Learn More About The Women

The prospect of choosing the women to include in our decks was both daunting and incredibly exciting. We made the decision to select the women we thought would be the best match and then to sort out the various ranks later, according to each woman's own history. If you have any recommendations for future decks, please share them with us by email at info@thewomancards.com

The women included in the first edition of the deck are listed below. The second edition - our current printing - is listed further down. Girl Power is listed beneath that and Tech Deck beneath that.

NEW: If you would like a printable overview of the women featured in our decks, please see this Dropbox Link with PDFs that can be printed.

FIRST EDITION - OUT OF PRINT

Ace: Hillary Clinton — The word "ace" denotes "one" or "single," which is why there is only one spot on the card. A former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, and the winner of the 2016 Presidential Popular Vote, Hillary Clinton is the first woman to have ever been nominated for President of the United States by a major American political party. 

King: Ruth Bader Ginsburg — Supreme Court Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg was dubbed the "Notorious RBG" in 2014, an allusion to famed New York rapper "Notorious BIG," following her blistering dissent in the Shelby case. Since acquiring the nickname, she has often been depicted wearing the King's crown worn by the Notorious BIG on the cover of Rolling Stone.

Queen: Beyoncé — Need we say more?

Jack: Clara Barton — We know that “Jack of all trades” is a simplistic moniker, but Clara Barton really did do it all. Throughout her career, she worked as a school teacher, a patent clerk, a front lines nurse during the Civil War, a civil rights activist, a renowned suffragist, and an acclaimed lecturer. And then after all of that, she founded the American Red Cross.

10: Sylvia Rivera — In Sylvia's own words, "Ray Rivera left home at the age of 10 to become Sylvia. And that’s who I am." Sylvia then became a leading figure in what was then called the gay liberation movement, fighting to help protect young homeless drag queens and transgender women of color in New York City. 

9: Amelia Earhart — The legendary American aviator Amelia Earhart spent her career breaking and setting flight records. (And briefly served as the aviation editor of Cosmopolitan magazine!) She played an instrumental role in creating "The Ninety-Nines," a pioneering women's aviation association. 

8: Harriet Tubman — We've been hearing a lot about Harriet Tubman lately, who will soon be joining Andrew Jackson on the $20 bill. During the eight years Tubman served as a "conductor" on the Underground Railroad, guiding hundreds of slaves to freedom, she never lost even a single passenger.

7: Mary Cassatt — One of seven children, Mary Cassatt was the most famous American Impressionist painter and often featured young children as the subjects of her work. In Paris, she befriended the French painter Edgar Degas, who once depicted her holding a hand of playing cards.

6: Susan B. Anthony — Although most Americans know Susan B. Anthony best for her activism for women's suffrage, she was also an author and historian on the topic and played a key role in initiating the six-volume History of Woman Suffrage. The tome was finally completed in 1922, after the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

5: Wilma Rudolph — The odds of Wilma Rudolph becoming known as "the fastest woman in history" were long: she contracted the polio virus as a child and spent five long years wearing a leg brace on her left leg and foot. After regaining her ability to walk, and then run, Rudolph went on to become the first American woman to ever win three Track and Field gold medals in a single Olympic Games.

4: Rosa Parks — On December 1, 1955, a Montgomery bus driver ordered four black passengers to move further back on his bus to make room for white passengers to sit. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat despite the threat of arrest. Three days later, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began, a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement.

3: Ida B. Wells — In 1892, three friends of Ida B. Wells were seized and murdered by a lynch mob in Memphis, Tennessee. Wells launched a ground-breaking investigation into their deaths and spent two months traveling through the South investigating and writing about other lynchings, under near-constant threat of violence. She later became a founding member of the NAACP.

2: Dr. Sally Ride — In 1983, Dr. Sally Ride became the first American woman to enter space, she remains the youngest American to have ever done so, and is the first known LGBT astronaut. She made two journeys to space, both on board the space shuttle Challenger, founded NASA's Office of Exploration, and led NASA's first-ever long-term strategic planning process. In addition, her second mission was the first space mission ever to include two women.

Big Joker: Betty White — The so-called "Mayor of Hollywood" is widely regarded as a pioneering figure in American television and is recognized as the first woman to produce a sitcom. She currently holds the Guinness World Record for longest television career of a female entertainer. 

