Only one? Come on, there's lots of real-life kick-ass heroines.

Some women took traditional women's roles to new heights: Susanna Wesley, Abigail Adams, Mother Teresa, in her own way.

Some women broke the mold:
Jeannette Rankin, first female US representative. Without her, would we have been able to consider 2 women this year for the highest office in the land?)

Elizabeth Blackwell, first US MD, and other medical leaders: Lady Mary Wortley-Montagu, Clara Barton, Florence Nightengale

Marie Curie, Candance Pert, scientists

The many unnamed, unsung professional women (like my aunt) of the last century who labored, filed suits, and basically took no prisoners for rights in the workplace that we take for granted today. As the Plaid Adder says, "...we got where we are by learning in spite of people who didn't want to teach us and working in spite of people who don't want to pay us what we're worth and finding solutions and solving problems and growing businesses and firms and programs and institutions in spite of all the men around us who wanted us to fail."

The farm women like my grandmother who never finished eighth grade, who worked beside their husbands, doing the same work while bearing and raising daughters--and insisting that those daughters make a better life for themselves through education. (All four of her daughters earned bachelor's degrees, two earned master's, and one almost made it to a PhD--unheard of in the 1930s & 40s.)

And what about all the women novelists, starting (as far as we know) with Murasaki Shikibu in ancient Japan? If they hadn't written, would we be writing now? You've heard of Jane Austen and the Bronte sisters, but they were just members of a crowd. Other mothers of the English novel included Fanny and Sally Burney, Susan Ferrer, Maria Edgeworth (who wrote an interracial marriage in 1803), Ann Radcliffe, Caroline Lamb.