Too often, badass women are left out of history books. Now, they have one of their own.

Writer Kate Schatz loves biographies, and she loves history even more.

Even as a kid, Schatz knew she wanted to write books for younger readers.

But after she had children and found herself inundated with kids' books, she realized something was missing: books about badass women.


So Schatz set out to find women that young girls could look up to, women who might have been overlooked in the past. Then she worked with illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl to create a visually stunning nonfiction alphabet book about the women she found.

Her newest book, "Rad Women Worldwide," is a celebration of generations of rad women challenging norms.

It teaches kids about women who fought the patriarchy (and anyone who dared get in their way) to become leaders in science, politics, fine arts, athletics, and even the high seas. (Yeah, this book has a lady pirate.)

Kate Schatz (left) and illustrator Miriam Klein Stahl hard at work. Photo courtesy of Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

"Right now, especially as we're in this incredibly xenophobic, racist, horrible political moment, just how important it is to make sure kids are thinking about and learning about the rest of the world, other cultures, other countries," Schatz said.

Biographies of 40 women from 30 countries found a literary home in this easy-to-read book, complete with sharp paper-cut illustrations.

They're stories that kids (and their parents) need to hear, see, and remember. They're stories that stoke imaginations. Simply put, these are stories that can change the world.

Images reprinted with permission from "Rad Women Worldwide," published by Ten Speed Press, an imprint of Random House LLC.

Here are five I can't stop thinking about:

1. Kasha Jacqueline Nabagesera, Uganda

She's only 36, but she's known as the "mother of the gay rights movement" in Uganda, an East African nation where homosexuality is illegal.

A tireless activist and advocate, Nabagesera lives under constant threat of harassment, violent attacks, and even death. But she stands firm. She's won't leave Uganda or the people she fights for.

2. Dame Kāterina Te Heikōkō Mataira, New Zealand

The Māori people call New Zealand and the greater South Pacific home, but as more non-Māori people moved into the region, the indigenous language was replaced with English.

Mataira decided to save the language from extinction. She set up tutors and immersion schools and even wrote novels and kids books in Māori. Today, it's the official language of New Zealand, and as of 2013, 21% of Māori people can speak it, up from 5% in 1971.

3. Grace "Granuaile" O'Malley, Ireland

In the 1530s, young Grace O'Malley wanted to sail so badly that she cut off her hair, dressed in boy's clothes, and hit the high seas. When her father died, she took over his fleet of ships, and when her husband (an Irish chieftain) died, many of clansman joined her side.

As the English took over Irish clans one by one, O'Malley would not be moved. She escaped capture and led a rebellion at nearly 60 years old. She suffered no fools and took no shit. As such, she was one of the bravest pirates to ever live.

4. Aung San Suu Kyi, Myanmar

When her father, a famous general who promoted Burmese independence, was assassinated, he became a national hero. Though Aung San Suu Kyi was just a toddler at the time and grew up mostly outside of Burma, she knew she'd one day complete her father's mission.

In the late 1980s, Aung San Suu Kyi returned to Burma (which was under the rule of a dangerous military government at the time). She started a brand-new political party. For her efforts, she spent the better part of 20 years under detention or house arrest. She wasn't allowed to see her family and could only occasionally venture outside. Aung San Suu Kyi was released in 2010 and in 2015, she won a seat in Parliament.

5. Bastardilla, Colombia

Bastardilla is a Colombian artist making larger-than-life murals and paintings on the streets of Bogotá. Much of her work depicts women — women working, living, and taking back their communities from the grips of violence.

Her work is empowering, beautiful, and thanks to handfuls of glitter along the way, truly dazzling.

A book like this could easily include thousands, if not millions, of entries.

"I'm at a point with these books where ... everyone I know and encounter wants to tell me about a cool person they've heard of," Schatz said.

It's great for a research junkie like Schatz, but it means some really amazing women didn't make the cut. That's why in addition to the 40 biographies, readers will find a glossary of additional accomplished, amazing women to learn about. The list allows you to search by country and discover the women who've shaped our world.

And the best part? These stories are just the beginning.

History is being written every day by the next generation of women with guts. No matter where you live or what your passions are, it's time to roll up our sleeves and get crackin'.

GIF via "30 Rock."

Courtesy of Amita Swadhin
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In 2016, Amita Swadhin, a child of two immigrant parents from India, founded Mirror Memoirs to help combat rape culture. The national storytelling and organizing project is dedicated to sharing the stories of LGBTQIA+ Black, indigenous people, and people of color who survived child sexual abuse.

"Whether or not you are a survivor, 100% of us are raised in rape culture. It's the water that we're swimming in. But just as fish don't know they are in water, because it's just the world around them that they've always been in, people (and especially those who aren't survivors) may need some help actually seeing it," they add.

"Mirror Memoirs attempts to be the dye that helps everyone understand the reality of rape culture."

Amita built the idea for Mirror Memoirs from a theater project called "Undesirable Elements: Secret Survivors" that featured their story and those of four other survivors in New York City, as well as a documentary film and educational toolkit based on the project.

"Secret Survivors had a cast that was gender, race, and age-diverse in many ways, but we had neglected to include transgender women," Amita explains. "Our goal was to help all people who want to co-create a world without child sexual abuse understand that the systems historically meant to help survivors find 'healing' and 'justice' — namely the child welfare system, policing, and prisons — are actually systems that facilitate the rape of children in oppressed communities," Amita continues. "We all have to explore tools of healing and accountability outside of these systems if we truly want to end all forms of sexual violence and rape culture."