Small Joker: Ellen DeGeneres — One of America's first out LGBT entertainers, Ellen's career has spanned stand-up comedy, sitcoms, daytime talk shows, award show hosting, voice acting, writing, directing, and more. In 2015, her Oscar selfie with a lot of other famous people became the most retweeted tweet of all time.

(Note: "Big" Joker and "Small" Joker are designated as such for the purposes of some games that require a differentiation.)

SECOND EDITION - CURRENTLY IN PRINT

Ace: Hillary Clinton — The word "ace" denotes "one" or "single," which is why there is only one spot on the card. A former First Lady, Senator, and Secretary of State, and the winner of the 2016 Presidential Popular Vote, Hillary Clinton is the first woman to have ever been nominated for President of the United States by a major American political party or to win the Presidential Popular Vote. 

King: Shirley Chisholm — An author, educator, relentless public servant, the first black woman elected to Congress, and the first black candidate for a major party's nomination for President of the United States, Shirley Chisholm got her start in politics representing King's County (Brooklyn) in the New York State Assembly.  

Queen: Eleanor Roosevelt — America's longest-serving First Lady was the final woman we cut from our first deck, and we were thrilled to include her in our second. Eleanor Roosevelt was a visionary of her time and a tireless advocate for women, African Americans, Asian Americans, and refugees of the Second World War. She was also the first American delegate to the United Nations and oversaw the drafting of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights.

Jack: Sacagawea — The renown guide, interpreter, and explorer Sacagawea joined Lewis and Clark on their Corps of Discovery Expedition. During their travels, she picked up the nickname "Janey," which reminded us of "Jack." (Anything to avoid "Jack-of-all-trades.") Her intimate knowledge of the terrain and ability as an interpreter were invaluable to the two-year Expedition. 

10: Sylvia Rivera — In Sylvia's own words, "Ray Rivera left home at the age of 10 to become Sylvia. And that’s who I am." Sylvia then became a leading figure in what was then called the gay liberation movement, fighting to help protect young homeless drag queens and transgender women of color in New York City. 

9: Patsy Mink — Representative Mink, a third-generation Japanese American, was the first woman of non-European descent elected to the Congress and co-authored the Title IX Amendment of the Higher Education Act, also known today as the "Patsy Mink Equal Opportunity in Education Act." Title IX was a critical step toward gender equality in the United States. 

8: Sojourner Truth — In 1828 Isabella Baumfree, later known as Sojourner Truth, became the first black woman in America to ever win a court case against a white man. She went on to become one of the nineteenth century's most prominent abolitionists, women's suffragists, and sought-after speakers. One of her most famous speeches was delivered for the "Commemoration of the Eighth Anniversary of Negro Freedom" in 1871, in which she publicly wrestled with the anger she felt toward the white people who had imprisoned her. 

7: Mary Cassatt — One of seven children, Mary Cassatt was the most famous American Impressionist painter and often featured young children as the subjects of her work. In Paris, she befriended the French painter Edgar Degas, who once depicted her holding a hand of playing cards.

6: Susan B. Anthony — Although most Americans know Susan B. Anthony best for her activism for women's suffrage, she was also an author and historian on the topic and played a key role in initiating the six-volume History of Woman Suffrage. The tome was finally completed in 1922, after the ratification of the 19th Amendment.

5: Wilma Rudolph — The odds of Wilma Rudolph becoming known as "the fastest woman in history" were long: she contracted the polio virus as a child and spent five long years wearing a leg brace on her left leg and foot. After regaining her ability to walk, and then run, Rudolph went on to become the first American woman to ever win three Track and Field gold medals in a single Olympic Games.

4: Rosa Parks — On December 1, 1955, a Montgomery bus driver ordered four black passengers to move further back on his bus to make room for white passengers to sit. Rosa Parks refused to give up her seat despite the threat of arrest. Three days later, the Montgomery Bus Boycott began, a defining moment in the American Civil Rights Movement.

3: Gertrude Stein — One of America's most prominent literary figures, Gertrude Stein coined the phrase "Lost Generation" and hosted a prominent Parisian salon in the early 1900s. Her critically acclaimed book Three Lives, tells the story of three working women in Baltimore and established her as a preeminent American novelist of an incredible era for American writing.

2: Cecilia Payne — In 1952, Cecilia Payne published a Ph.D. dissertation then-described as "undoubtedly the most brilliant Ph.D. thesis ever written in astronomy." Her work established hydrogen and helium, as the two most abundant elements in the universe, forever changing our understanding of astronomy, and blazed a trail for women into one of science's most male-dominated fields. She later became the first woman to ever head a department at Harvard College. 

