5 True Stories Behind Iconic Pictures of Badass Women

#2. The Woman Who Wouldn't Let Death Separate Her from Her Man

Frank Janssen

It's hard to imagine now, in an age when all God's children seem to be getting along like gangbusters, but there used to be a time when things like race and politics were actually pretty divisive. I don't have any American examples for illustration, so let's look at the Netherlands, where the entire population was once strictly divided by religion. Protestants and Catholics each had their own separate schools, newspapers, banks, hospitals, and windmill stores, and the two groups never mixed except at the government level. You could think of the Catholics as oil and the Protestants as water and the Dutch parliament as a very pious salad dressing.

Tony Robins/Photolibrary/Getty Images
Pictured: Metaphor.

So when a Catholic noblewoman named J.C.P.H. van Aefferden married Protestant commoner J.W.C. van Gorkum in 1842, you can imagine they faced some social ostracization for their illicit union. You can also imagine they got to have some dirty, taboo sex in the process, but only if you're an awful person. For almost 40 years, Mr. and Mrs. van Gorkum got to enjoy their forbidden lovin' night after night (after night) until Mr. van Gorkum finally died in 1880 (from too much dirty sex). We'd like to think that's when the sex stopped, but we'll probably never know.

As a Protestant, Mr. van Gorkum was buried in a special walled-off section of the cemetery, separate from the Catholic section, which was separate from the one Rastafarian grave in town. Mrs. van Gorkum buried her husband in the appropriate place, went into mourning, and started thinking about the future, specifically her own death. When she died, she'd be buried in the Catholic section of the same cemetery, probably in her own family's big ol' fancy tomb with her crappy Catholic family ... forever. Mrs. van Gorkum couldn't stand the thought of spending eternity away from her lover. So she came up with a plan.

Jupiterimages/Comstock/Getty Images
"Hooooo boy! This is going to be good!"

When Mrs. van Gorkum died eight years after husband, she wasn't plopped down in the family plot at all; instead she was placed on the other side of the wall where her husband was buried. And the two graves were connected over the wall with a pair of hands.

Shawn Saleme
"Finally, after 40 years I can be alone ... what the?"

#1. The Woman Who Straight Up Jumped on the Iranian President's Car


Say what you want about former Iranian president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad -- that he's short, that he thinks the Holocaust was a lie, that he honestly believes the West invented AIDS to get rich off of HIV medicines, that his beard is stupid but he has a pretty nice smile and kind eyes, etc. But you can't say that he spent his whole presidency locked away in an ivory tower avoiding his people. President Ahmadinejad was known for getting out there and mixing it up with people from all walks of life.

Even nuclear scientists!

In April 2012, Ahmadinejad toured the Iranian port city of Bandar Abbas, probably thinking he'd just drive to the beach and Instagram the fish market before calling it a day and heading home. Instead, he found himself mobbed by a crowd so strong that they actually stopped his car in its tracks. Bodyguards were helpless as Iranians handed the president notes asking for help (a common thing that happens wherever he goes, apparently) and yelling things like "Ahmadinejad, I'm hungry!" and "Ahmadinejad, the Holocaust was real! Look it up!"

"This is, like, fourth grade history, Mahmoud."

Amid the chaos of the AhMADdening crowd, a hijab-clad woman pushed her way to the front of the president's car, then climbed it like a Duke brother. While bodyguards pulled at her feet, angry men shouted and gestured wildly in her direction, and Ahmadinejad himself stared as if she had just whipped a boob out and slapped him with it, the nameless woman kept climbing. Before she gives the president a piece of her mind, she turns around and tells the crowd they can kiss her Persian grits.


Then, for a few amazing seconds, this lady went eye to eye with one of modern history's most notorious anti-woman evildoers. And you can tell from the video that this wasn't a "Hey, I think you're great, I'll be on my way" conversation. She's got something important to say and big gestures to get her point across. Maybe that she'd like some policy changed or her home is not getting enough food, or that no one's responded to her spec script for Real Housewives of Persia, even though she knew that last one was a long shot and she should move on to other creative projects. Whatever it is, she climbed his car to say it. When's the last time you climbed a despot's car in a desperate attempt to reach him? And enthusiastic games of tag don't count. For a full picture of how this ballsy encounter played out, watch the video below. Then cringe at the last time you were too shy and polite to tell your waitress she got your order wrong.

Kristi is a senior editor at Cracked and a minor Twitterer on Twitter.

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