Amita also wants Mirror Memoirs to be a place of healing for survivors that have historically been ignored or underserved by anti-violence organizations due to transphobia, homophobia, racism, xenophobia, and white supremacy.

Amita Swadhin

"Hearing survivors' stories is absolutely healing for other survivors, since child sexual abuse is a global pandemic that few people know how to talk about, let alone treat and prevent."

"Since sexual violence is an isolating event, girded by shame and stigma, understanding that you're not alone and connecting with other survivors is alchemy, transmuting isolation into intimacy and connection."

This is something that Amita knows and understands well as a survivor herself.

"My childhood included a lot of violence from my father, including rape and other forms of domestic violence," says Amita. "Mandated reporting was imposed on me when I was 13 and it was largely unhelpful since the prosecutors threatened to incarcerate my mother for 'being complicit' in the violence I experienced, even though she was also abused by my father for years."

What helped them during this time was having the support of others.

"I'm grateful to have had a loving younger sister and a few really close friends, some of whom were also surviving child sexual abuse, though we didn't know how to talk about it at the time," Amita says.

"I'm also a queer, non-binary femme person living with complex post-traumatic stress disorder, and those identities have shaped a lot of my life experiences," they continue. "I'm really lucky to have an incredible partner and network of friends and family who love me."

"These realizations put me on the path of my life's work to end this violence quite early in life," they said.

Amita wants Mirror Memoirs to help build awareness of just how pervasive rape culture is. "One in four girls and one in six boys will be raped or sexually assaulted by the age of 18," Amita explains, "and the rates are even higher for vulnerable populations, such as gender non-conforming, disabled, deaf, unhoused, and institutionalized children." By sharing their stories, they're hoping to create change.

"Listening to stories is also a powerful way to build empathy, due to the mirror neurons in people's brains. This is, in part, why the project is called Mirror Memoirs."

So far, Mirror Memoirs has created an audio archive of BIPOC LGBTQI+ child sexual abuse survivors sharing their stories of survival and resilience that includes stories from 60 survivors across 50 states. This year, they plan to record another 15 stories, specifically of transgender and nonbinary people who survived child sexual abuse in a sport-related setting, with their partner organization, Athlete Ally.

"This endeavor is in response to the more than 100 bills that have been proposed across at least 36 states in 2021 seeking to limit the rights of transgender and non-binary children to play sports and to receive gender-affirming medical care with the support of their parents and doctors," Amita says.

In 2017, Mirror Memoirs held its first gathering, which was attended by 31 people. Today, the organization is a fiscally sponsored, national nonprofit with two staff members, a board of 10 people, a leadership council of seven people, and 500 members nationally.

When the pandemic hit in 2020, they created a mutual aid fund for the LGBTQIA+ community of color and were able to raise a quarter-million dollars. They received 2,509 applications for assistance, and in the end, they decided to split the money evenly between each applicant.

While they're still using storytelling as the building block of their work, they're also engaging in policy and advocacy work, leadership development, and hosting monthly member meetings online.

For their work, Amita is one of Tory's Burch's Empowered Women. Their donation will go to Mirror Memoirs to help fund production costs for their new theater project, "Transmutation: A Ceremony," featuring four Black transgender, intersex, and non-binary women and femmes who live in California.

"I'm grateful to every single child sexual survivor who has ever disclosed their truth to me," Amita says. "I know another world is possible, and I know survivors will build it, together with all the people who love us."

To learn more about Tory Burch and Upworthy's Empowered Women program visit https://www.toryburch.com/empoweredwomen/. Nominate an inspiring woman in your community today!

Image is a representation of the grandfather, not the anonymous subject of the story.

Eight years a go, a grandfather in Michigan wrote a powerful letter to his daughter after she kicked out her son out of the house for being gay. It's so perfectly written that it crops up on social media every so often.

The letter is beautiful because it's written by a man who may not be with the times, but his heart is in the right place.

It first appeared on the Facebook page FCKH8 and a representative told Gawker that the letter was given to them by Chad, the 16-year-old boy referenced in the letter.

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When a pet is admitted to a shelter it can be a traumatizing experience. Many are afraid of their new surroundings and are far from comfortable showing off their unique personalities. The problem is that's when many of them have their photos taken to appear in online searches.

Chewy, the pet retailer who has dedicated themselves to supporting shelters and rescues throughout the country, recognized the important work of a couple in Tampa, FL who have been taking professional photos of shelter pets to help get them adopted.

"If it's a photo of a scared animal, most people, subconsciously or even consciously, are going to skip over it," pet photographer Adam Goldberg says. "They can't visualize that dog in their home."

Adam realized the importance of quality shelter photos while working as a social media specialist for the Humane Society of Broward County in Fort Lauderdale, Florida.

"The photos were taken top-down so you couldn't see the size of the pet, and the flash would create these red eyes," he recalls. "Sometimes [volunteers] would shoot the photos through the chain-link fences."

That's why Adam and his wife, Mary, have spent much of their free time over the past five years photographing over 1,200 shelter animals to show off their unique personalities to potential adoptive families. The Goldbergs' wonderful work was recently profiled by Chewy in the video above entitled, "A Day in the Life of a Shelter Pet Photographer."