Big Joker: Lucille Ball — Co-creator of the beloved sitcom I Love Lucy, Lucille Ball was not only a model, actress, and comedienne. She was the first woman in America to become a major television studio executive, producing hits like Mission: Impossible and Star Trek. (Both of these were television shows before they become blockbuster movies.) She was one of America's most loved and most decorated entertainers.

Small Joker: Phyllis Diller — She started out telling jokes to PTA moms and didn't get into professional comedy until she was almost 40, and then she took the country by storm, becoming America's first and foremost successful stand-up comedienne. She is widely seen as having paved the way for women comics including Joan Rivers, Ellen DeGeneres, Margaret Cho, and Roseanne Barr.

(Note: "Big" Joker and "Small" Joker are designated as such for the purposes of some games that require a differentiation.)

The Woman Cards: Girl Power

Ace: Malala Yousafzai — When we first reached out to our past supporters about who we should include in our next deck, there was no person more nominated than Malala Yousafzai. Her courageous and inspirational work in support of female literacy led her to become the youngest-ever Nobel Prize laureate. The word "ace" denotes "one" or "single," which is why there is only one spot on the card, which we believe is perfect for Malala.

King: Joan of Arc — Divinely-inspired visions guided Joan of Arc, the illiterate daughter of a meager farmer, to meet with King Charles VII of France when she was only 17 years old. Despite initial (and understandable!) hesitation, the King dispatched her to the Siege of Orléans, attaching her as a leader to his army. The English had maintained the siege for six months — and was broken only nine days after Joan arrived. She went to lead and inspire French forces, growing every larger in life and in legend, before her capture by the English a few years later.

Queen: Mary Shelley — You've probably heard of Mary Shelley, who started writing Frankenstein when she was only eighteen years old and published when she was twenty. Her most famous book stands today as one of the most powerful stories about science, progress, and human nature. She would go on to be described as the Queen of Horror and we are excited to feature her as the Queen of our deck.  

Jack: Sybil Ludington — On the night of April 26, 1777, only sixteen years old, Sybil Ludington rode to alert American militia of the imminent arrival of British soldiers — and she rode nearly twice as far as Paul Revere, despite being less than half his age. Her story was first told in an 1880 book by historian Martha Lamb and the legend of her ride has slowly grown over time. She is the Jack of our deck because the rank “Jack” was initially conceived as a “page,” who often served as messengers, which is exactly what Sybil was.    

Ten: Emma Gonzalez — After the tragic shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas in Parkland, Emma Gonzalez and her classmates took a stand against gun violence. At the March for Our Lives, just weeks after the shooting, Emma’s speech was heard around the world, punctuated by a six-minute moment of silence that matched the duration of the shooting. After joining Twitter, she received over one million followers in just ten days, dramatically surpassing the National Rifle Association.

Nine: Artemisia Gentileschi — Artemisia Gentileschi was a groundbreaking Italian painter in the seventeenth-century Baroque period, whose talent at an early age set her apart from her male peers. Artistically, she is best known for her expressive and boundary-pushing style and for becoming the first woman to join the Accademia di Arte del Disegno in Florence. She is also well-known for her courage in participating in the prosecution of a man who sexually assaulted her when she was eighteen — during a time when such participation by women was unheard of — nine months after her attack.

Eight: Sylvia Mendez — At the age of eight, Sylvia Mendez — who is of both Mexican and Puerto Rican heritage — played a key role in ending discrimination against Latinx students in California public schools as lead plaintiff in Mendez v Westminster. This ruling tackled the notion of “separate but equal” head-on and fully established the connection between “equal protection under the law” and public education. Mendez’s activism directly paved the way for the more famous Brown v. Board of Education seven years later.

Seven: Ming Kipa  When Ming Kipa reached the summit of Mount Everest on May 24, 2003, she was the youngest person to ever reach the world's highest point, a record she held for seven years. She summited with her older sister, Lhapka, and her brother, Mingma. Her sister Lhapka has summited Everest nine times - more than any other woman. Ming comes from an incredible family and we're thrilled to have her in the deck.

