Okay, I know. Absolutely wild place to start off. For a man who was responsible for around 40 million deaths amidst the Mongol conquests, you can never be sure whether “badass” is the word that comes to mind, or if you’re looking for something more along the lines of horribly evil. A 2003 study by an international team of geneticists revealed that about 16 million men in central Asia were linked genetically to Genghis Khan. During his rampage of pillaging and consensual(???) sex, Genghis Khan found his way into the genetic code of 8% of a region in Asia, and .5% of the world’s population. Essentially meaning, one out of every 200 men were related to Genghis Khan. I say men because of the way this was traced back to Genghis, through the same male Y chromosome. Do you understand what this man had to do to become the ancestor of .5% of the world’s population? Aside from that, Genghis achieved a multitude of achievements, including establishing freedom of religion, and outlawing slavery (he was a previous slave during his teenage years believe it or not). There was even a legend that Khan took 1,748,000 lives in one hour, deriving from an ancient painted tapestry. Although untrue, it referenced the suggested population of a Persian city call Nishapur. One of his favorite son-in laws, Toquchar was killed in this city. Normally, Genghis left those who did not resist alone and spared the commoners lives, he even welcomed foes into his armies at times. But, his daughter was so heartbroken, she requested this entire city be executed. Men, women, children, dogs, cats, all slaughtered. It wasn’t enough in the end to just kill them, so they beheaded each and every citizen, and piled their skulls into pyramids that finished construction 10 days later. So, Genghis Khan, the OG fuck boy, and slaughterer of tens of millions, definitely secures a spot on this list.
Ching Shih is a lesser-known ruler today. She was born in 1775, originally a prostitute working on a floating brothel in Canton. In 1801, there was a pirate by the name of Zheng Yi, who favored Ching Shih. He was the commander of the Red Fleet (a large and powerful pirate organization). One thing led to another, either by request or during a raid of the brothel, (historians are not really sure), they married. Shih ruled side by side over the Red Fleet with Zheng, and under their collaborative rule the Red Fleet grew from 200 ships to around 1800 ships. About 6 years into marriage, Zheng died. Instead of seceding and leaving power to her adopted son, the heir, Ching decided to take on power alone. She went on to regiment an entire pirate fleet with taxes and lawful protection, a makeshift ad hoc government where pirates kept some of the loot they plundered, and the rest entered a collective fund. She was known as ‘”The Terror of South China” as she took over many villages, imposing taxes and nailing the feet of those who resisted to her ships deck before beating the hell out of them. She became so dominant by defeating Chinese, Portuguese, and British fleets, that she was eventually granted amnesty by the Chinese government in hopes her reign would end. The fact that a woman was this recognized and decorated during an era of male dominance is incredible.
*Mad Jack leading his soldiers to battle Longsword in hand*
Jack Churchill was a British officer that served during World War 2. At the time, many feared war, and were afraid to go to battle with modern weapons. But Jack Churchill? He carried a longbow, a sword, and a set of fucking bagpipes. He was known as “Mad Jack”. He is quoted to have said, “Any officer who goes into battle without his sword is improperly dressed”. He was a man that drove a motorcycle across an entire subcontinent, almost 1,500 miles through India, crashing into a water Buffalo and stepping on homeless people sleeping on bridges. He was also a representative of Britain in 1939 World Archery Championship. Fellow soldiers have noted that he was a deranged commando that played his bagpipes to rile up his comrades before mowing down Nazis with his longbow, chucking grenades, and charging in with his longsword. When battling in Yugoslavia, he played his bagpipes while a grenade landed in front of him and he was then taken prisoner in a concentration camp. He tunneled out of the camp, before being caught and sent to a camp in Austria- where he escaped and walked his way through the Brenner Pass to Italy. The dude was out of his mind. After Hiroshima and Nagasaki, he was the only man who was pissed off! “If it wasn’t for those damn Yanks we could’ve kept the war going for another 10 years”. He was awarded the Distinguished Service Order twice, as well as the Military Cross.
Back in the day, I mean way back, like 60 back, Rome was an absolute immense power. Boudicca was a Celtic queen ruling over a territory which is now recognized as modern day Britain. Essentially what caused conflict between Boudicca and Rome was the death of her father, who divided his estate between his daughters and the Roman Emperor Nero. Eventually Rome overtook these lands and of course, Boudicca was opposed so she voiced her objection. In return she was beaten and both of her daughters were raped. At that point they had poked a sleeping bear. She gathered support and started a revolt against the great Roman empire, leaving various Roman cities in ruin such as Camulodunum, and Londinium, and Verulamium. She slaughtered about 80,000 Romans in her conquest. She was eventually defeated but standing up to Rome was no easy task.