Queen Boudicca probably isn’t a name you have heard before. For one thing, she wasn’t a real queen. (At least not by the standard definitions.) We only have two primary sources which mention her at all, and both of these historians date back to the first or second century AD.
The short version: Romans are assholes and Boudicca tries to fight back. She loses. The End.
So why the fuck should you care? Because Boudicca was a bonafide badass that’s why. During the first half of the first century AD, the native Britons/Celts lived in peace. But that all changed when the
firenation Romans attacked. Emperor Claudius decided that the British isle looked like a lovely place for his vacation home (who wants a vacation home in England? It’s always raining) and began colonization. Some native tribes submitted to the emperor hoping their people would be spared.
Boudicca’s husband tells the Romans leave me the fuck alone and I’ll let you have half my land when I die. He left the rest of the land to his wife and daughters, because unlike pretty much every other civilization in existence during this time, the Celts knew what the hell gender equality was. Women could hold positions of authority or political power, own land, choose whom they married, and even initiate divorce.
Boudicca’s husband dies and the land is left jointly to her and the Emperor, right? No fuck that, newly crowned emperor Nero Caesar says woman aren’t people and therefore all the land is his.
So in the Romans go. They flog Boudicca and force her to watch as her 12 year old daughters are tortured and raped. And of course nobody in Rome expects a women to be powerful, so they let her go. Probably a bad idea, considering at this point she was pissed.Boudicca gathers up 1-2 hundred thousand of her closest buddies and starts going on a rampage. She and her little band of freedom fighters destroy two major cities before getting to London. London (Londinium) was still a new settlement at the time, but it had a population of about 10,000. She sacks that too, beating up every pussy Roman general she found. She rode around in a chariot fighting these guys off with both her daughters fighting alongside. I don’t know about you, but after turmoil like that, if you see one of those woman riding straight for you with a spear you fucking run. The only sources we have describe Boudicca as a half naked mad women with wild red hair and tattoos. (on second thought, maybe i wouldn’t run away.)
Eventually Rome realizes that they’re messing with some serious lady power here. They send in plenty of backup and beat back the Celts. Boudicca, like the badass she is, escapes capture and takes her own life so that Rome can never have the honor of defeating her. Boudicca became a symbol for woman’s rights and empowerment. Queen Victoria took on Boudicca as her namesake. “Ironically, the great anti-imperialist rebel was now identified with the head of the British Empire, and her statue stood guard over the city she razed to the ground.”