many are also wondering whether President Trump may pardon his erstwhile adviser, if needed. Sources say that Manafort is banking on the White House freeing him if he’s convicted. Since Trump has yet to signal a decision either way on the matter, this all remains simply guesswork.

Grace of the Master Descends

When a person avoids backbiting and thinks more of the good points in others than of their bad points, and when he can practise supreme tolerance, and desires the good of others even at the cost of his own self, he is ready to receive the grace of the Master.

As soon as the disciple is ready the grace of the Master descends, for the Master, who is the ocean of divine love, is always on the look-out for the soul in whom his grace will fructify.

——-AVATAR MEHER BABA

[Source- Discourses by Meher Baba, volume-I, p-161 (Copyright ©1967 by Adi K. Irani, King’s Rd., Ahmednagar, Maharashtra, India]

10 Incredible Things Accomplished By Women Disguised As Men

HUMANS

10 Incredible Things Accomplished By Women Disguised As Men

MARK OLIVER 

 

Women, throughout most of history, haven’t shared the same opportunities as men. They’ve been relegated to their homes, with the doors that lead to the great deeds that get one’s name written into history firmly closed. At best, their names are remembered only by virtue of being somehow connected to a famous man.

But throughout those thousands of years of repression, there have been women bubbling with abilities and ideas who’ve refused to stay shut out. In a world where only men were allowed to succeed, they cut their hair, put on pants, and accomplished things their brothers refused to believe could ever be done by a woman.

10Rena Kanokogi: The Woman Who Won A Male Judo Competition

Photo credit: www.judophotos.com

From a young age, Rena Kanokogi (nee Glickman) wanted to be a judo master. Growing up in Brooklyn, she dedicated herself to martial arts, determined to become the best in the world.

There was just one problem: Rena was a woman. In the 1950s, when she started hungering to compete, there weren’t any judo competitions open to women—or, at least, none that were worth her while. But Rena didn’t let that stop her. She entered the 1959 New York State YMCA Judo Championship: a competition exclusively for men.

Women weren’t allowed in the competition because the judges considered them too frail and weak to compete against the men. Rena, though, didn’t just prove herself an equal—she proved herself better. She beat every man she fought and left with the gold medal around her neck.[1]

In the end, she was forced to give it up. The judges had an inkling that Rena was a woman, and when they asked, she told them the truth. Rena didn’t regret giving up the medal, though. She believed that, by telling the truth, she helped legitimize women’s judo, and that was far more important than any medal.

Rena went on to coach the women’s judo team during the 1988 Seoul Olympics and also became the first woman to become a seventh-degree black belt. Rena Kanokogi passed away in 2009 at the age of 74.

9Dr. James Barry: The First Doctor To Perform A Successful C-Section

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

When Margaret Ann Bulky was born in Ireland in 1789, women were expressly forbidden to practice medicine. Her family, though, fell on hard times, and when the uncle who supported them died, she felt it fell on her shoulders to pull them through.

She took her uncle’s name, James Barry, and, passing herself off as him, enrolled in medical school. Her disguise made her a seem a bit eccentric. She draped herself in an overcoat no matter how hot the weather, spoke in an affected deep voice, and had 8-centimeter (3 in) inserts in all of her shoes—but she did well enough in her studies that her teachers let their lingering doubts go.

By the age of 22, she was an assistant surgeon in the military, and by 1857, she was the inspector general in charge of all military hospitals. She was one of the most successful medical experts of her day. In fact, she was the first surgeon to perform a caesarian section and get both the mother and baby through it alive.[2] (Sources vary on whether she was the first to do so in Africa or in the British Empire.)

She left a request in her will asking to be buried in the clothes she died in, without having her body washed. Her wishes, though, were not followed, and as a nurse prepared her body for burial, she found out that one of the most respected men in medicine was actually a woman.

8Khawlah Bint Al-Azwar: The Woman Who Led The Muslim Army Against The Byzantine Empire

Photo credit: The Odyssey Online

When the early Muslims led their armies against the Byzantine Empire in the seventh century, a young woman named Khawlah bint al-Azwar followed along.[3] Her brother, Dhiraar Ibn al-Azwar, was a commander in the army, and she came along as a nurse to make sure someone was ready to heal his wounds.

When her brother was captured, though, during the Siege of Damascus, Khawlah refused to let him rot in a prison cell and die. She put on armor, veiled her face, and took his place on the battlefield alongside the other men.

Khawlah fought so bravely and ferociously that the army’s general, Khalid Ibn Walid, personally met with her to recognize her as the hero of the battle. The whole army was shocked when she revealed her face.