Six: Helen Keller — When Helen Keller was only 19 months old, she contracted a disease that left her deaf and blind. Four years later, when she was six years old, Anne Sullivan led Helen to her miraculous breakthrough moment, spelling “w-a-t-e-r” while running water over Helen’s free hand. She completed a bachelor’s degree from Radcliffe College at Harvard University when she was 24, the first deaf-blind person in America to receive a bachelor’s. Widely heralded for her incredible determination and perseverance, she was a passionate advocate for people with disabilities, women’s suffrage, birth control, radical socialism, the anti-war movement, and she helped to found the American Civil Liberties Union in 1920.

5: Sophie Scholl  Sophie Scholl was an organizer with White Rose, a student activist organization at the University of Munich dedicated to resisting the Nazi regime in Germany through non-violent means. Sophie helped to create and distribute anti-Nazi literature among German students while also overseeing the finances of White Rose. The five student leaders of White Rose resisted the Nazi regime until their arrest in 1943. Her final words were, “Such a fine, sunny day, and I have to go, but what does my death matter, if, through us, thousands of people are awakened and stirred to action?

Four: Ruby Bridges — Ruby Bridges is best known for being the first black child to attend the all-white William Frantz Elementary School in New Orleans. She was one of four kids to attend traditionally white schools in the city. It was Ruby's mother Lucille, the daughter of sharecroppers, who strongly encouraged her daughter to attend the all-white school, in order to both receive a better education and to lead for the betterment of all black Children in America. Her first day of school was memorialized in the famous Norman Rockwell painting, "The Problem We All Live With," which served as an inspiration for our illustration.   

Three: Anne Frank — Anne Frank is known worldwide for her Diary of a Young Girl, which became internationally recognized after its publication following the end of World War II. She was born in Frankfurt, Germany into a Jewish family, which fled to the Netherlands when the Nazis seized power, where she was one of three young people in the Secret Annex. She became stateless after her citizenship was revoked — which is why she is depicted without a flag in her background — in 1941. Her record of life in hiding, of coming of age, of persistence in the face of fascism, continues to inspire people of all genders and ages across the world to this day.

Two: Kate Shelley — At only 15 years old, Kate Shelley risked her life during a dangerous Iowa thunderstorm to prevent a railroad disaster. When a bridge near her family farm collapsed, she braved the wind, rain, and dark—at one point crawling across a rickety bridge over the Des Moines River with only lightning for illumination—to prevent the midnight express carrying over two hundred passengers from derailing.

Big Joker: Shirley Temple — Shirley Temple began acting at age three, captured international attention when she was only five years old, and retired from films when she was all of twenty-two. She was Hollywood’s biggest star when she was only a child and spent the rest of her life dabbling in television, public service, and even running for Congress as a Republican in 1967.

Small Joker: Quvenzhane Wallis — Best known for role as “Hushpuppy” in Beasts of the Southern Wild, Quvenzhane Wallis is an American actress and author. She is the first person born in the twenty-first century — and the youngest actress ever — to be nominated for an Oscar Award. Since then, she has authored several children’s books.

(Note: "Big" Joker and "Small" Joker are designated as such for the purposes of some games that require a differentiation.)

The Woman Cards: Tech Deck 

Ace: Marie Curie — Marie Curie was the first person to win the Nobel Prize twice and remains the only person to win the Nobel Prize in two different scientific fields, winning the 1903 Nobel Prize in Physics and the 1911 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. Marie pioneered our modern understanding of radioactivity, a word she created, alongside her husband Pierre.

King: Grace Hopper — Known by many as “Amazing Grace,” Admiral Hopper a computer scientist who enrolled in the US Navy Reserve during World War II, serving on the Mark I computer programming team. Over her decades of service, she made invaluable contributions to the advancement of computer science, and coined the phrase “computer bug.” She retired with the rank of Rear Admiral. Grace was posthumously awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2016.

Queen: Chien-Shiung Wu — Chien-Shiung Wu was a Chinese American physicist who worked on the Manhattan Project and whose contributions were so valuable she came to be known as the “Queen of Nuclear Research” and “the First Lady of Physics.” Later in her career, she was an outspoken advocate against gender discrimination.

Jack: Mae Jemison — The first African American woman to travel in space, Mae Jemison was inspired to pursue her dreams of space travel by the Star Trek character Uhura. Quoting the show, Mae often said, “Hailing frequencies open” during her mission. A true “renaissance woman,” Mae maintained a deep love of the arts and entertainment, while mastering engineering, practicing medicine, and becoming an astronaut. During her eight-day voyage, she brought along several art objects from West Africa to symbolize the universal nature of space.