Instead of kicking her out, though, Khalid let her lead a rescue mission to free her brother. Khawlah led a battalion of men into the Byzantine camp, rescuing her brother and every prisoner of war the Byzantines had captured.

Khawlah followed the army from then on, initially the only woman fighting in an army of men. That changed, though, when she was captured by the Byzantines and thrown into a prison for women. Khawlah armed her fellow prisoners with tent poles and pegs, leading her own crudely equipped female army in a violent jailbreak that ended with 30 Byzantine soldiers dead and countless women freed by their own strength.

7Agnodice: The First Female Doctor Of Greece

Photo credit: Wellcome Trust

Ancient Greece was notoriously cruel to women. It was a place where women were expected to stay silent and obey their husbands, a place where they said: “The best reputation a woman can have is not to be spoken of.”

For a woman to practice medicine in Greece was absolute and complete gall. It was so contemptible that any woman who even tried would be sentenced to death. According to the Roman historian Gaius Julius Hyginus, though, one woman named Agnodice dared to do it anyway.

According to the story, Agnodice disguised herself as a man, studied medicine, and became one of the most successful doctors in Athens. She specialized in helping women in labor and was so popular with her patients that her male colleagues accused her of seducing them.

The men were so convinced she was luring away their patients through illicit means that they took her to court for sexually abusing patients. During the trial, though, Agnodice shocked the court by revealing that she was a woman—and guaranteeing herself a certain death.

Her patients saved her life. When word got out that Agnodice was to be executed, they flooded into the courthouse, insisting that Agnodice had revolutionized female health care. One woman told the courts: “You are condemning her who discovered health for us!”[4]

To everyone’s surprise, the courts listened. The story goes that Agnodice was allowed to live and to continue practicing medicine, and the law in Athens was changed. Because of her, women were finally allowed to become doctors.

6One-Eyed Charley: The First Woman To Vote In The United States

Photo credit: The Gay Almanac

One-Eyed Charley was born Charlotte Parkhurst in 1812, but somewhere along the line, she changed her name. Charlotte put on a pair of pants and became One-Eyed Charley: one of the most feared names in the Wild West.

Unlike the other women in this list, One-Eyed Charley probably wasn’t just in disguise for a job. It’s believed that Charley self-identified as a man and decided to live as one. But man or woman, Charley made history.

One-Eyed Charley was one of the toughest, hardest-drinking cowboys on the American frontier. He’d lost his eye after being hoofed in the face by a horse, and it seemed to have left him bitter. He worked as a stagecoach driver and had a reputation for carrying guns and having an itchy trigger finger. The bandit Sugarfoot found that out firsthand when he tried to hijack One-Eyed Charley, only to find out that Charley was just as ready to put a bullet in someone’s stomach as Sugarfoot was—and twice as fast on the trigger.

Nobody questioned Charley’s gender until he died. Even for a man, he had an unusually deep and gruff voice. It wasn’t an affectation—Charley’s lifelong habit of chewing tobacco had left him with mouth cancer. That’s why it was such a shock when they got his body ready for burial and realized he’d been born a woman.

By then, though, Charley had already done something worthy of the history books. In 1867, he’d registered to vote in California—making him the first person born as a woman to cast a vote in an American election.[5]

5Renee Bordereau: The Woman Napoleon Wanted Dead

Photo credit: Wellcome Trust

Renee Bordereau lost 42 family members to the French Revolution. Though the battle was for liberty and equality, the revolutionaries’ aim wasn’t always squarely aimed at the aristocracy. Many of the Bordereaus, a family of peasants, met their ends at their hands, including Renee’s father, who died before her very eyes.

When the Royalists revolted against the Revolutionaries in 1793, Renee Bordereau jumped on the opportunity for revenge. She put on a disguise, took her brother’s name of Hyacinthe, and charged into battle.

She was one of the most feared fighters in the Royalist army. She was famous for riding into battle with a horse’s bridle between her teeth so that her hands were free to carry a sword and a gun at the same time. It made her a brutal force to contend with—legend has it that, in her first battle alone, she killed 17 men.

The French thought she was invulnerable. She fought 200 battles and was so notorious that Emperor Napoleon put a 40,000-franc bounty on her head.[6]

In time, her brothers-in-arms realized that their greatest fighter was a woman. Still, they kept her on, with one soldier famously pointing her out by saying:

See that soldier who has sleeves of a color different from his coat? That’s a girl who fights like a lion.

4Kathrine Switzer: The First Woman To Run In The Boston Marathon

Photo credit: www.jecoursqc.com

There was no women’s running team at Syracuse University in the 1960s, when Katherine Switzer was there, but she was determined to run anyway. She entered the only group they had, the men’s cross-country team, and immediately told her coach that she wanted to get ready to run the Boston Marathon.

At the time, women were banned from participating on the belief that they were too “fragile” to run a marathon, but Switzer was determined. Her coach didn’t think she could do it. Trying to dissuade her, he challenged her to run a full 42 kilometers (26 mi) in training—so Switzer, just to prove a point, ran 50 kilometers (31 mi) instead.[7]

To get past the judges, Switzer signed up for the 1967 Boston Marathon as “K.V. Switzer.” She showed up in a baggy sweatshirt, hoping to avoid attention—but her disguise wasn’t exactly the best. Switzer insisted on wearing lipstick while she ran, making it obvious to everyone who saw her that this was no man.

She got off to a great start, but while she was running, an official, furious that a woman was running the marathon, stormed onto the track and tried to tackle her, yelling: ”Get the hell out of my race and give me those numbers!” The incident erupted into a full-on brawl as Switzer’s friends came out to help her. With all the commotion, she didn’t have much of a chance of winning—but out of sheer stubbornness, she ran the race to the end anyway.

She lost her first marathon, but she ran the Boston Marathon another seven times after that. She ran countless other marathons as well, with her greatest win coming in the New York City Marathon of 1974. Switzer didn’t just get first place—she finished a full 27 minutes before the next woman crossed the finish line.

3Saint Marina: The Sainted Monk Who Was Secretly A Woman

Photo credit: Richard de Montbaston

When Saint Marina’s mother died, her father decided to give up everything and become a monk. Marina, with nowhere else to go, followed him into the monastery, disguising herself as man and calling herself “Marinos.”

In time, Marinos became a respected monk at the monastery. Years of developing a strong reputation, though, were shattered when a local innkeeper’s daughter came into the monastery pregnant, insisting that she’d been violated by Father Marinos.[8]

Obviously, Marina hadn’t impregnated the woman, but she refused to deny it. If she did, the baby would be doomed to a short life of neglect. And so, to make sure the child had a parent, Marina pretended to be his father and took him in.

She was kicked out of the monastery and sent out into the streets, where she had to beg to survive. Still, she did her best to take care of the child, working with so much devotion that, in time, her fellow monks invited her back in.

The child she raised became a monk himself, and the two lived in the monastery together until Marina’s death. It wasn’t until they started to prepare her body for burial that anyone realized she was a woman—and, clearly, innocent of all accusations.

2Trotula Of Salerno: The World’s First Gynecologist

Trotula of Salerno has been called the world’s first gynecologist.[9] Way back in the 11th century, she was a respected physician in Italy, working as the chair of medicine at the School of Salerno. There, she published a whole series of books on health care, full of ideas that would change medicine for centuries.

She didn’t exactly have to dress like a man. Italy, at the time, accepted a small number of female doctors, and Trotula was able to work without hiding her gender. Her books, though, were another matter. The world struggled with the idea of reading a treatise on medicine written by a woman, so some were published under a man’s name.

She was responsible for countless breakthroughs in women’s health, with new ideas on supporting patients through menses, conception, pregnancy, and childbirth. She introduced painkillers during childbirth when they were forbidden and was one of the first people to realize that men could be responsible for infertility.

In her own era, she earned a fair amount of respect as a woman—but as time went on, people refused to believe that woman was capable of the things that she had done. During the Renaissance, copies of her medical text were republished with a man’s name instead of her own. Even when she didn’t pretend to be a man, other people disguised her anyway.

1Jeanne Baret: The First Woman To Circumnavigate The Globe

Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons

Not every story ends well. The story of Jeanne Baret, the woman who dressed up as a man to travel around the globe, is a great moment in history—but it ends in horrifying tragedy.

Jeanne Baret joined Louis Antoine de Bougainville’s round-the-world expedition as a botanist in 1766. Her boyfriend, Philibert Commerson, had already signed up for the trip and, not wanting to be apart from Baret, convinced her to dress up as a young boy and sign on as his assistant.

The two sailed around the world together, identifying countless plants for the first time and making Baret the first woman to circle the globe.[10] A whole genus of plants they discovered was even named after her. Commerson called them Baretia, saying that the flowers, like her, were defined by contradiction.

In time, though, the crew realized that Baret was a woman. The official story, for years, has been that the natives of Tahiti recognized her gender and told the crew—but more recently, historians have found a different account, recorded in three different men’s journals, that is far more horrifying.

While their ship was near Papua New Guinea, three men on the crew, who’d figured out that she was a woman, beat and brutally gang-raped her. By law, the men who did it should have been hanged. Instead, the crew covered it up, letting the men go free while Baret was left with her skin torn and a baby, conceived by one of the men who’d attacked her, growing inside her.

Baret made history as the first woman to circle the world—but for a woman in her time, making history came at a horrible cost.