10: Katherine Johnson — Katherine Johnson displayed a strong affinity for mathematics at an early age, enrolling in an advanced high school when she was only ten years old. She grew up to become a NASA computer – the human kind! – and mathematician during the Space Race, calculating the crucial orbital mechanics equation which made spaceflight possible and laid the foundation for the space shuttle program. She was awarded the Presidential Medal of Freedom in 2015 and her work was memorialized in the film Hidden Figures.

9: Ada Lovelace — Ada Lovelace was an English mathematician who wrote the first successfully executed computer algorithm. During a nine-month period in 1842 – 1843, Lovelace translated an Italian article about a proposed machine, the Analytical Engine. Her translation included an appended set of notes of her own observation and design that contained the aforementioned algorithm, illustrating that she was the first scientist to fully understand that the potential of mechanical computers far exceeded simple calculation. Consequently, she is widely regarded as the first “programmer” of computers.

8: Rachel Carson — Rachel Carson was a marine biologist and conservationist, whose book Silent Spring popularized the environmental devastation of the pesticide DDT, birthed the modern environmental movement, and saved the American Bald Eagle from near-certain extinction. She began writing at the age of eight, demonstrating at an early age her passion for animals. As an adult, her work led directly to the banning of DDT and blossomed into the founding of the Environmental Protection Agency.

7: Kalpana Chawla — Kalpana Chawla was an aerospace engineer and the first Indian American woman to travel in space. She was among the seven crew members who perished in the 2003 Columbia disaster and posthumously awarded the Congressional Space Medal of Honor. She is remembered as a national hero in India to this day.

6: Hypatia — Hypatia of Alexandria was an Egyptian mathematician living in the Eastern Roman Empire during the late fourth century A.D. and is the first woman mathematician about whose life we have much recorded detail. Her studies and writing transcended mathematics, bridging into astronomy and philosophy — six of her works survive today. She was murdered in 415 A.D. by a mob of Christians for her paganism, despite being herself known for her tolerant nature.

5: Jane Goodall — One of the world’s most famous women scientists, Jane Goodall worked extensively to document and understand the social and family interactions of wild chimpanzees over the course of 55 years of study as a primatologist. Her five-year study at the Gombe Reserve in Tanzania laid the groundwork for decades of research that established the social similarities of chimpanzees and humans. She has become one of the most widely recognized scientists of the modern age.

4: Maryam Mirzakhani — Maryam Mirzakhani was an Iranian mathematician whose work at Stanford University earned her the Fields Medal, which is awarded every four years. At the time of printing, she remains the only woman and only Iranian to have won the Fields Medal. Her research concerned the dynamics and geometry of Riemann surfaces, which are highly complex one-dimensional shapes. Her life was cut tragically short by breast cancer at the age of 40 in 2017.

3: Tu Youyou — Tu Youyou is a Chinese chemist, who led the research project that developed dihydroartemisinin, a drug used to treat malaria, one of the world’s most deadly diseases. Her work saved millions of lives from Asia to South America. She is known as the “Professor of Three Noes,” because she has no postgraduate degree, no study or research experience abroad, and no membership of any Chinese national science academies. Despite this nickname, she received the Nobel Prize in Medicine in 2015.

2: Florence Nightingale — Florence Nightingale was an English reformer and statistician who pioneered modern nursing. She is remembered as “the Lady with the Lamp” who organized care for wounded soldiers and rose to prominence during the two-year long Crimean War. As a prolific and thoughtful writer, she also pioneered the use of infographics to present complicated statistical data in digestible formats for the common people.

Big Joker: Hedy Lamar — Hedy Lamar was an American film actress and inventor. When she wasn’t starring in motion pictures as a leading lady, she enjoyed tinkering and inventing. After the outbreak of World War II, she co-created a technology intended to protect radio-controlled Allied torpedos from having their signals jammed by hostile forces. This technology was adopted by the US Navy and later became foundational for frequency technologies and paved the way for the creation of Bluetooth and Wi-Fi.

Little Joker: Bindi Irwin — Bindi Irwin is an Australian entertainer and conservationist dedicated to continuing the work of her late father Steve Irwin, introducing younger audiences to the importance of respect for animal life. She was awarded “Young Conservationist of the Year” in 2014 by the Australian Geographic Society.

(Note: "Big" Joker and "Small" Joker are designated as such for the purposes of some games that require a differentiation.)